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Getting Naughty in Pleasantville
on January 10, 2012
Okay, this one had me a little on this side and a little on that, so let's see if I can explain my hesitant liking of this one.
First off, Mick? The male lead? Yum. He hits the right notes. For a reformed bad boy I thought he was almost peppered with a bit originality. This is a guy that chased his bad-to-the-bone older brother around and even held up a liquor store. After his brother ended up in prison he cleaned up his ways. Did he turn it around by becoming a super rich businessman? Nope. Does he own a huge bank account? No. Does he aspire to be some hero? Not even. This man after all was said and done worked for a heating and air company and is now a bricklayer. A BRICKLAYER. Ah, god, I see it and I believe it and I love it. He lives in a small apartment, has a truck and is getting by and that's enough for him and he didn't make himself all shiny and perfect just because he turned his liquor store holding up ways around. I understand that and I love that. Mick is battling the burden of why he came back to Destiny and it is HEARTBREAKING. It's soooo good. I was so impressed with the way Toni Blake wrote Mick and his journey. I ached for this guy, and I believed him. Especially the moments he was...let's just say...digging. Yeah, when that was happening I just felt the sweat and pain of it and I was signed up for wherever that man wanted or needed to take me.
That being said, the whole Mick and the reason he comes back to Destiny is the best part of this book. Okay, except the sex. This was some rockin', inventive sex. Written in a top-notch, oh-my-chest-just-got-tight kind of way. And let me tell you, there is a LOT of sex. Way more than I expected from a light, small-town romance book. I love them usually because they're fun, and always squeeze a warm laugh out of me. And while some may not fade to black and will give up the goods like a girl on prom night after just enough wine coolers, this one was that girl that didn't go to prom but invited you to hang out with her and Jack Daniels. I was a little taken aback by the amount of sex happening between Jenny and Mick. Like, whoa. You guys are busy, huh.
But still...this book was missing something for me. I got bored after awhile with Mick just showing up at her back door. And for a good long while it just felt like nothing was happening. Plot-wise I didn't feel myself getting attached to these two, other than what Mick was going through. Jenny was a bit...dry? I don't know. The good girl who was tired of being good. Okay, I got that. But enough didn't happen to make it work for me. Her banter with her best friend was the most personality I got from her, and I loved her in those moments, but then she just sort of faded every other time (unless she was having sex. Seeing a theme?) You know what makes small-town books work? The neurotic, funny townspeople. You get to go there in these kind of books, so do that. Use that. We enjoy it. Destiny was so damn perfect it was almost exhausting in its perfection. Destiny was a lot like Jenny in that way. A town a little more interesting, a little more like Mick, might have hit this one out of the park for me.