Tangled Up in You Paperback – Aug 9 2007
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Adding to the mix is Mick's older sister Meg who knows a little more about what went on in their household than she has admitted and who tends to wallow in the past. He fears the publication of the book will open old wounds and cause further damage to his fragile sister.
Gibson's third in the Boise writer series is a step up from her last couple novels. Maddie is a complex heroine with many scars, who hasn't really dealt with her loss. In traveling to Truly, she finally understands the mother she never had a chance to get to know. The chemistry between Mick and Maddie sizzles off the pages, with equal parts romance, confict, and bittersweet memories. Gibson deftly weaves the other Boise writers (Lucy, Adele, and Clare) into the storyline and adds a secondary romance for long suffering Meg to complete the story.
Maddie shows up in town to write the story of a murder / suicide that took place 29 years earlier. Mick is the owner of two bars in town and a former helicopter pilot for the military, and not the least bit happy that the desirable Maddie is un-earthing the story of his parents' death. But she is unlike any woman he has ever met, and they find themselves drawn to each other despite the obstacle of her book.
Maddie is one the best heroines Rachel has penned to date. I just loved her outlook on life, her sense of humor, and even her obsession with over indulging in "hedonistic" desires such as carbs, cheesecake, scented lotions and, uhm, sex. Mick is a classic Rachel Gibson hero. He's a bit rugged, handsome as sin, and pursues his heroine in a way that just make your knees weak! Together, these two really steam up the pages. This is definitely one hot and sexy book, and the passion scenes are very well done.
There was a bit of a mystery to the story, but it is not a "who did it?" story. The romance is the main focus of the story, which was great. There were a few minor parts of the story that bothered me, but they were minor. The biggest one being Meg, Mick's sister. I just didn't get her. I am just glad she wasn't in the story all that much. She remains "damaged" from her parents death, which makes you want to scream GET OVER IT!! The ending was also wrapped up a bit to neatly. Without spoiling anything, all I will say is that I would have liked to see more emotion on both their parts given what happens prior. In short, I can't help but feel that Maddie would have made Mick work much harder for the happily-ever-after. But that goes to show just how much I connected with the hero and heroine. By the end of the book, they felt real and very three-dimensional. Rachel Gibson remains my favorite contemporary romance author.
Maddie Dupree is the true crime writer out of her author friends; she spends most of her time writing about serial killers. She has recently moved to Truly, Idaho, to write the most important book of her life. Maddie is setting out to write the story about the town's biggest scandal; a scandal that changed and shaped her life forever.
Mick Hennessey the town bad boy has recently came back to Truly to run the family bars and to watch over his sister and nephew. His life was also rocked by that same scandal many years ago, and he has spent most of his life trying to forget.
While uncovering the past, Maddie is keeping some pretty serious secrets in order to protect herself. Those secrets threaten to harm the one man she never expected to fall for, Mick.
With the first two books of this series I was a little disappointed. They weren't bad; they just weren't up to her usual excellence. With this third book I felt I was finally reading the type of Rachel Gibson book I had previously discovered and loved. Tangled Up In You was sinfully sexy with delectable characters that steamed up the pages one minute and littered them with hilarity in the next minute. This book was a little more predictable than I would have liked, but over all a very enjoyable read.
Besides the insult of the writing, the book is poorly edited, proving the fallacy of spell check. To cite just a few of the many errors Avon allowed to go to press: "[the box] had also held a satin bag filled with jewelry. Cheep stuff mostly." I believe she meant "cheap" though I suppose the reference could be to something feathered. Further along: "You weren't planing to tell me." "Planning" with one "n" is their error, not mine. Again, "One of his hands slid to hers and grasped her like a hot vice." A hot vice? What? Like smoking? I could only assume the writer meant "vise". At this point I stopped circling errors; I also stopped reading. But I am seriously considering writing to Avon to ask for my $6.99 plus tax back.
The phenomena of bad writing appearing under the name of writers who are also credited with good writing continues to puzzle me. At the back of this Avon paperback edition appears an excerpt of 100 Bad Dates, purporting to be Rachel Gibson's next offering (which features Adele, one of the characters in Tangled Up in You). The quality of the writing in this excerpt is extraordinarily better than in Tangled Up in You; actually it is so much better there is no comparison. Since the excerpt is brief I can't comment on the characterizations, but the writing itself--the syntax, semantics, structure, the obvious skill, is comparable to Daisy's Back in Town. It is what I expected to find in Tangled, and didn't. So I have to ask: Is Rachel Gibson really this uneven? Is Tangled an early effort when she was not yet unpublished? Is the difference in the editing? Whatever the answer, I shan't be ordering any more Rachel Gibson offerings based on reviews appearing here. Only in a bookstore, where I can test the waters first, will I give her another try.