3 out of 4 stars
Share This Review
You Did What? is one of the most aptly titled books I have read recently. A juicy romance, the plot centers around a scandalous incident that rocks the lives of a single mother, her daughter, and the man they are both interested in.
Natalee is thirty-eight years old and has been single for many years, having lost her police officer husband in the line of duty. While her friends are desperate for her to find love again, Natalee remains uninterested in any of the men she meets... until Joe comes into her life. Although the two have a mutual attraction to each other, Natalee avoids getting involved with Joe. He is eight years younger and looking to start a family soon, and Natalee has already raised a daughter. Jenny is a college student and Natalee feels that part of her life is finished.
Undeterred, Joe continues to pursue Natalee. He feels a connection to her and is sure she feels the same way, and that their mutual feelings will win out over practicalities. His progress is impeded by the ambitious Jenny, who is also attracted to Joe. When she has trouble making progress with her new love interest, Jenny resorts to committing an act so vile that it shocks all those who know her- or thought they knew her. Once Jenny casts her stone into the water, the ripples affect not just her life, but the lives of Joe and Natalee too.
You Did What? is far from a cookie-cutter romance. The story is fascinating and a little lurid; it's a great book for a guilty-pleasure read. Jenny's plan to win her man at all costs gave me some pleasant shock value and kept me glued to the story; I simply couldn't wait to see how the characters would handle the fallout. It was such a page-turner that I finished the book in one afternoon.
The plot was definitely the book's strength. I also enjoyed the characters, although I wish Jenny had been a little more three-dimensional. As the story's "villain," I wanted to know more about what made her tick. No one is all good or all bad, and while a superfluous motivation for her actions was mentioned, I wish we had known more about what was really going on inside her head.
The only other thing that bothered me about the story was the on and off nature of Natalee and Joe's relationship. Natalee has many good reasons to be wary of a relationship, but she veered between being with Joe and breaking it off with him so often I nearly got whiplash while reading. At first, I was rooting for them to get together so the conflicts sparked a lot of interest, but soon I began to feel like their break-ups were a bit redundant and it affected the pace of the story. Luckily, the characters are likable and the overall story held my interest.
I wish that I were able to give two separate ratings, one for the plot and one for technical merit. There were lots and lots of misplaced commas. It was to the point that I was sometimes confused about which lines of dialogue belonged to which character. Luckily, almost all the errors involved commas and nothing else, which made it a little easier to overlook. I gave You Did What? three out of four stars. The story was enjoyable and it was a quick and easy read. Keep in mind it is a romance novel and does include sex scenes, which I know some readers choose to avoid. If you're looking for a juicy little beach read, however, this is a perfect choice.
You Did What?
View: on Bookshelves | on Amazon
Like Haute_Coffee's review? Post a comment saying so!