B. J. Daniels – "Classified Christmas"

12 Jan


GENRE: Romantic Suspense
PUBLISHED: Harlequin Intrigue, 2007 (e-book)


From eHARLEQUIN.com:
“Cade Jackson was as country as a cowboy got, but then came reporter Andi Blake to civilize him—while turning his peaceful Christmas upside down. But Cade had a reputation as a hard-driving man to uphold, even if he was a sucker for a sassy brunette in high heels… Andi had her sights set on tracking the lawless Calhoun family and exposing the secrets of their greatest bank heist. And no one was going to stop her—not even that smoldering, sexy stud Cade Jackson! Though Andi didn’t come to town looking for a cowboy, now that she’d rustled up one, could she find a way to get Cade under the mistletoe?”


This is the summary I wrote after I read Classified Christmas:

  • fairly decent mystery thanks to some twists and turns
  • liked the ending for its surprise in its openness
  • heroine: weak element of the story; she’s supposed to be rather intelligent but a) her whole behaviour in relations to the mystery is questionable in legal ways and in regard to her intelligence; b) she’s supposed to be a good judge of character but is rather rude in confronting Cade with the truth about his wife; c) didn’t acquire appropriate clothes for winter in Montana (for reasons of story cuteness, I know); d) applies for a job she gets an anonymous note about the job offer although a stalker is harassing her at that moment
  • hero is more there because a romance novel needs a hero than he’s a real character
  • romance underdeveloped and relies of romance short-cuts; first love scene comes out of the blue in view of what goes before (although a romance reader knows it’s coming)
  • plot continuity problems: a) she keeps track of the whole “lawless” Calhoun family thanks to some special computer service and doesn’t get a message that one of them was released from prison, violating his parole? (which leads to: if there’s nothing in the papers about this, her whole “story” isn’t so hot after all because the family isn’t newsworthy for something like that); b) did she find the job notice on her own (first version) or did someone send her the ad (later version; see above)?
  • a very weird second plot line with unpleasant (nasty) characters all around with no connection at all to the main story except that this family seems to live in the same town the hero and heroine live in. Maybe Classified Christmas is part of a series and this second story is the ongoing plot line that connects each part. Reading CC, I wouldn’t know and I’m not interested in the least to find out.
  • the mystery, for all it turns, hinges on a convoluted construction which is only there to get the heroine involved
  • unpleasant message: criminal parents = criminal children
  • all in all: a lot of annotations for this story (one advantage of reading e-books), most of them for “Huh?”- moments; the notes here are just the summary

Would I recommend this novel? No.

Would I read this novel again? No.

Grade: 2 (+ for the mystery) / 5


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