This is the poor book I picked up to read after finishing Slaughterhouse-Five—which, by the way, is an incredible book, and why in the hell I waited so long to pick it up, I have no friggin’ clue. Anyway, I wanted a complete change of pace and subject matter, so I grabbed a library book. I have over 10 books checked out from the library, and I need to thin the herd. Drive Me Crazy just happened to be on top of the stack.
There’s nothing terribly wrong with this book, but there’s nothing terribly right about it either, if you know what I mean.
The hero? He never really leers, but based on his internal thoughts and his behavior, I pictured him with a leering expression anyway. He’s also kind of an asshole—not in a sexy way, but in an oversexed-turd-who-will-grope-you-in-a-bar-when-you’re-tipsy-and-chuckle-condescendingly-when-you-try-to-remove-his-hand-from-your-left-tit kind of way. Or that’s the impression I got, anyway.
The heroine isn’t much better. I like the fact that she’s a librarian who is neither mousy nor shy nor wimpy nor any of the other appalling stereotypes associated with librarians, but the author kept slapping me in the face with how she’s such an ice queen, so much so that I ended up disliking her. Because if there’s one thing I hate more than wimpy doormats in a romance, it’s an ice queen who has no discernible reason to be one. Well, there may have been a discernible reason if I’d read more of the book, but I found myself not particularly caring.
The part that made me stop reading the book and start flipping to the juicy bits is when the heroine discovers a dead body in the library. She calls the police station and gets the dispatcher, who tells her the sergeant is across (the very small) town getting doughnuts. Instead of telling the dispatcher that there’s a dead body in her library and GET SERGEANT PERKINS’ ASS RIGHT HERE RIGHT NOW AND SCREW THOSE DOUGHNUTS, she tells the dispatcher to ask the policeman to get her a cinammon sprinkle doughnut and oh, by the way, drop by the library when he can, she has something that needs his attention. Nary a word about the murder. Why?
Because the dispatcher is a gossip and the heroine doesn’t want news of the murder leaking out.
Now, does this make ANY kind of sense? Like, at all? What the fuck? Lady, it’s a MURDER. This makes it newsworthy, so fuck the news spreading throughout the town, it’s going to do so anyway. It also makes it an URGENT FUCKING MATTER. Screw small-town gossip, having the sergeant arrive faster is a good thing, right? Or am I using too much Earth logic, here?
So: Ice-queen heroine: -2 points.
Who dresses like a tart and isn’t ashamed about it: +5 points
But who acts like a raging ‘tard: -50 points
I am a judgmental tool. I know this. But see, because the heroine didn’t tell the dispatcher about the dead body, there was a lag of several minutes in which the hero and heroine are left alone in the library.
I am not a happy camper when devices this obvious are used to throw the hero and heroine together.
Oh, the hero is also an asshole and moves the body around, but actually, that’s believable because, well, he’s an asshole, and it’s something assholes do: fuck around with crime scenes before the cops arrive even though you know better. I got the impression that the hero had very specific reasons for messing with the dead body, but again, did not care.
However, the secondary romance is surprisingly engaging. The heroine has a loser cousin who’s a former drug addict and the town slut, and at first I had her fingered as the villain because Thou Shalt Not Suffer a Druggie Slut To Live in Romancelandia, but no, she gets her own love story with the cop. Awwww. Those parts I did more than skim through. The cop’s a really nice guy, the loser cousin chick has issues (which unfortunately are resolved in a rather facile way, but that’s a problem most romances face), and overall, if the book had focused on the two of them and their relationship, I probably would’ve read the whole thing, bonus points if she’d still been an addict when the book started.
Unfortunately, we’re stuck with Frosty and Jerkface for much of the book. The two of them do engage in some hot monkey fizznuckin’, which is fun to read about, but there wasn’t nearly enough of THAT either to hold my attention for long.
Overall, the bits I read were a C, verging into C- in spots. By no means was it horrible or unreadable, and if I’d been stranded somewhere with only this book, I would’ve read it and felt glad I hadn’t been stuck with, say, a Connie Mason or Cassie Edwards. But still: failed to engage me.