She's So Good at Being Bad
Though it’s been years since the infamous Macy O’James stepped foot in Sugarville, Washington, everyone remembers what she supposedly did. The tiny town is still buzzing about her crime and lack of punishment.
Now back to lend her family a hand, Macy vows to hold her head high—especially at her high school reunion. But forget about the hottest man in Sugarville escorting her. Though she and fire chief Gabriel Donovan generate enough sparks to burn down the town, he’s a law-abiding, line-towing straight arrow. So not her type.
But, maybe—just maybe—he could change her mind about that.
I bought this book last week because I wanted to show support for one of my favorite authors, Susan Andersen. I was lucky enough to meet her briefly at the Romance Writers of America Conference in July. I was a total fangirl and gushed about how I’d read all her books. She was gracious, and I left before I made a complete fool of myself. Ahem.
Although I bought the book, the plan was to throw it on my TBR pile and read something that had been in the pile a lot longer. But then I started thinking. I remembered how much I love Susan Andersen. Then I read the back of the book blurb and really wanted to read the book. That was the reader me coming out.
Then my writer self spoke. My two manuscripts are category length, i.e. 55,000. I’ve thought about writing a full-length story, but the thought of writing an 80,000-90,000 book scares the crap out of me. I decided that reading the book would be a good exercise for me. I could analyze how Ms. Andersen writes a single title.
Decision made. Boy, am I good at rationalization or what?
Reader self: I love this book! Ms. Andersen hooked me on the first page and never let up. A feisty heroine, who still has plenty of scars from her childhood, and a hero, who’s determined to resist her charms, make for a great mix. I love the chemistry between the two. I know the book is good when I’m yelling at the couple, “Come on, y’all. Just get together already!”
Writer self: What drives this book is the internal conflict between the hero and the heroine. The black moment is all about the internal conflict. I rely heavily on internal conflict, so this made me happy. However, she mixes in a few other things, like the hero’s career, thus making sure the two of them aren’t just sitting around moaning about their feelings for the other the entire time. There’s an external conflict that keeps them apart at the beginning, but I don’t want to ruin it. Also, Ms. Andersen employs the popular secondary romance subplot. It’s not my favorite device, but it certainly can eat up some pages. And I liked the characters in the secondary romance, so it’s all good.
The other thing I noticed is that in a single title, there’s more time for a slow build. Macy and Gabriel don’t get together right away, even though the sexual tension makes its presence known right away. I realized I have a little more space to play in single titles. I don’t know if I can do it, but I do like a good challenge, so I suspect I’ll be giving it a shot soon.
In a nutshell –
Reader Jamie: Extremely pleased. :)
Writer Jamie: Extremely pleased. :)
So whatcha reading? Are you enjoying it?