What happened to my weekend? It’s one of those blinked and missed it deals. I had a little sleep issue on Thursday night and I was up all night and then I had one of those uber sleeps Friday night and Saturday morning I felt like a superhero. But now I feel like I went through a time fold and the entire two days just disappeared. I had books to read and things to do and I am behind! I’m sort of like one of those horses behind kind of behinds at this point. I need to read like 9 million books by Wednesday. No more StumbleUpon for me!
So this is my first NetGalley book and I received it courtesy of Harlequin via in exchange for an honest review. Not that I would have given a dishonest one anyway.
Whose Bed is it Anyway? is the newest release by New Zealand author Natalie Anderson. I really enjoy Harlequin Kiss books because they have those flirtatious and sassy characters and the situations are always fun and quirky. They have a sort of charisma that so many other of the Harlequin branches lack and that is why I really love these books and I chose this title. Natalie Anderson’s style and hero were perfect for the Kiss story.
The novel is about rugged and untouchable James Wolfe, lifesaver and rescuer of those in need from all over the globe and Caitlin Moore, whose life is going down the drain and whose name is being dragged through the dirt from all over the world. When James comes home from weeks abroad he finds Caitlin sleeping in his bed and too exhausted to do anything more than make an ass out of himself and pass out next to her he makes a pretty appalling first impression. The next day when he suggests that they remain roomies for the short time they will both be staying in New York surprises the skeptical Caitlin. James charm and Caitlin’s pretty gritty no-crap-attitude work rather well and the sizzle ain’t too bad either.
As an American reader I often run into this mental roadblock when I read a foreign writer who is creating an American character who lives in the United States while using the author’s own lingo and jargon. I admit that many times reading this book I was tripped up by a phrase or word that would not have been used by James as an American. But as a writer I also would play devil’s advocate with myself and ask myself questions like, “When I write a book and I set the locale for another place do I write the story for the people there or do I write it with the world as I know it?” The most successfully way to convey a moving story is to write what you know. If you try to write a story in another location outside of your own part of the world and you are not familiar with the common tongue and you attempt to use it and fail–then that could be a nightmare. So as far as Natalie Anderson being a New Zealander and me reading her books and finding her writing with a vernacular uncommon to me– that is more my own issue than an issue of her’s as a writer. Once I got beyond the word usage and the story started rolling I became less and less distracted by things that I could easily figure out on my own. With words that I had to seek out clarification like ‘panto’–a shortened form of pantomime or a ridiculous action. By no means is occasionally being hung up on one or two words a deal breaker considering the fact that that happens with my own common tongue.
There are a few things that I found didn’t fit well with me with characterization. Caitlin had a lot of baggage and it often felt like it was being awkwardly dealt with. For a relationship to work between two characters in a book there should be a balance of sorts and a lot of times it felt that Caitlin’s heaviness was negating the counterweight of James. I also felt much of the time that she was cold rather than conflicted and that didn’t feel like the right emotion (or in this case lack of emotion). I enjoyed her character when she was letting her past give her backbone while she had that vulnerability that allowed her to be open to James. When she had that hot mess instances where her crap made James and his entire character seem pointless it made me think of the phrase, ‘Our first and last love is self love’–gone to hell. Must be rough when you think the sun rises and sets for you and you alone.
When you meet James’ family you get a great understanding of George and his mother but his brother Jack and father seemed rather unformed. They were shadowy and even though you were supposed to care about both brother’s because they will each be getting their own books, I didn’t have one spare thought for Jack other than, ‘Why would he be such a prick and go for a swim when everyone wanted to play Scrabble?’ What an ass!
I did enjoy this book once I got into it, although I found the beginning I felt was a little ho-hum. It Might have been the pacing or that language/lingo conflict thing. It did take me awhile to care about Caitlin and James. I would definitely read Georges book but unless Jack gets a personality enema, I don’t think I could stand to read his book.
This book will be released October 1, 2013. You can pre-order it at Amazon.