Divorced, Desperate, and Dating

Christie Craig
2008, Contemporary Romance
Dorcester, $6.99, 353 pages, Amazon ASIN 0505527324

Grade: C
Sensuality: Hot

I enjoy romances featuring heroines who are authors, so I expected to like Divorced, Desperate, and Dating. Unfortunately, I had enough problems with the book that it ended up as only a mediocre read.

Several months earlier mystery writer Sue Finley and bad boy cop Jason Dodd shared a mind-blowing kiss. Sue thought it was the beginning of something wonderful, but Jason has issues, and never contacted her again. When Sue gets threats on her life that follow the text of her latest unpublished books, one of her friends asks for Jason's help.

Sue has moved on from both Jason and a disastrous marriage. In fact, she's planning to go away for a romantic weekend with the new man in her life and wants nothing to do with Jason. Despite her protests, Jason moves into her spare bedroom to protect her from the stalker and try to get into her bed.

We quickly learn that the reason Jason didn't call Sue is that he wanted her too much and, after a childhood spent in a string of foster homes, he never allows himself to want anything too fervently.

Throughout the book we spend a great deal of time inside Sue's head, learning all of her thoughts and feelings about Jason. At times it's just too much and, if I wasn't reading for review, I would have stopped after a few chapters. However, I did eventually warm up to the mystery.

Both Sue and Jason carry baggage from their childhoods that hampers their relationship. I found Jason to be particularly irritating. He wants Sue to tell him everything about her life, but he won't tell her anything about his. Ultimately, I wanted him to get over his "I can't belong anywhere" attitude.

While I liked Sue a bit more, I also had problems with her. She uses some very odd expressions that make her sound as if she's 80 rather than a young woman. After a while, I also became tired of her pushing Jason away since she's so obviously attracted to him.

There are a number of red herrings regarding potential stalkers. However, the police and Jason don't seem very effective in figuring out who is stalking Sue. Then again, she acts incredibly stupid at times, insisting that the stalker can't be anyone she knows and repeatedly telling potential suspects where she's going.

To make matters worse, the ARC I read had many grammatical errors that, hopefully, will be corrected in the final copy.

There were some genuinely funny moments in the book. However, while I eventually warmed to the story - and particularly the mystery - I can't recommend Divorced, Desperate, and Dating. The plot had a lot of promise, but didn't live up to expectations.

-- LinnieGayl Kimmel

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