Today is February’s Book-of-the-Month discussion. The book chosen by blog readers was:
Tangled Up in Love by Heidi Betts.
As always, I will talk about different aspects of the story individually. I encourage you to share your thoughts if you have read this story (either here or through e-mail). Please keep the discussion rules in mind, however. These rules can be found by clicking here.
My discussion will contain no spoilers (and is basically an informal review/discussion in a different format), but I cannot promise that the comments won’t…so please read at your own risk!
Keep reading to see my discussion…
– My general (and random) thoughts:
I have to confess that initially I was a little worried when I read the premise because I know NOTHING about knitting and was worried that I might not enjoy the book…in fact, I felt a little like Dylan when he learns that he has been challenged to learn to knit…but I then realized that it didn’t really matter because while knitting is a part of the story, it is not the focus of the story. The story focuses on the fun and competitive relationship between two rival newspaper columnists, Dylan and Ronnie, who take turns challenging one another to complete various tasks. Ronnie’s latest challenge to Dylan: learn to knit. The book is really a fun and entertaining read about two supposed enemies who discover something more.
He is a newspaper columnist who beat out rival columnist Veronica Chasen for a position and ever since the two have had a rivalry through their newspaper columns going…a sort of “Anything you can do, I can do better” type of thing where they challenge each other to complete various tasks. Dylan is interesting to me as I loved his sarcasm and wit and admired his determination as he refused to back down from a challenge no matter how silly it made him look. What makes these challenges even funnier is the fact that he’s such a “guy” if you know what I mean…he has the stereotypical male attitude and behavior, but he comes across as very likeable.
Veronica (Ronnie) Chasen
She’s a bit more complex than meets the eye and we learn quite a bit about what makes her tick as the story progresses. I was touched by her story and, as with Dylan, I loved her sarcastic personality. She is very determined to prove herself and to succeed at everything she does, but she has her reasons.
Dylan and Ronnie have a great sexual chemistry and I really enjoyed the humorous banter between the two of them. The sparks definitely fly as these two butt heads almost every time they meet. When we first met the couple, I was curious as to how the author was going to take them from being competitors/enemies to being something more as these two really didn’t seem to care for one another despite their attraction and I liked how she turned even sex into a competition for them. It fit these characters and their existing relationship with one another and I could easily buy it growing into something more. It was as if they had been having foreplay through their columns.
There were a couple of instances where I was a bit baffled by their actions, but these started to make sense as we learned more about the characters (I don’t want to say exactly what out of fear of spoiling something). In all honestly I really enjoyed watching their relationship grow and change.
– Secondary characters:
I loved, loved, loved the secondary characters. These characters include Dylan’s guy friends and Ronnie’s gal friends as well as matchmaking Aunt Charlotte. They all added some humor to the story and were definitely scene-stealers, in my opinion.
I was especially taken with Gage, Jenna, Zack and Grace. Gage and Jenna are going to be featured in the next book and it should be quite interesting considering their relationship in this one. But I have to confess that I was really interested in Zack and Grace as it seems this loving couple have a story I’d really, really like to read. If I didn’t know this was the first published book in the series, I would have thought I missed Zack and Grace’s book as little hints about their relationship are dropped in this one…so I hope that they will get a book…maybe a prequel or something…as I’d love to read it!
As for Aunt Charlotte, she is an interesting character who adds a bit of whimsy to the story. And it may just be me, I wish she had been featured a bit more as it seemed like she was meant to possibly play a bigger role than what actually comes across…I know that might not make sense without having read the book.
– Favorite thing about the book:
The individual get-togethers between the two groups of friends…I enjoyed seeing Ronnie and Dylan interact with their friends as they discussed and tried to figure each other out. There are some great moments in these scenes.
– Least favorite thing:
As I mentioned above, I kind of wish Aunt Charlotte had either been featured more or something. That’s the only thing I can think of right now.
– Would I recommend the book?
If you like fast-paced, sexy contemporary romances with fun premises and humorous banter, then yes, I would recommend this one.
– Final thoughts:
As a fan of Ms. Betts other books I had been looking forward to reading this one and I wasn’t disappointed. It had the great characters, fabulous humor, and sizzling romance that I had expected. Ms. Betts is great at creating sexual tension and sparks between her leads…and now that I think about it many of the books that I have read by her (from her historicals to her Desires) are filled with sexual tension and mutual attraction…the kind where you know when the characters finally do give in to their attraction, they’ll probably spontaneously combust or something…and boy, does this couple fit that description!
I love books that can make me laugh and this one definitely achieved that with all of its characters and dialogue. This was a fun and interesting start to what promises to be an entertaining series and I look forward to reading the next one…and you know, considering I knew nothing about knitting when I started this book, I kind of want to learn now.