REVIEW: Drop Dead Gorgeous by Linda Howard
Dear Ms Howard:
I wasn’t really much of a Blair fan the first time around and with any book in the first person, if you don’t love the narrator, you aren’t going to love the book. I didn’t find her as irritating as I did in To Die For, but I don’t think I’m up for a third Blair/Wyatt book.
Blair and Wyatt are engaged but no wedding date has been set because there are so many details to take care of to ensure that the perfect wedding takes place. Wyatt is inpatient to tie the knot and lays down the law and informs Blair that they are getting married in 30 days. If she doesn’t get everything planned by then, he’s marrying her his way (which could be a tacky Vegas wedding).
Blair is up for the challenge and begins to plan her perfect wedding which includes shopping for the perfect shoes. Leaving the shopping center, Blair is nearly run over by a woman in a car. It’s clear to Blair that this was intentional as are the subsequent threatening phone calls. Problem is that Wyatt doesn’t believe Blair and suggests that Blair is trying to manipulate his work time so that he pays more attention to her.
This conflict seemed very forced to me because Wyatt acknowledges from viewing the videotape of Blair being gunned down by the car that she was in danger and for him to dismiss her other complaints just doesn’t seem reasonable. I think you were trying to show that Blair’s attempts at manipulation were coming back to bite her in the ass, but I saw it more as Wyatt being unreasonable and myopic which didn’t really fit the character that you had built for him in the previous book and this one. Wyatt simply didn’t seem like the type to dismiss a complaint that could be serious and I never really bought into the idea that Blair would be so hysterical as to make up complaints. The conflict appeared fake.
My problem with Blair is that she is very manipulative and views her engagement and future marriage as a blood sport in which she pouts, cries, makes up arguments to get Wyatt to do want she wants. I have a hard time seeing this as fun, romantic or honorable. At one point Wyatt calls her on it, but it doesn’t bother him enough to call off the wedding. Wyatt is not a very proactive character, unlike past Howard heroes. He does more reacting than acting. It’s almost as if he serves as a foil for Blair, rather than an equal partner.
There are funny moments in the book and it is much sexier than the first book, but I just can’t warm up to Blair. I would rather re-read Dream Man, After the Night, Kill and Tell, Open Season, Now You See Her and a host of other books in your backlist. C.