Dear Ms. Apodaca,
I’m not sure where to begin with this letter. Just moments ago I finished your newest release from the Brava line, Extremely Hot. I should mention that I’m a fan of Brava books. I find that I’ll forgive those that are a little light on plot if they make up for it with teh sex. While, I can’t say that Extremely Hot was light on plot, the problems I had with the book weren’t made up for with sex either.
It’s hard for me to explain exactly what was going on in Extremely Hot, mainly because I’d only be able to read a couple a pages before wanting to alternate between throwing my copy against a wall and pluck my eyelashes out one by one. I gather that this gist of things is that there’s a radio talk show host neÃƒÆ’Ã‚ © accountant named Ivy Somethingorother. Years ago she was an accountant and when some money came up missing all fingers were pointed at her. She wasn’t the thief, but the man she had been sleeping with was. Ruined as an accountant, Ivy used her experience to become the host of the popular radio talk show The Economic Sex Hex, where she advises women not to mix money and sex.
Meanwhile, there’s a pair of antique statues called the Jade Goddesses. They’re purported to bring out the owner’s deepest desire, and deepest lust. The statues have gone missing and Luke Something has been hired to track them down. He suspects Ivy is hiding them and so he gets a job at the radio station so he can do more investigating.
Since I requested this book for review, there had to have been something in the plot outline that caught my eye. Unfortunately, whatever that spark was that made Extremely Hot sound interesting in theory, didn’t appear to be in between the pages. I hated both Ivy and Luke. Luke, I hated because I realized I don’t like books where the hero starts off thinking the heroine is also the villain and does everything to stop her, while simultaneously (and inexplicably, to him) falling in love with her. Ivy, I hated because for as much as she preached to her listeners about being independent, financially and otherwise, she was quite happy to let Luke take over once she found out his true purpose. Actually, now that I think about it, I hated all the characters in the book. That’s quite a feat! From Ivy and Luke, to Ivy’s mother and her overbearing boyfriend, to the crazy villains, pretty much all of the main, secondary, and even tertiary characters annoyed me to no end. For one thing they all yelled. Exclamation points abound in Extremely Hot. Ivy’s mother, Mallory, acted like a horny seventeen year old throughout – in fact she opens the book by having a nooner with some pretty young thing. Mallory’s boyfriend treated her as the seventeen year old she appeared to be under the guise of “wanting what’s best for her,” and “wanting to take care of her,” yet ignored her whenever she would try to put her foot down and do the things she wanted to.
So who might like this book, since it was so obviously not me? I would think the people that have you on their autobuy list would rush out to get this. Likewise, those who like romantic suspense lite might like this. While there’s a bit of a whodunit to this, I personally don’t think there’s anything that would keep a reader on the edge of her seat, which is why I classified it as romantic suspense lite.
Would I read another book by you? Here’s the thing, for all the things that annoyed me about this book, I probably would still read another Jennifer Apodaca book. I read your last Brava, The Sex on the Beach Book Club, and while I had problems with that as well, I found it infinitely more entertaining than this – so I do know that you can hold my attention. I think after Sex on the Beach, I wanted to see growth in your storytelling – something that would make Extremely Hot even better than Sex on the Beach. Unfortunately, that isn’t what happened. So yes, I probably will give you another try, but with two caveats: next book comes from the library and if it’s another clunker then it will be my last.
Grade? C/C- because while the list of things that made me hate this book is a foot long, they may very well be the things that makes this a keeper for another person.