Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Ace Is Wild - Penny McCall


Ace Is Wild
Penny McCall
Berkley Sensation

Romantic Suspense/Paranormal

Allow me to begin by saying that I am completely conflicted in my reaction to this book. On the one hand, it’s like a summer popcorn movie: full of action, not-very-realistic characters, and, really, not to be taken seriously. On the other hand, it’s pretty disturbing in that one of the main characters stubbornly engages in stalker-like behavior (continued phone calls to the office, showing up at various public events, taking hostages with a gun) that ought to end up with, at best, a restraining order. If the male character acted like this, there’d be an outcry. Since it’s the woman, and she’s cute, it’s supposedly ok.

The bare bones plot is this. Vivi Foster is getting psychic visions that federal prosecutor Daniel Pierce’s life is in danger. She calls his office repeatedly, and when she gets the brush-off, she shows up at a social event and takes him (and a couple other people) hostage at gunpoint. Daniel, a former FBI agent, apparently finds all this excusable because Vivi has large breasts. And Vivi is willing to tolerate Daniel’s bad treatment of her (from her point of view) because he’s hot. From there on, it’s a race to keep themselves both alive long enough to figure out who is really behind the threats.

There’s just really no reason, other than the superficial physical, that these two people should even like each other. That makes their romance feel very forced. Even though Vivi is obviously (to the reader) sincere in her desire to save someone’s life, her methods are just creepy. I am fully aware that this is just my take on it, and also should say that I have a low threshold for zany antics. Others will obviously feel differently.

On the plus side, the author writes a very nice action sequence, good dialogue, and manages to keep the pace humming along nicely. She’s clearly having a lot of fun in the writing of this. This is clearly part of an ongoing series, but works just fine as a standalone novel. In the end, if you can suspend your disbelief a bit, this is a fun, fast read.

Rating: 6 ½
August 2008
ISBN# 978-0-425-22298-0 (paperback)

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