Too Hot to Handle
There was a lot of positive buzz last year regarding Robin Kaye’s debut romance Romeo, Romeo and it was buzz in which I happily participated. Still, I didn’t go too far over the moon because I thought there was a dated element to the story in the person of the heroine’s mother. Dear Old Mom was portrayed as the classic Italian American matriarch (though, she actually wasn’t old enough to be one) of the You’re Nothing Until You’re Married school. Frankly, my reaction to Mom was pretty strong and, given that the heroine was a modern day successful executive, the fact that she actually catered to her mother’s 1950s-era thinking kind of drove me nuts.
Which, let’s face it is the crux of the matter: When a family member espouses nutso, out of step, and out of this century ideas, isn’t the usual reaction to just generally roll your eyes and get on with your life? Anyway, Mom felt dated to me and it dragged down my enjoyment of the story. Still, there was real sparkle and promise in Robin Kaye’s writing. Both are fulfilled here.
This time out the author has happily jettisoned Mom (though she’s the mother of this heroine, too) to a greatly reduced role and kept her focus on her lively, fun voice and real knack for writing genuinely amusing dialogue. I liked both the hero and heroine very much here and, if her plot does rely on a pretty miraculous coincidence, it worked for me. Very well, as a matter of fact.
Annabelle Ronaldi meets Dr. Mike Flynn at her sister’s wedding. Mike is the exact image of her dead fiancé and their consumption of a massive amount of alcohol results in the two waking up together the day following the wedding in one hell of a morning after.
But Mike (a friend of Nick, the hero of Romeo, Romeo) is a good guy and he realizes sooner rather than later that he wants to get to know Annabelle. For reasons that are a bit spoiler-y to go into in detail here, Annabelle has more than enough reasons to be cautious.
So, a somewhat hesitant courtship ensues, aided and abetted by Rosalie the dog (also from the previous book). But with Annabelle keeping some fairly significant secrets, the road to romance is not without its bumps.
Honestly, the charm of this book is that of both the characters and the author’s breezy style because there is no denying that the plot device I referenced before is a bit tortured. Not to even mention that somebody stays mad at somebody for w-a-a-a-y too long – but who the heck cares when a book is this lively?
The author also manages to give a satisfying depth to both characters, giving them pasts that reflect the people they are today. Which, let’s face it, is a lot like real life.
For those who enjoyed Romeo, Romeo, there’s a good chance you’ll like this one even more. If you haven’t yet tried Robin Kaye and are looking for a fresh and fun voice in romantic comedy, I hope you’ll give this one a try.