I know I sound like a broken record, but there are reasons that I keep reading the same authors over and over. I adore HelenKay Dimon’s dialogue, sassy heroines, and intelligent heroes (even though they frequently act dumb, it makes it much more fun). In Impulsive, Eric is trying to prove to himself that he has no hard feelings when his ex gets married. So he goes to her wedding. At the wedding, he sees the caterer from across the room and next thing we know, they are getting it on in the bathroom. (Hey, don’t knock it til you’ve tried it). Katie was hired to spy on Eric to see if there is any truth to the rumor that he’s still involved with his ex. But she sees Eric, and all that flies out of her head. Eric and Katie keep getting together, and lots of hot sex ensues. And it eventually turns to love.
What I liked: I really loved Eric. He’s not a typical romance hero. He’s introspective and thoughtful, a lawyer/politician who seems to be in it for the right reasons. He has managed to realize that friendship with his ex is ok, and that he can handle it. In small doses. He keeps himself under tight control, and it’s awesome to see his control being slowly unraveled both emotionally and physically by Katie and also by the situations in which he finds himself, such as having Deana (the ex) barging into his life at all hours or his love life splattered all over in a video. He’s like that rubber band – it always contracts back to normal, but at some point it gets stretched just a little too far and breaks, or stretches so much, it loses its elasticity, becomes brittle, and breaks. That’s Eric. So patient, but eventually it’s gotta give. And he finally does, which makes him even more human to the reader. Plus, well, that man is hot with the sexin’. Seriously, I wouldn’t mind being stuck in a bathroom or in an office chair with him.
Katie: she’s a bad girl gone good. Kind of. Although she was bad for understandable reasons, she spent the majority of her teen and early adult years doing the wrong thing. And now that she’s trying to turn her life around and do the right thing, she finds constant roadblocks in the way. Once she discovered her feelings for Eric and found out her ‘job’ was going to hurt him, she ended the arrangement. Although she’s very young (and at first I thought there was no way at all Eric would have any interest in her besides sex), she goes through a maturation process that began before the book started and continued throughout. It helps put perspective on her relationship with Eric. She loosens him up and helps him laugh, and he helps ground her.
I liked that Katie was honest with Eric almost as soon as she realized she had feelings for him. It helped him to be more trusting of her when obviously someone was undermining his campaign. And I loved the way he defended her, even when he had the occasional twinge of doubt.
I loved that Deana and Josh (H & H from Holding Out for a Hero, and Deana is Eric’s ex) are such nudgeniks. They push their way into Eric’s life (although for Josh, it’s begrudgingly). I really liked that neither of them is portrayed as the ‘bad guy’, in that in my experience, most people don’t look on their exes with venom; they were just relationships that don’t work out. At least that’s how I see my exes (granted, in terms of exes, I only have the perspective of a high schooler – got together with hubby sophomore yr of college). Still, Eric is still a little raw about the breakup, and somehow it tickled me that Deana got in his face, determined to be his friend.
What I didn’t like so much: Katie’s sister. Yes, she’s quite protective of Katie when Eric comes around, but she still expects the worst from Katie, even though Katie is helping her with her catering business, taking care of her daughter, and saving money for school. She always has the first thought of “What have you done now?” Frankly, that would drive me bat-shit crazy. But I also understand how important the family they have left is to both of them.
Another hero with hidden depths, a heroine who does a lot of growing up, and a bit of a madcap election campaign (Impulsive is releasing at just the right time, I’d say). Dimon has hit just the right balance of all these things to make me happy. The last couple of books have had some darker elements to them. This one, not so much. I wouldn’t call it fluffy by any means, but it’s certainly a little more light-hearted than the last couple of books. Complete with her signature wit and terrific characters, Impulsive was a great read for me.