Saturday, March 9, 2013

Hot by Julia Harper

Cover of: Hot by Julia Harper
Skeptic scale: ♥♥♥

"I'm going to take you down. I'm going to be the one to put handcuffs on you. No one but me." This is an actual line in the book. Use it often.

I'd never read anything by this author and I think she's good fun. I enjoyed her style and the story was decent but I was left slightly unconvinced that our H & h were Made For Each Other.

She: Librarian and part time bank teller on a four year vendetta to clear her wrongfully accused uncle's name and expose the true villain of the crime for which he was accused.

He: FBI Special Agent who is hot on her tail. Um. 

Conflict: One would think that the natural conflict would be baked into the fact that there is security camera footage clearly showing that she is committing a crime and that he is responsible for catching turns out that this is not so much a conflict as a way to keep the H & h apart for most of the book. 

What I liked:

1) I thought the predator/quarry dynamic was quite well done. It wasn't totally cheesy and made for some fun lines ("I always get my man. Or woman", "I can't stop searching for you, either. You know that don't you.", "I'm going to take you down. I'm going to be the one to put handcuffs on you. No one but me.") Ok, so they were pretty cheesy.

2) The spark they build over the phone during their cat and mouse game was quite cool. It was different and even though it was a bit ridiculous to think that a real FBI agent would ever interact that way with a potential criminal, it was all very entertaining. 

3) I debated whether to put this in the "pros" or "cons" list and in the end it was so amusing I went with "pros" - JH uses the word "vulva" an awful lot. It is silly of me to be this kicked by it - it is a part of a woman's anatomy after all, and it is quite appropriate to use the word in the sex scenes. But it's just uncommon to read and I had to suppress immature giggles every time I came across it. Am I the only one to be struck thusly? I dunno. Here you try it: Vulva.

You smiled, right? See?

What I thought was weird:

1) Total and utter disregard for police procedure. I get that there needed to be alone-time for H & h but this dude is supposed to be a senior guy - doesn't he work with back up, his partner, have to file any paperwork? There is one point where there is a hit man hired to do some killing, and the H doesn't exactly rush to report it. What? And he seems awfully quick to start flirting with the h over the phone. Surely there are some procedures to be followed when trying to question a suspect that do not involve vaguely sexual undertone?

2) The h seems like kind of a loser. She seems to have lived like a barn mouse for 4 years as she plotted her revenge on those who destroyed her uncle's good name. But then when she is trying to execute it, it all seems rather disorganized and unplanned. 

3) What was the point of making her a librarian AND a bank teller? Why not one or the other? I think the librarian bit was supposed to be a shorthand way to tell us that she is quiet, missish and dresses tweedily. And the bank teller bit? Who even knows. I guess she needed to be working at the bank to put in motion her revenge plan...But it seemed like overkill. And this woman doesn't have ANY friends? Not a one, apparently. She also has some really weird sexual hang ups which were rather off-putting such as never letting a man go south. How to even relate to this girl?? 

She doesn't seem like a person I would want to know...(NB: While with the H though, she seems functional. Ok so maybe that was the point. he completes her and all that...)

Overall, it was an entertaining read. The writing was fun and snappy. There was enough sexy-time for the H&h, which was an upside surprise given that they were apart for most of the book. And except for the aforementioned references to her vulva (heheh), the sex bits were nice and tingly. Like her vulva. 

Not sure this particular one is a re-read, but I would definitely look into more from JH.

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