Tour’s Books Blog

August 4, 2009

Book Review: It’s Hotter in Hawaii by HelenKay Dimon

  • Title: It’s Hotter in Hawaii
  • Author: HelenKay Dimon
  • Type: Romantic Suspense
  • Genre: Contemporary
  • Sub-genre: Tracy/Hepburn do the Maltese Falcon
  • My Grade: D+ to C- (2.6*)
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Where Available: Any bookstore

This is a follow-up to Dimon’s Your Mouth Makes Me Crazy.  Crazy is just the word for how annoyed It’s Hotter In Hawaii made me with the annoying bickering between the hero and heroine.  The story arcs of the two books are very similar, even the personalities of the hero and heroine are similar.  As with Your Mouth Makes Me Crazy, we start with out heroine, Cassie Montgomery, up to her neck in trouble as she’s out to prove her half brother Dan’s plane crash in Waimea Canyon was not really an accident.  With Kane Travers and his new wife Annie off on a honeymoon on the mainland, Ted Green is in charge of the Kauai police department and she can’t get anything out of him – not even after she reports getting shot at when she goes to her brother’s house.  Then she catches Caleb Wilson breaking into the Dan’s house and holds him at gunpoint while trading barbs.  Dan had sent him a letter for the first time since leaving the Air Force years before and Caleb wanted to make peace with his old friend.  At 39 he recently retired as a Commander and now works as a civilian consultant training pilots for rescue work in Panama City, Florida.  Caleb and Dan were Air Force pilots in the Special Operations Wing, the famed para-rescue operation and high pressure and danger are nothing new.  Cal radiates the calm and control you would expect from someone who lives for a high risk job.   (Any normal person would have strangled Cassie by Chapter 8.)  Cal barely gets the gun out of Cassie’s hands when a shot is fired at them from outside.

The trip to the police station next day to report the shooting and the earlier break-in and searching of Dan’s house convinces Cal that the police are hiding something, but he can’t tell what or why.  Ted Green seems like a decent cop, patient and tolerant of Cassie’s displays, but something is just not right with a DEA being involved in this.  I was rather sorry for Cal trying to get an word in edgewise with the constant sniping from Cassie.  Jeeze she’s annoying.   The reader learns that it was DEA Agent Josh Windsor (a friend of Kane’s from Your Mouth Makes Me Crazy) was the one taking the shot hoping to scare her off the property in an effort to set up a trap for the real bad guy, Bobby Polk.  She does a repeat performance with the mechanic at the hanger where Dan kept his helicopter.

Cassie and Cal go to the scene of the plane crash and as they climb down the steep trail the meet Josh coming up from the crash site.  His hostility toward them sets off alarms with Cal.  Unlike Cassie, he looks at what’s below the surface of the law enforcement behavior and rightly concludes there’s some kind of collusion going on.  But are they covering up a crime?  After finding some records at the site, it becomes obvious they won’t beat the storm to the top of the climb, so they head further down to a small cave to shelter.  For reasons known only Cassie, she decides having sex on a cave floor is a good idea.  Cal destroys the post-coital bliss with one of those ‘this is just a fling’ panic attacks and pisses Cassie off.  (OK – I’m with her on this one.) There’s a bit more action in and out of the bedroom and a nighttime excusion to an old government government building deep in Waimea Canyon and then a big secene where the bad guys get theirs.  Cassie’s offer to Cal seems not only percipitous, but almost irrational given they’ve known each over 3 days and can’t seem to be civil more than a few minutes.

Cassie is supposed to be sassy, feisty, and smart-mouthed, but she she comes off petulant, shrewish, and stupidly insistent on her own way far too much of the time.  She substitutes shooting from the lip for actually thinking about things.  It felt like Ms Dimon was going for the kind of wit displayed by Tracey and Hepburn in The Desk Set, but couldn’t pull it off. This is compounded by Cassie’s strange mood swings when she seduces Cal after badgering him relentlessly.  Caleb Wilson has a load of guilt about Dan and he’s stunned to find his old friend dead before they could make peace with the past and takes way too much nonsense from Cassie.  Neither character is fleshed out enough to be really interesting.

The plot line is thin at best, so the bulk of the book is grating, pointless barbs by Cassie and Caleb trying to get her under some kind of control.  Cassie blows hot and cold and really, she just has an annoying personality.  Apparently, most men find this ‘cute’, which likely proves yet again that men think with their little heads when around good looking women.  Since the story is basically just the hero and heroine, there’s just no escaping these long, pointless interactions. The tension never really works because we know who the ‘bad guy’ is and once again, we’re looking at corruption with the system, so the ‘suspense’ part is minimal.  Overall, an unimpressive book with a few laugh out loud lines here and there.

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