How To Misbehave, by Ruthie Knox

>> Monday, April 15, 2013

TITLE: How To Misbehave
AUTHOR: Ruthie Knox

PAGES: 121
PUBLISHER: Loveswept

SETTING: Contemporary US
TYPE: Romance novella
SERIES: Starts the Camelot series.

As program director for the Camelot Community Center, Amber Clark knows how to keep her cool. That is, until a sudden tornado warning forces her to take shelter in a darkened basement with a hunk of man whose sex appeal green lights her every fantasy. With a voice that would melt chocolate, he asks her if she is okay. Now she's hot all over and wondering: How does a girl make a move?

Building contractor Tony Mazzara was just looking to escape nature's fury. Instead, he finds himself all tangled up with lovely Amber. Sweet and sexy, she's ready to unleash her wild side. Their mutual desire reaches a fever pitch and creates a storm of its own--unexpected, powerful, and unforgettable. But is it bigger than Tony can handle? Can he let go of painful memories and let the force of this remarkable woman show him a future he never dreamed existed?
As seems the rigueur these days, Ruthie Knox's new Camelot series kicks off with a novella.

Ever since Tony Mazzara and his team have been working at Amber Clark's community centre, she has found it hard

to take her eyes off him. She's too shy and inexperienced to do anything about it, until the day the tornado alarm goes off. It's late in the afternoon, and most people have gone. Tony's stayed behind to finish a few things, and as programme director, Amber has had to stay as well. When the alarm goes off, they're the only two people left in the building, and end up sheltering in the basement together. And with nothing to do, they talk.

I must say, I wasn’t too impressed at the beginning with the combination of the very innocent, gee willikers heroine and the hero who goes all “I want you, but I can’t commit, so I won’t sleep with you, because you’ll glom on to me and then suffer”. I kind of rolled my eyes at Amber, and didn't think "hot!" when it came to Tony, I thought "Arrogant ass!". But, see, Amber thought the same and called him on it, and suddenly, I saw there was much more to her. And as the book progressed, it became clear there was much more to both of them, and then I got really interested.

Unfortunately, there was a bit too much here for a novella, and it ended up feeling too short. Both Amber and Tony's issues were interesting, and especially for Tony, quite different. What was keeping Tony away from Amber even though they clicked so well was something big, and his behaviour made total sense. That’s when the novella felt like it wasn’t the right format, and much too short. There was so much baggage for Tony to work through, that I doubted he’d have been able to just do it in his own head and get over his issues in an evening. The whole thing needed a lot more space to be done in a satisfying, believable way (which, BTW, I'm quite sure Knox would have been able to do).

I did like this, since I was interested in the characters and Knox's voice is one I enjoy, but it didn't hit the mark quite squarely enough.



nath 16 April 2013 at 02:52  

This one just didn't work for me. I just didn't like the fact that they had this soulful connection in one encounter. Sigh.

Brie 16 April 2013 at 16:40  

This one worked for me more than it did for you and nath. The next book, however, I had lots of issues with. If you read it, let me know, because I'm curious to see what you think of it.

mepamelia 16 April 2013 at 22:58  

I'm with Brie. I really loved this one (it's like a historical romance set in the 1980s!), but the follow up novel really fell flat for me.

Rosario 17 April 2013 at 06:39  

Nath: Oh, that's too bad! Knox did manage to make me believe that, I just didn't believe Tony would have been able to sort out his head so quickly. Have you continued on with the series?

Brie and mepamelia: I haven't read that one yet, but I will. It mostly feels like people have an issue with the heroine, and I love difficult heroines!

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