Saturday, January 12, 2008

Divorced, Desperate and Delicious by Christie Craig

Before I kick off the dish, I have a few housekeeping things to take care of. First, don't forget to enter our contest with Author Island for your chance at a box FULL of author promotional goodies and a tee shirt from Author Island. Click here to read the post and leave a comment, then be sure to e-mail your comment to DeNita at AuthorIsland at (ya know the drill) with dee & Dee Dish in the subject. You only have until the 13th to enter, so make sure to check it out! Also, dee has some FABulous news for us, she does have a FAB pick for the month of January and she's kicking it off in the next day or so. Make sure to check back to see who dee has found FAB (a little hint, the author was on her Best of the Best list) and enter yet another FABulous contest! And now, without further ado...

Divorced, Desperate and Delicious by Christie Craig

Ever since photographer Lacy Maguire caught her ex playing Pin the Secretary to the Elevator Wall, she's been content with her dog Fabio, her three cats, and a vow of chastity. But all that changes when the reindeer-antlered Fabio drags in a very desperate, on-the-run detective who decides to take refuge in her house - a house filled with twinkling lights and a decorated tree. (Okay, so it's February, but she has a broken heart to mend, a Christmas-card shoot to do, and a six-times divorced, match-making mother to appease.) For the first time in a loooooong while, Lacy reconsiders her vow. Because sexy Chase Kelly, wounded soul that he may be, would be an oh-so-delicious way of breaking her fast. Now, if she can just keep them both alive and him out of jail...

Detective Chase Kelly has always been a good cop. But, after losing his wife Sarah just over two years ago, he's gotten a bit reckless. He takes more chances than he should, makes rash decisions, and basically flirts with death. When Sarah died, so had a part of Chase, and he's gotten quite the reputation for being suicidal. He's lost his best friend and partner, Jason Dodd, and is paired up with a new one Zeke, a twenty year veteran. So, it's a bit of a shock when Zeke points a gun at him and explains that he's been on the take and found the perfect scape goat in Chase. Zeke has killed another officer, stolen drugs and money, and now he was going to kill Chase and pin all of it on him. He's already gotten a start by planting drugs at Chase's apartment. But instead of welcoming death, Chase finds he doesn't want to die after all and makes a break for, ending up shot and hurt, but alive.

A few miles from the spot where Chase makes his break, Lacy Maguire is having her own troubles. She's got a Christmas card shoot to do and her animals, while dressed in their Christmas best the animals just aren't cooperating. The anniversary of her divorce is coming up, her mother is insistent that she find a man to lesson some her sexual frustration and move on, her best friends, while well meaning only want to discuss sexual topics at their weekly get-together, and her grandmother is getting ready to tie the knot - again. After taking a soak in the tub to relieve some of her stress, Lacy gets a call from her mom. During that call, she hears Fabio in the yard barking insistently at something, which means he's found something again and wants her to come see. Sure that what Fabio has seen is just another Texas sized roach, Lacy grabs a tee-shirt and heads outside to see what treasure her dog has found this time.

Only, it isn't a roach at all, Fabio has found a man, a very good looking, very soaked and bloody man. Lacy immediately recognizes him as the man the police are looking for and unfortunately, the man decides he needs a place to stay to rest up and figure out what is going on - and he decides that Lacy's house is just the right place to do it. Despite his assurances that he means her no harm, Lacy is still scared, and after attacking him with a fish, she finds herself handcuffed to the bed, while her captor sleeps beside her.

It doesn't take Chase long to convince Lacy that he's telling the truth, that he is innocent and means her no harm. But, harm is a relative term, because if she acts on the mounting attraction to Chase, she's sure she'll start hearing wedding bells and picking out cakes. After all, she's destined to do it, because that's exactly what her mom and grandma do. But....maybe Lacy can take a chance at casual sex, because Chase Kelly doesn't exactly seem like the sticking kind...But despite her best efforts, Lacy finds herself falling for Chase. And even though Chase finds he is falling for Lacy too, he can't make her any promises, after all, he may not be able to find the missing piece to the puzzle that will clear his name and allow him to stay out of jail, or if Zeke finds himself, he may not even make it out alive.

I found this book on Amazon the other day. It was one of those books in the "Others that bought this book also bought..." section. I flipped over to Craig's website, and found that the BCC and the praise on the book all made it sound like a great mystery, and I do love a great mystery with Romance, it just works for me. Unfortunately, there really isn't much mystery, as the very first scene in the book spells out who the bad guy is. Plus, the antagonist Zeke, also has his own POV, and anything else that could have caused suspense was quickly given away within his scenes.

While I enjoyed the book overall, the things that were right with it were overshadowed by the things that were not clicking for me. While Craig has a wicked sense of humor, more often than not, the humor is forced and feels akin to slapstick. The community of people Lacy has in her life are funny, an overbearing mother who doesn't seem to be able to stop herself from saying whatever comes to her mind, two best friends that like Lacy have been through divorce and seem to be obsessed with the sex, and enjoyed them quite a bit.

Chase Kelly is a great hero, but the road to love between him and Lacy is riddled with cliche's and an over abundance of similes and metaphors. While the use of those things are useful, too many and I start to rolling my eyes. The internal struggles Chase is dealing with - saying good-bye to his late wife, his deteriorated relationship with his family and his ex-partner and best friend - could have been very deep and given layers to Chase, but they were given so little air time in order to make room for the sex, that I found myself having a hard time believing that Chase really was struggling with these emotions.

As far as I can tell, DDAD is a debut into the fiction world for Craig, and I find myself hopeful that Craig is able to tighten her writing in the next books. I did like this book, but found that I could easily put it down without further thought to the characters. Craig will definitely be an author I follow, at least for a few books, because the potential is HUGE for this writer. I'd really like to see Lacy's friends get a book of their own.

For some reason, when I placed my order, I ordered two copies of this book and have an extra copy. If you are interested in reading it and then sending me an e-mail with your thoughts on the book, I'd love to post it here on dee & Dee. Send me an e-mail with I'll dish Christie Craig in the subject and why you want to read/dish it in the body and I'll pick a reader to send the book to. Make sure to send the request by Monday to deeanddeedish at . Please keep in mind, if I pick you, I'd like to post the dish within a few days of you receiving the book, so if you're not going to be able to do that, please don't send the request.

Up next, I'm reading Succubus on Top by Richelle Mead, and you can see my list of books to be read and dished on our Shelfari BookShelf under the Currently Reading section. Leave me a comment and let me know what you want me to read next! I have too many great books to decide all by myself!

Take Care


T.C. Robson said...

The plot isn't too bad, but it does seem really predictable. Great review!

Caffey said...

A friend of mine read this and didn't think it was a mystery romance and she did tell me she loved the book. I put it down on my wishlist, but I'll keep reading up about it. You did a fab review. Gave me alot of things to think about!

Chari-Dee said...

Hi tc and caffey,
The book is worth a read, don't get me wrong, but it seems to get touted as a Contemp Romance with Mystery elements, and it just didn't have any mystery. If you read it let me know what you thought! Take Care

dee said...

Hey C-Dee,
I slipped into SOT on the airplane, and couldn't stop. I should be done very soon. Very hard to put down. Can't wait to see what you think about it.

(currently posting from Nashville!)

Chari-Dee said...

Well, my dish on that is going up Tues, that way it doen't interfere with your FAB. Guess who is in our bedroom reading it now? That's right, he read SB last night and is hooked LOL

RachaelfromNJ said...

Hi Charity
Sorry you didnt like DDD as much as I did. I agree that it's not really a mystery. It had Evanovich like humor in it so I enjoyed that alot. I guess everyone has different tastes in what they like.

I looked at your Shelfari shelf and I've read To Catch A Cheat and really enjoyed it alot.

Chari-Dee said...

Hey Rachael! I really didn't think it a BAD book, it just wasn't what I was thinking it would be and that played into my feelings I think. One of the main reasons I sent it to one of our readers to get their opinions is because I really think I was in the minority on this opinion. I really wanted to participate in the contest you did over on your blog, but I had just given the not so stellar dish, so I kept my mouth shut :(

The reader I sent the book to has it now and she said she'd try and get it read and a dish sent to me by next week! It's really interesting seeing how a book can affect people differently.