Romance, Historical, Contemporary, Paranormal, Young Adult, Book reviews, industry news, and commentary from a reader's point of view

REVIEW: Drop Dead Gorgeous by Linda Howard

Dear Ms Howard:

Drop Dead GorgeousI 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.

Best regards,

Jane

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com

16 Comments

  1. Tara Marie
    Dec 02, 2006 @ 05:24:27

    I liked this a little better (B-), I don’t particularly like Blair either and I agree she’s less irritating, but I do like Linda Howard’s writing style, even in the first person to overlook my dislike of Blair.

    But, I do like Wyatt. He understands her and accepts she’s “high maintenance and just deals with it. I also think he seems reactive because 1. there’s so much to react to, she’s so high maintenance and manipulative and 2. since the book is in the first person we’re never privy to his thoughts.

    Like To Die For, it wasn’t a favorite, but I’m glad I read it anyway, an okay Linda Howard is still better than a whole host of books out there.

    ReplyReply

  2. Keishon
    Dec 02, 2006 @ 09:02:25

    I have yet to read the first book but I just know that I’m gonna hate it.

    ReplyReply

  3. Robin
    Dec 02, 2006 @ 09:34:57

    Very good point about the confict seeming forced.

    I was a HUGE fan of To Die For, and it wasn’t Blair that irritated me in this one, it was Wyatt.

    Unlike most Howard readers, I usually don’t go for her hyper alpha heroes (with exceptions like Grant Sullivan, Kell Sabin, Richard Worth and a couple others). When Blair was really emotionally hurting, I think Wyatt never took her seriously, and while I got that he loved her (gotta give Howard credit here — the sex was hot hot hot), I never felt he respected her, like, say, Grant Sullivan respected Jane in Midnight Rainbow. Wyatt was more like that jerk from Heartbreaker to me, and while I appreciated that Howard tried to flesh him out a little in this one, it wasn’t to his advantage, for me, at least.

    Overall, this one felt a little forced to me, even though I still enjoyed it (in the B range for me), primarily because there were some really funny scenes, IMO (the patrol car, for example). And I like Blair — I would have hated her in high school, but as a book narrator, I can appreciate her, mostly because she has so much self-awareness. Yeah, she manipulates, but so does Wyatt, which is why I don’t feel one bit sorry for him (they just have different weapons). Blair isn’t catty, though, or mean-spirited, or rude to other people. She’s self-centered but not selfish, IMO.

    Funny how readers seem to love or hate Blair — and now Wyatt, I guess, too. I’m assuming Siana’s story will be next.

    ReplyReply

  4. Charity
    Dec 02, 2006 @ 10:01:49

    I have this in my TBR&R pile. But it will probably stay there for a while, I’m going to the bookstore today and have a list a mile long and I’m behind on posting reviews. I didn’t even know there was a first book. Do I need to read it first?

    ReplyReply

  5. Jane
    Dec 02, 2006 @ 13:07:04

    Charity – I think that you would miss something not having read the first book but you wouldn’t be lost if you did not.

    ReplyReply

  6. Katharina
    Dec 02, 2006 @ 13:25:42

    Damn, I can’t say I really, liked the first book, not as much as Now You See Her, Heart of Fire or Open Season, still it was quite funny and I gave it a B-. I am so hooked up on Linda Howard, that I couldn’t imagine NOT reading one of her new releases, even though Dying to Please, Killing Time, Cover of the Night & Co were less than satisfying.

    ReplyReply

  7. jmc
    Dec 02, 2006 @ 15:35:19

    I agree that the conflict was forced…and predictable. I guessed who/why dunnit the first time the character appeared on the page. And there’s going to be a third book? Someone else is going to try to kill Blair? Because it is so very likely that one person will have three stalkers in a short period of time. (Outside of Hollywood, that is.) :eye roll:

    More than anything, as I read I kept thinking that the constant manipulation and maneuvering were exhausting, and that sooner or later (when the sex wore off), their HEA would be over.

    Plus, the biological clock? Meh.

    ReplyReply

  8. Karen Scott
    Dec 02, 2006 @ 19:01:43

    I’ve order this from Amazon but it hasn’t appeared yet. Dammit.

    ReplyReply

  9. Kristie(J)
    Dec 02, 2006 @ 23:11:56

    LOL – I just finished this one too and I loved it! Of course I loved To Die For too so it was easy to love this one. I think you have to really like Blair in order to enjoy it. And luckily – I do love Blair. For me, this one get’s an A.

    ReplyReply

  10. Josie
    Dec 03, 2006 @ 18:00:26

    Kristie(J) – I loved this one as well! Blair just cracks me up, I love the list she keeps of ‘Wyatt’s Transgressions’ and Robin – I also thought that the patrol car scene was hilarious…
    Wyatt was a little irritating at times, buuuut I can see why he reacts to Blair the way he does. She can be a bit of hard work at times!

    ReplyReply

  11. marilyn
    Jan 06, 2007 @ 13:34:52

    I love Blair Mallory!!!! What’s not to like? She is smart, gorgeous and independent. I don’t feel that she is manipulative at all. I have read To Die For so many times and it still makes me smile. And the second is just as good. I am looking forward to many more about her and Wyatt. And let me tell you-Wyatt is just as bad as she is. Talk about alpha male and high maintenance—he has it in spades. They are both demanding but it works. I love her lists!!!! And his reaction to them. Maybe Linda Howard will come out with a Blair Mallory series. But I am hoping she comes out with a book about Siena. I can only hope. Linda Howard is one of my favorite authors and I buy and keep all of her books.

    ReplyReply

  12. Kelly
    Jan 08, 2007 @ 21:23:34

    I loved the first book and the second book was great too. You had Blair be a really enjoyable character to read about and the reactions that Wyatt gave her was great, overall I loved both of these books and I hope there will ba a Blair/Wyatt 3 with maybe some kids and some issues the two would have with parenting skills and everyday life problems. I love Blairs attitude on things and she is perfect for keeping Wyatt on his toes. I loved how involved the parents on both sides were so involved, maybe you could do a book on her sister Jenni or Sienna and make the books run together so we still know what is going on with Blair and Wyatt but also throw out a story for her sisters.

    ReplyReply

  13. Carmen
    Mar 16, 2007 @ 15:45:55

    I really loved this book. I found it funny and light, I really really had a lot of fun with it, I mean, it doesn’t have to be serious stuff all the time, personally I find wonderful to discover this other “face” of Linda Howard. I hope she will write a book about Siana. I have preodered LH’s new books (Inferno and Up Close and Dangerous) I can not wait.

    ReplyReply

  14. Katie
    Apr 19, 2007 @ 11:10:09

    I love both books in the series. I hope that she continues with it and adds Blair’s sisters love lives in with it. I agree with Carmen when she wrote that it was funny and light. I loved Wyatt and Blair’s interaction and Linda can write some hot sex scenes. Any way, Linda keep up the good work. At least you know people are reading it if they keep commenting on it.

    ReplyReply

  15. Nancy
    May 12, 2007 @ 23:54:57

    I haven’t read the first book “To Die For” because I randomly picked up “Drop Dead Gorgeous” which immediately got me hooked! Wyatt seems like a dream and Blair’s attitude is very comedic and realistic. Her comments were so relatable. She says exactly what girls are thinking but never say. I’m going to continue to read Linda Howard’s novels. She is a wonderful author. I’m hoping the journey between Blair and Wyatt will continue. I just can’t get enough!!! =)

    ReplyReply

  16. caityj
    Dec 08, 2008 @ 18:40:34

    I absolutely adore Blair and Wyatt I think the books are hilarious and no matter how many times i read them i still can’t help but burst out laughing at some parts…especially the police car scene!!! I would love to see more of them and how they grow and adjust to changes in their lives.

    ReplyReply

Leave a Reply


8 + = 16

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.

%d bloggers like this: