Desert Isle Keeper
Tangled Up in You
Despite hearing a lot of good things about Rachel Gibson from my friends, I had yet to read one of her novels. Now, I figure it’s better late than never – within days of finishing this one, I already had two books from Gibson’s backlist at the top of my TBR pile. And if they’re anything like Tangled Up in You, I know I will love them.
This book is the third in what Gibson calls her “author friends” series, though not having read those books is no reason to wait to read this book since despite a few allusions, there are no spoilers that I noticed. Maddie Jones is a true-crime writer returning to a place she hasn’t seen since she was five. She plans to write about the double murder-suicide that rocked the small town nearly thirty years ago, and changed her life – and the lives of two others – forever. That crime differs from the usual serial murders she covers because one of the victims was her mother, killed along with her lover by his jealous wife.
When Maddie returns to Truly, Idaho, which has been featured in several classic Gibson romances, she uses the pen name Maddie Dupree so that she can better investigate her mother’s murder. One thing she doesn’t count on is Mick Hennessey. He, too, is tragically and irrevocably linked with that night since it was his mother who shot his father and his mistress before turning the gun on herself. Maddie expects a lot of things from him, but not attraction. The moment they meet in one of Mick’s bars, they sizzle.
But Mick and his sister Meg haven’t been left unscathed by the incident and neither want the gossip and speculation to be brought up again. So when Maddie comes around, asking questions about their parents and “that waitress,” neither are pleased.
This book, despite its serious plot, is written with humor and intelligence. Maddie is a funny, likable heroine with some interesting quirks, and Mick makes a strong, attractive hero – funny, charming, and handsome – but his flaws and weaknesses make him even more intriguing.
The conflict is such that the reader can easily empathize with both characters. Maddie and Mick have their individual reasons for their feelings, and both are completely understandable – there is no morally superior character who is clearly in the right, and I think the book is better that way since it allows each of them to bridge the gap between their opinions equally. And I think the conclusion to this book is perfect. It shows real trust, forgiveness, and love between Mick and Maddie.
As an introduction to an author’s work, as this book was for me, you couldn’t ask for better. I enjoyed every minute of this book, and I look forward to reading more funny, sweet, intelligent books by Rachel Gibson.