- Paperback: 372 pages
- Publisher: Quest Books of Regal Crest Enterprises; 3rd edition (April 30, 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9781932300567
- ISBN-13: 978-1932300567
- ASIN: 1932300562
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 38 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,036,174 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Gun Shy: Book I in the Gun Series Paperback – April 30, 2006
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The two main characters are well written. Dez Reilly is a uniformed policewoman with the Saint Paul Police, who stops two rapists in the midst of a crime spree. Jaylynn Savage is one of the women she saves in the incident, and Jaylynn is so inspired that she drops out of Law to join the police force.
The story of Jaylynn's training and probation is well told. There is enough detail to feel that we are travelling with the junior cop while she learns the ropes. One of her field training officers is Dez Reilly, so we also get a slow-burning romance.
Both genres within the book work well, and it is a captivating read.
Dez Reilly answers a 911 call and interrupts a double rape. As the first attacker holds one victim, Sarah, while the other rapist tries to nab the second victim, Jaylynn, Dez comes storming thru the door. The second rapist breaks her arm with the bat he's carrying and she loses her gun. With a little help from Jaylynn, she's able to down both rapist cuff them together ankle to wrist.
Dez made such an impression on Jaylynn, she decides to go to the academy to become a police officer. As Jaylynn and her rookie class join the force they are joined up with different officers on different shifts. Jaylynn finally get her turn with Dez and they are a good team. Naturally, there are some rifts, i.e., who's in charge? is there only one way to handle each situation?
Dez is still a little gun shy after her partner, Ryan was killed during a call and she wasn't able to save him. She's afraid to let herself have a partner or to let anyone get close to her.
Well, Dez's rule...no dating cops, is keeping these two from coming to terms with each other. Dez's landlady, Luella is a charming and loving character in this book. She and Dez have a good relationship and they take care of each other. I love the pounding on the ceiling with the broom in order to get Dez's attention.
The kind and caring shown throughout the story shows from all the characters is something you don't usually see in a police/action novel. It's refreshing.
This was an intense book which awesome characterization and great detail to plot. You could feel the electricity between the two main characters.
The story spans about a year in the life of police officer Dez Reilly who is suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder after the death of her male partner... one of the few people this hard-to-get-close-to butch has let into her life and heart. She isn't one to reach out and get the help she needs. And she's not even recovered from a previous betrayal and has mother issues to boot. She doesn't have the space for any further loss because she doesn't know how to deal with or process trauma.
As a result, she's closed off and isolated and perceived as unfriendly and cold... when she is really just the opposite once she lets you in. She also obsesses over her body via weight-lifting and dieting... her strong, solid body is kind of like a wall of armor that no one can penetrate... like her emotions. I guess it's a healthier addiction than getting morbidly obese for the same effect.)
Dez is an intriguing and sexy character (she IS modeled after Xena, after all!)... and you will find this tall, long and dark-haired, muscular butch more than a little arousing...
After saving the young and spunky Jaylynn Savage from a potential crime... this spirited little blonde becomes enamored of Dez and eventually joins the police force herself. She ends up being mentored by her heroine... and so unfolds a lengthy getting-to-know-you connection between these two. And I do want to emphasize "lengthy." Dez isn't ready to let anyone in... however cute and adorable... and uh... chatty. :)
Jaylynn is less memorable and complex than Dez (certainly not as femme as I'd of liked her to be), but the two of them together still create magic.
I'm new to any kind of fan fiction myself, but I rather enjoyed seeing the whole Xena and Gabrielle dynamic set on the police force... with an added treat of excellent writing and complex characterization. Both characters handle people and stress very differently; they couldn't be more opposite. And yet they complement each other. I found Dez's strong and protective nature just as sexy as Jaylynn's patience and loyalty is sweet. There is excellent chemistry between these two.
The setting was also very realistic. Lake did her homework and you really get a sense of place here. Daily routines and imagery of what it means to be a cop are extremely plausible.
Few lez writers come this close to analyzing and depicting the mind of her main character as this author does and this book gave me some pause long after I read it. However, waiting for Dez to come around sometimes felt like "real-time" and this was a bit tiring... and I honestly started to conclude that she was a bit oafish and I lost sight of the PTSD thing.
I also found the ultimate intimacy/sex a letdown... all that build-up only to get to BLAH.... no sexy sex here at all. I'm not talking about gratuitous sex, necessarily... though what Xena fan doesn't want a peep into her most intimate moments?? I am talking about illustrating the passion these two deserve. A little balance for all the dysfunction in this book, please.
I know this is not a typical formula romance (it's long and involved and far better developed) and I guess some good writers may feel they are above that (one hopes anyway as the alternative is that they just don't know how to do sexy sex)... but hey, if you're not above bringing Xena and Gabby back to life in the form of cops then I don't see why you would neuter their sex lives because you want to be a 'serious' writer, lol.... sadly, this author gives up on sex and romance altogether in Book III of this series.... um, should we expect no lesbians by Book IV? wtf. I hate it when authors feel they have something to prove. (Lake and Sarah Waters ought to start their own club
Perhaps this writer is just a prude. Or if someone was suffering comfortably from LBD (lesbian bed death) while writing this series... I wouldn't be surprised. (hey! it happens when you're with someone for like 30ish yrs...)
After reading her thoughts on "Writing Sex and Love Scenes" on her web site... I think you'll find that all of the above are correct in why she doesn't like sex in her novels. She recalls being "grossed out" after reading some gratuitous mainstream sex scenes, and apparently, writing the sexy scenes in Gun Shy was a struggle with the cooties. "That's not what you will find in... most mysteries, dramas, sci-fi/fantasy, thrillers, and most standard commercial fiction," she notes. Really? WHO CARES?!! Oh c'mon. Do you really have to be one of the gang to be valid?
Maybe take a few pointers from Radclyffe, Lake (you have rated some of her books as top-notch after all)... it can be done tastefully (even in large doses!) and will keep fans coming back for more. When you build a lez following under the romance genre and then you switch gears in the SAME series... sure feels like bait and switch.
hmm. PERSONALLY, I surely imagined Xena and Gabrielle having crazy primal strap-on monkey sex with a dash (or more) of bdsm had they ever got it on.... But they didn't. And they barely do here. Sorry if I won't be pretentious and say I don't care about the sex and romance in my lez novels- and oh I only care about a good story, lol... I like to see it all done in my lez-filled worlds because we really don't have too many to enjoy. Ultimately, Gun Shy is about as fulfilling as only getting a kiss after 6 seasons of Xena...
Favorite part: Dez scowls in her sleep, lol... that was cute. :)