Into the Fire

Into the Fire - Jessica Hall Sigh. There is a target audience for this genre. I'm not it. When I see the phrase "romantic suspense" on the back cover, I should know not to be sucked in by the "suspense" part, but to take warning from the "romance". My eyes hurt from all their rolling at the cliche'd dominating male who is sexually irresistible to the plucky female (not one pair but two, with the men being brothers, of course!) The plot itself isn't bad - the villain of the piece was predictable, but not sickeningly so - and the setting (New Orleans and nearby Cajun settlement) was interesting to me because I know nothing about it. Liked the chatter in dialectal French - well-handled, I thought; always sufficiently paraphrased for the non-French-speaking. I hope there aren't really so many devastating fires and vengeful firebugs in New Orleans!

The set piece climax (as it were), and probably what those who like this sort of thing will go back and re-read again and again, was an oh-so-extended piece of bondage-and-exhibitionism, in-costume sex on a parade float. Dubious consent (despite interminably insisted-upon arousal) all the way. Yuck. Just yuck. Ditto various other sex and near-sex scenes that always seemed to get muddled up with gun-wielding or threatened violence somehow or other.

Ah well, when you hastily pick up a stack of paperbacks for subway reading at a church booksale (yes, indeed, that's where I got it - hardly surprising...), you're bound to make a couple of poor choices.