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REVIEW: Thigh High by Christina Dodd

Dear Mrs. Dodd,

thigh-high.jpgDespite the promise of eccentric aunts and zany robberies, I decided to try this contemporary novel. The conflict between sensible Nessa Dahl and undercover bank investigator Jeremiah MacNaught sounded intriguing, especially with the implied show down once the truth was revealed. And at first, things worked great but then slowly the eccentricities took over and ended up dimming my view of the whole book.

Books which feature lead characters with whom everyone is seemingly in love usually irritate the crap out of me. It just seems so Mary Sue-ish. Nessa could have annoyed me if you hadn’t have immediately paired her with Mac who doesn’t fall for her as she’s used to. Or at least he doesn’t let her know what his feelings are for her. He added the necessary tonic to balance out the setup that everyone in NO loves the Dahl women. And then the bank vault scene…my, oh my. That was hawt. Amazing that they didn’t melt the steel door. One question though. Don’t most banks have cameras in their vaults? Even eccentric NO banks that are in old, converted homes?

I loved watching Mac fall hopelessly under Nessa’s spell. He’s so determined that she’s involved in the annual Mardi Gras robberies at various branches of the bank of which he’s the CEO and that he, unlike the other investigator he sent to NO, won’t fall for her no matter how much she turns him inside out. So of course he immediately has to start fighting the attraction he gets zinged with.

I also feel that you set up a realistic conflict between the man for whom truth and taking responsibility are everything and the woman who owes so much to others. I loved it when Nessa finally let loose on Mac for lying to her yet also adored his stilted proposal to the first woman he’s ever loved.

The aunts are charming during their famous Mardi Gras party and I fell into their spell as quickly as did Mac. The food, the fun, the dancing, the setting of their slightly frayed Historic Register House was delicious. I could smell the flowers and hear the music and laughter of the hundreds of guests. But then things tipped over and they became “characters.” The nationwide, heck even the citywide, aspect of the denoument was just too much.

And as for the identities of the bank robbers. Well, since I’m headed towards spoiler territory I’ll bring out the cloak of darkness. Robbing banks, no matter if you try and paint it with a Robin Hood wash, is wrong. I agree with Mac. It doesn’t matter about the amount of money taken, or how cute the costumes, or how noble the cause, or anything else come to think of it. Doing that is wrong. Doing that caused fear for the bank employees involved, caused untold extra work for the NOPD, didn’t have the effect on the bank employee the robbers wanted to punish and could have gotten people killed. And the robbers never once displayed remorse for any of this. Eventually their identities were going to come out and how on earth did they think that no one would believe that Nessa wasn’t involved or didn’t have some prior knowledge of their crimes? And what ever happened with the fact that Mac has the mortgage on the aunts’ house bought? It was never mentioned again.

My guess is that the eccentricities of the aunts and of their boarders were supposed to leaven the seriousness of Mac’s character and background and of Nessa’s repressed outer self. But somehow it didn’t work for Mac and only halfway for Nessa. Mac still seems to be a much more controlling man than he should though he is making strides at lessening his iron grip on life. While Nessa, oh Nessa, does loosen her girdle in regard to her relationship with Mac though she still can’t quite break loose of the inner banker.

I see this is part of an ongoing series and I liked enough of this book to want to see what’s in store for Gabriel. I hope the crowds are back for Mardi Gras in NO and that the city is on its way to recovering some of what it lost during Katrina. For those of us who’ve never been, “Thigh High” helps to show us what we’re missing. B-

~Jayne

ebook or mmp

Another long time reader who read romance novels in her teens, then took a long break before started back again about 15 years ago. She enjoys historical romance/fiction best, likes contemporaries, action- adventure and mysteries, will read suspense if there's no TSTL characters and is currently reading very few paranormals.

6 Comments

  1. Jill Dunlop
    Mar 26, 2008 @ 18:23:03

    Hi Jayne, I pretty much felt the same way you did about this one. I really liked Dodd’s last one Tongue in Chic and was looking forward to this one, as well. While I really liked Mac and Nessa (yes the vault scene was delish) I wish that there would have been more one-on-one time with them, rather than so much more time spent on the secondary characters. I get that Dodd wanted to show the reader that Nessa was well liked but, man, did she drive her point home. Overall it was enjoyable. I didn’t see that twist coming at the end with Gabriel. That’s good though, the series must go on…

  2. Barbara B.
    Mar 26, 2008 @ 19:09:42

    Thanks for the review, Jayne. This sounds good but I just cannot bear any more eccentric characters, particularly eccentric aunts. They exhaust me.

  3. Sally
    Mar 27, 2008 @ 09:09:56

    I gave this book the same grade. I love the picture of NO that Ms. Dodd painted. I didn’t mind the eccentric characters because where else would you find them in NO especially at Mardi Gras!

  4. Jayne
    Mar 27, 2008 @ 14:09:11

    Barbara, at first I was worried about the eccentric characters. And then they seemed to be okay…not too bad…readable. Then as I said, things went too far and they weren’t people anymore but stock figures. And the fact that they treated the whole basis of the story as more or less a lark sat wrong with me.

  5. Jayne
    Mar 27, 2008 @ 14:12:16

    Jill, I was fanning myself after the vault scene. One thing did bother me about Gabriel’s part in the story and that was the seemingly casual wait to get the vault fixed until after Mardi Gras. It’s so, so, so important and then suddenly, “oh, it can wait.” Strange.

  6. » Thigh High by Christina Dodd - Shameless Reading Romance Blog - erotica and erotic romance short stories and novels
    Mar 28, 2008 @ 12:18:38

    [...] Author – B- Review – “And at first, things worked great but then slowly the eccentricities took over and ended [...]

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