Reviewed by May
“Girl Scouts’ honor, I’m not meddling.” I stuck three fingers up in the air.
“Were you ever a Girl Scout?” Spencer asked me.
“No, but I’ve eaten their cookies.”
Gladie is finally settling into her life in Caanes, California where she lives with her grandmother and spends her days solving murders and working with her grandmother on the family matchmaking business. There is trouble in paradise though (isn’t there always?) as a house flipper is causing trouble, a fraud of a matchmaker moves to town, and flirtations with the chief of police are heating up.
This is the third book in Elise Sax’s series. I would classify it as almost general fiction because it is so very light on the mystery, real romance is non-existent, and it is generally just a funny and fluffy light read. This book does not stand alone in any way – it is very dependent on development from the previous books which is just the first of many criticisms that I have.
Before I get into those though, let me just say that this author writes books that are utterly addictive. I couldn’t put this down and even as I saw the plot (what plot?!) sliding deep into “oh hell no” territory I wanted more. As I turned the last page I wished for book four even as I cursed this book for being so bad. She has such a way with words, is so entertaining that I have to give her credit. I deeply wish this book had been given a very serious round or three of edits and that her plot was moving in different directions. If she had a stronger plot as well as one that didn’t make me wonder what the ever loving hell is going on in her mind this would be a series I strongly recommend.
Ah, but I can’t review or recommend the book I wish this was, I can only tell you about the insane mess that this story unraveled into. At the end of book two, Gladie’s casual boyfriend had taken off (probably forever) and she finds herself without reason to not pursue the man she has real chemistry with, the one who is so obviously her match made in heaven. The chief of police aka town man whore Spencer.
“Fine, you win. I can do relationship.” He ground his teeth, and his eye twitched.
“What do you mean, you can do relationship?”
“Dating, wooing, courting. You know, the whole bullshit.”
“Why Spencer, I didn’t know you were a romantic.”
“Call me Nicholas Sparks.”
“Doesn’t someone always die in his stories?” I asked.
“That shouldn’t bother you, Miss Marple. You seem drawn to dead people.” That wasn’t completely true. I just happened to stumble on the occasional corpse.
Spencer declares he can ‘do relationship’ but Gladie laughs him off. He is acting jealous and possessive and essentially dating her – but this doesn’t count. Oh, but wait a minute. Just as sparks are flying and potential love match is happening with Gladie and the police chief here comes the new detective. He is not only smokin’ hot but a MMA fighter as well – and wouldn’t you know it our heroine’s magical vagina is shooting rainbows at him as well.
So in other words, we traded love triangles. It bothers me that Gladie and Spencer act so immature and disrespectful towards each other simply for the sake of the plot. The author has them back off each other when things get real so she can keep her love triangles/squares/pentagons going. At times Spencer treats her with no respect, surprise – he has not stopped his womanizing ways, and tells her he doesn’t do relationships. Gladie meanwhile doesn’t move on or give up – she continues to hold out hope that maybe he’ll change.
But at the same time she’s flirting with and thinking about naked time with Remington (the new detective).
Maybe I needed therapy. It wasn’t normal to be attracted to so many men at once. But Holden was away, trying to fix his life. Spencer was detoxing from his gaggle of females. Maybe I was lonely. Maybe I was a whore. Maybe Remington Cumberbatch was a studmuffin.
My biggest problem with this isn’t that it weakens our main character, or that love triangles only work .01% of the time. It is that instead of writing a real story, instead of giving us an intriguing plot this was it. This book was a series of random scenes all set around how irresistible her rainbow shooting vagina is, and how it also can’t settle on just one man. It needs to wink, flirt, and tease every hot man in town.
Here is a quirky heroine who loves her junk food, comes across as a very average person in every way, and isn’t supposed to be this amazingly beautiful, over the top sexy woman. She’s doing some good stuff for her town, she’s growing and maturing and is a very interesting character. That said, her teasing, playing men against each other, immature attitude when it comes to matters of the heart really makes her an asshole. Despite what she may sometimes try to convince herself of, I don’t see any of the men in her life actively trying to mess with her or play with her emotions. Their intentions and interest is clear – it is she who can’t decide. Gladie seems to think they are a box of chocolates for her to sample and circle around at random.
If this wasn’t the main focus, if we had an actual story and this was some little side-plot it might not bother me so much. That isn’t the case here. This is the story, this is what most of the pages are about. Oh there was a half-hearted mystery plot but since the heroine essentially solves the case for the police in her head and just announces the “whodunit” to the town it really didn’t contribute much.
I really hope that this author either lets go of romantic intentions and writes actual funny cozy mysteries, or she lets go of the love triangle (love pentagon?!) obsession and lets her heroine get real with someone and soon. She’s clearly got talent and a wonderful sense of humor and I’d love to see that writing skill put to use on a book like her first in this series that I can actually recommend and encourage people to read.