Dear Ms. Dimon:
When I read Viva Las Bad Boys!, I was struck by how great your voice was for smart, snappy dialogue. But writing a full length book wasn’t the same as writing three novellas and I admit to being a bit worried that smart, snappy dialogue couldn’t carry an entire story. I was also concerned that the heroine would be irritating rather than smart given the title. Thankfully, I was wrong and I enjoyed Your Mouth Drives Me Crazy a great deal.
Kane Travers is on a forced vacation while his shooting of a young man is being investigated by Internal Affairs. He’s about run out of things to fix in his house when a naked female body washes ashore on his part of the beach. Annie Parks is in Hawaii on a revenge mission but her attempt to achieve justice is cut short when she’s thrown overboard a yacht.
Annie’s quite sure that she both needs to stay with Kane but not give up any information. Each question that Kane lobs her way, Annie diverts with a sarcastic retort. This could get tiresome fast, but Kane is quick to catch on and plays her game. Their exchanges were sexy and funny.
“Last night.” His lips flattened into a thin line. “Not funny, by the way.”
She didn’t pretend to misunderstand. Not in the mood he was in. “Oh, come on. It was a little funny.”
“You're just mad because I didn’t fall for your act. You expected me to throw off my clothes and beg you to make love to me.”
“Would that have killed you?”
The unique part of this book was that it takes some old romance tropes: the amnesiac, the revenge plot, the burned by love so not going to love again and makes them new again while gently mocking them.
Annie is playing the amnesiac so she doesn’t have to answer uncomfortable questions about why someone tried to kill her. Annie is the one with the revenge plot and not the hero. When Kane tries to pull the old – all the females in my life have died so I don’t want to get attached – his best friend makes fun of him.
Kane tried that life once and it didn't work. “She’s leaving. Her life is somewhere else, which is better.”
“Not that I-kill-every-woman-I-know bullshit.”
Kane and Josh’s exchanges were some of my favorite with Josh calling Kane “warrior boy” being a constant source of amusement for me (and apparently Josh). For the reader who yearns for the guy’s guy and not one who thinks things sound “heavenly” (review for that book to come tomorrow), this book will satisfy. The parts that I loved about the book were the setting: I learned alot about Hawaii and its culture and background in a very un-intrusive way; and the interplay between the characters, particularly the dialogue.
The parts I didn’t love was the suspense portion which seemed contrived at times. The suspense had to be fueled by Annie’s holding back information when it was clear that she trusted Kane and the villians lacked depth. There were a couple of confrontation scenes that were so over the top as to be comical instead of tense.
Overall, though, the book had good balance between the darker feelings of loss that both Kane and Annie had suffered in the past and the completeness that they felt together. B