Monday, June 14, 2010

One heroine, two opinions

Leave Me Breathless
By HelenKay Dimon

Back in April I took this book home, read it pretty quickly, and trotted back to work with every intention of immediately writing a review. It sat on my desk for a few days while I mulled. I just couldn’t decide whether or not I liked it. I usually like Dimon’s work, I finished the book in reasonable time rather than abandoning it, I thought it was suspenseful and well plotted – so what was my issue? The heroine, I decided. I didn’t like her. Well, not much. At least not at the beginning, but I liked her more at the end. See my problem? I liked the overall book, but had to work at liking the heroine, so – to recommend or not to recommend? Did I want to invest in a full review or would I just get irritated with the woman all over again? Then, while in mid-mull, I read a review by Wendy the Super Librarian. Wendy’s review was not only entertaining (they usually are) but helped me reframe my issue. Our heroine, Callie, got a very raw deal from her former employer, the FBI, and has gone into private security work. When we meet her, she comes across as tough, mouthy, and impulsive. In fact, she spends so much time being tough, mouthy and impulsive that I was ready to write her off as unprofessional, phenomenally stupid and (perish the thought) tacky. But I hung with the book because I liked the plot, the pace, and the secondary romance. As the story went on, I warmed up to Callie as she demonstrated a sense of humor and the ability to acknowledge her mistakes and learn from them. She did not become the kind of one note song I detest; the ones that make me want to grab the hero by his lapels and say “See that tough, mouthy, go-it-alone type tacky broad over there? There are bad guys trying to kill her. LET THEM.” Callie has some dimension, so even though she is not the type of heroine I like, I liked her enough to be able to enjoy all the really good elements in the book. If you want to know a little more about the plot, or get a second opinion on Callie, check out Wendy’s review.
Or just stop in and check out the book!

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