WOW! Where to start? It's hard to write a good review for a good book. You want to do it justice. It's even harder to write one for a SUPER book. And that is my task.
Katie MacAlister joined my writer's group this time last year and so I rushed off to read her first book NOBLE INTENTIONS. She really delighted me with her freshness. I have read thousands of romance books, and so few impress me with how original their treatment is. So many settle for tried and true where the books fade into fog as soon as you put them down. Katie's first book was sharp, funny and so FRESH. So I was eager to read more from her. This happened to me once before with Lynsay Sands. Her first book was so special that it left you wanting more. We had to wait two long years, but fortunately she had kept us supplied regularly since. It was a years wait for Katie's second book, but OH WHAT A BOOK!!!!!!!!!!
Since I have lived my life on both sides of the pond, I grew with an oddball humour that delighted in the quirkiness of the Brits. Katie MacAlister understands this and puts it on a showcase guarantee to have you HOWLING. To say this book is a contemporary romance it to say the Titanic was a ship. It is warm, loving, sexy and quirky with a capital Q. Katie's freshness gives you a tale you will not forget. She burrows a way into your heart and leaves you so sorry when you have to put it down. Due to time, I rarely reread any books any more, Outside of Lynsay's, JAK gems and a couple Linda Howards. I will reread this, likely more than once. It's just that good.
Alexandra Freemar is a Yank on a two month stay in London to write her first romance book. Told in first person, it's a little jarring for first few pages. Years ago, Gothics were mostly in first person, but that style faded and first person is an oddity in today's market. However, Katie wields first person with a razor sharp wit, and you will soon be in the flow. Alix is a bit of a failure at life. 29, divorced and with the mother from hell reminding her of all her failures, so she views her writing this book as a make or break point in her life. She does not have time for romance, though she is not against a quick summer fling. Her landlady says she has MR. PERFECT for Alix, but he won't be interested in a quick fling.
The next day she meets Detective Inspector Alexander Black, a Scotland Yard detective in the Internet Squad who closes down porn sites on the net. He lives in the apartment just above Alix's and just happens to be "Mr Right" that her landlady wanted to introduce her to, sure they are a perfect match. They are instantly attracted to each other, but having been hurt so many times in the past, Alix is scared of how strongly she is falling in love with Alex. Their romance is wickedly funny, steamy sexy and dead on. Katie sprinkles the mix with warm and loving, strong supporting character, that are as vivid as the leads, and you end up wishing you could live in this zany apartment building.
But the romance is only half the joy. You actually get to read Alix's 'WIP' (Work in Progress), some of the most terrible purple prose ever put to pen as she drags her book around London asking for everyone's opinions and input from the grocery to her hairdresser, and learning in the process 'too many cooks spoil the soup'.
I saw one reviewer say they got tired of Alix's self-centredness ...and sorry, they missed this point. Alix's is a wounded, long-unloved bird and she is going through healing and rebirth. Sure the readers gets ticked at Alix, just as the other characters do! You see, it not as selfishness, but SURVIVAL, her defence of being hurt yet once again.
It's a brilliant, witty romp that is just so original it will go on that keeper shelf and be visited like an old friend.
Only thing, I may have to sue Katie....I hurt myself laughing so hard I might have re-broke that rib that pained me so when I was reading Lynsay's Loving Daylights!!
Fortunately we won't have to wait a year for her next book since NOBLE DESTINY will be out in May 2003! Can hardly wait!!
WISE Writers and Readers Book of the Month March 2003