First off, I’d like to put GunDiva’s mind at ease and say I enjoyed Crazy Kisses. I’m still not sure if I REALLY liked it or not, but I enjoyed reading it. I know that’s a subtle distinction; but, then again, I’m known for that sort of thing.
My package of tasty wood pulp and ink goodness arrived from GunDiva late last week just ahead of a long and busy weekend which means I didn’t have a lot of time to seriously sit down and start devouring the book until Tuesday morning. That’s like setting a plate of fresh out of the oven chocolate chip cookies in front of me and telling not to touch. It’s not quite torture, but it’s most annoying. Nevertheless, I finished the book by late afternoon on Wednesday despite having to work both days. Don’t ask how much work actually got done ‘cause I won’t answer.
Crazy Kisses is a fairly standard length book of 354 pages not including the preview of the sequel teaser at the end. It is a stand alone story that is part of a larger series of books. Other than the male protagonist’s last name, there are no five dollar words that would get in the way of the average readers comprehension and enjoyment.
First warning: if you are offended by the F-word, you’ll have trouble getting past the first sentence. Having spent the better part of a couple of years reforming a bad cussing habit, I am not necessarily offended by cuss words. I do, however, get fairly tired of reading or hearing them when there are much better means of expression. Fortunately, Ms. Janzen did not feel the need to have all her characters cussing like drunken sailors on three day shore leave. In her defense, the worst offender in the book is the male protagonist who is a black ops soldier who would be expected to be a little coarse.
First technical nit pick: Now, having said that, if an author is going to indulge in cuss words, there is a much broader palette of colorful language to choose from than just the F-bomb. A soldier would have some very inventive ways of expressing himself in that manner if he were so inclined.
Second warning: if you are offended by sex in your entertainment, you are three turds short of being completely out of luck with this book. It takes Ms. Janzen just 34 pages to get to the first sex scene. There are at least two major, full blown sex scenes described in detail plus a couple of other scenes involving sex to a greater or lesser degree. Then there’s the whole naked angel painting thing.
If there is one thing I have to say I could have done without in this book, it would have to be the sex scenes. Now, I’m no prude. I am, in fact, a big fan of certain activities when they involve The Queen. I do not, however, enjoy reading about or watching someone else have sex. To each their own, I suppose.
GunDiva promised the book would deliver “hot guns, fast cars, hotter sex (not necessarily in that order)”.
She was wrong on one count: the only fast car mentioned in the entire book was a Pontiac GTO. Unfortunately, the Goat only appeared briefly in one scene near the end of the book and it was not moving. There was no classic car chase a la Clive Cussler’s Dirk Pitt. Bummer.
The guns are there, but they were not lovingly described in the way the sex scenes were.
Second and final technical nit pick: there is a scene where the male and female protagonists are running away from bad guys with guns. On page 76, they “take cover” behind a hedge. There is a difference between “cover” and “concealment”. Concealment will hide you from view but won’t necessarily stop a bullet. Cover will hide you AND stop or significantly slow down a bullet. By those definitions, a hedge is concealment not cover.
Ms. Janzen did a fairly good job of making me interested in the main characters. I’m a character guy. I love to see characters developed in depth. That’s why I’m a big fan of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series, Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan novels, etc. I would like to have seen some of her secondary characters developed a little (okay, a lot) more, but then you’re talking about a 500+ page book. That’s fine for me, but some people would find it tedious. It is also apparent from reading the summaries of her other books on her website that her other books take up the slack in this area.
Bottomline: Crazy Kisses is an enjoyable read which doesn’t quite hit the bullseye with my tastes. Your experience may vary.