Friday, 1 February 2008

Crazy Sweet by Tara Janzen

Ok. Gillian was tortured by being injected with a painful experimental drug. But. As the evil bad guy, Tony Royce, so fondly remembers, Dylan suffered worse when he was captured by Hamzah Negara. And did Dylan come back to Steele Street thirsting for vengeance. No. He came back ready for love. For Skeeter.

Unlike Red Dog. I do remember Gillian Shore. Seeing how she did her best to miserify Dylan and Skeeter’s Crazy Love with her blame-filled memories of publishing, marriage and divorce in academia. She read as a somewhat bitter woman working a going nowhere administrative gofer job for a supposed passed over General. Personally. I consider that Red Dog is actually leading a much more interesting life since her torture. Living with nice guys, great job, physically healthier, inspiring love-life. So really. The only reason for her to be angry with Royce is that he let the amoral part of her psyche out into the open. You know. The part of her that lets her cheat on her man and then try to justify it in the name of vengeance. The part of her that wouldn’t hesitate to flush the Steele Street guys, wives and cute babies down the crapper, all in the name of righteous retribution. Gillian Shore had absolutely no self-esteem. Now Red Dog’s got attitude in spades. What’s she got to belly-ache about? Dylan should have taken her to one side and they could have talked both their experiences through in a supportive manner. I don’t blame other readers for disliking Gillian. I think they are right.

There is still one reason for liking Red Dog. In the man's world of sniperdom, the author allows her to get seriously wounded. Despite her supposed near-legendary hunting and shooting abilities. How typical. But I suppose that’s what had to happen for her to redeem herself. Didn’t work for me though. She just became a huge liability for the SDF in the middle of a mission. Still. Skeeter better realise she’s got a snowball in hells chance of being assigned to an operation.

Crazy Sweet is brilliantly put together though. At the end of chapter 2 I was gob-smacked when the author shut the reader out of Gillian and Travis’s intimate encounter. Fortunately we rejoined them later. And missed nothing. Unusually there are some steaming hot scenes near the beginning of the story. Makes a nice change for the series. In the meantime we got to meet Royce. What a great invention he was. The subsequent bad-guys in this series are pale shadows on a cave wall compared to Royce. What a shame he didn’t get to place Skeeter in danger. Seeing how he hated her so much more than Red Dog. I would love to have seen Dylan in stone-killer mode.

I’m totally used to the style of this genre now. So I had no problems with the Honey and Smith interludes. Poor Travis. He’s a lap-dog for Gillian. I suppose I’m witnessing an attempt at a bdsm relationship for a couple of the Steele Street crew. Like many readers. I find it just plain weird and totally non aspirational. Basically. The psychopharmaceuticals turned Gillian into a user..of people. But she always had it in her. Travis should just let her go. Until then their HEA is more a case of a work in progress. Gillian needs to make amends to 738 Steele Street. The novel should have ended with Dylan at last getting it on with Skeeter in her shiny red spike-heels.

Did I say I was giving up this series? What a liar I am. So much looking forward to Johnny and Esmee’s story. But November 2008!!?? (Sigh) Another year of life gone.

btw Why have Cody and expecially Kat totally disappeared from the series? I'd love to read some more about them.

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