passion rating: hot
Dear Ms. Moore,
The first two pages of your novel Trouble Me made me uneasy. Your heroine, Jade Radcliffe, is driving to her family farm, Rosewood. As she drives, she thinks about all the people there she’s looking forward to seeing. There are her two sisters and their two husbands, her six nieces and nephews, and an elderly gentleman who’s worked for the family for years. Immediately, I felt as though I’d been dropped into someone’s family reunion without any idea who all the people milling about were. Trouble Me is the third in the Rosewood series. The first two books, which I’ve not read, tell the stories of the Jade’s sisters. By page three, I’d forgotten which perfect sister was married to which perfect guy; perhaps I might have enjoyed this book more had I read its predecessors, but I doubt it.
By page three of your book, Jade has decided to stop driving—it’s begun pouring rain—and spend the night in a motel. She does so, in part, to show her sisters, Margot and Jordan, “how much she’d matured.” Even though she’s only twenty-two, she’s “leagues removed from the Jade of yesteryear.” The old Bad Jade was
the one who sometimes felt the need to step right up to edge and do something crazy with a wild, fiery lick of danger. But though she’d had her share of parties and experiences, it hadn’t prevented her from getting straight A’s even with a super-charged course load, being the top scorer on her riding team, and writing a very popular advice column for the school paper.
Hmmmm, I thought, Bad Jade, doesn’t seem very bad to me. In fact, she seems like an over achiever. I began to hope she wasn’t going to be one of those practically perfect in every way heroines. Then, on page 17, after Jade has checked into a hotel, showered and put on “her white jeans, a Jean Paul Gautier chiffon tank… and a pair of high-heeled sandals” to head down to the bar where she just wants to have a drink and relax, she is described by Rob, the hero of the book.
Magnetic was the first word that came to his mind; within seconds she’d drawn every male eye in the bar to her. Trouble was the second. A woman who looked like this, slim yet curvy in all the right places, with sun-streaked hair that fell past her shoulders in thick waves, and with a walk that was bold yet carried sensual promise in each step, could only cause mayhem….In the wrong place, this woman could start a riot.The dynamite package only got more explosive as she neared and Rob took in the lushness of her lips and the high slash of her cheekbones. Passion and drama.
By the end of the third chapter, where Jade is proved to be not only super smart, a great rider, fabulous with kids (she’s just started teaching second grade), a vixen in bed, and able to eat all the junk food she wants without ever gaining a pound, I was ready to put the book down. Flawless folk don’t do it for me—and New Jade is flawless.
The only reason I kept reading was to see what came of what happened in Chapter Two. In that chapter, Jade walks into the above mentioned bar and, unsurprisingly is instantly hit on by a steady stream of losers. Rob tells one of the most overeager to get lost and gets Jade to dance with him instead. After standing in each other’s arms for about two minutes, Rob asks Jade—Bad Jade is back!–if she has a room. She says yes and off they run to have a night of no-holds, barred, staying up all night, smokin’ sex. Their encounter is supposed to be a one night stand—Jade won’t even give Rob her name. They part; sure they’ll never see each other again.
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