Avon, $7.99, ISBN 978-0-06-234964-4
Romantic Suspense, 2015
Well, Twisted is somewhat better than the previous book Broken, mostly because it’s more down to earth. That’s an odd thing, I know, considering that the heroine in this one, Emma Castille has woo-woo psychic powers of some sort, but that’s the way things are sometimes.
Dean Bannon, ex-FBI (his job is important because that’s his sole distinguishing feature from Action Bohunk #23,567,111 and Action Bohunk #23,567,113), is a member of LOST. That’s Last Option Search Team, which still makes me cringe just typing that out even now. Why not Lusty Orgy Sex Troopers? Anyway, Dean is in New Orleans to look for a missing 16-year old girl Julia. By chance, he meets Emma, a fortune teller who also happens to be most likely the last person to have seen Julia.
Julia came to her, asking about her future but is obviously terrified about something. She fled when Emma tried to convince her to go to the police. Emma tried to chase after her, but lost track of Julia eventually. And now, Dean wants answers but Emma doesn’t have any. Well, Dean insists on following her wherever she goes, and eventually Emma decides to blame herself for everything that is wrong in this world, even Julia, so she practically spreads her legs from Alaska to Helsinki and insists that Dean shag her or else. And that’s the beginning of the sexy times. Oh, and there’s a deranged killer going “Muah-ha-ha!” now and then – I think he must have taken a wrong turn, because Scooby-Doo’s marijuana party van is over there, not here.
The plot here, at least when I compare it to that in Broken, is not so bad. Things aren’t so dramatically nonsensical here. But the author still portrays cops as imbeciles with attitude, in what seems to be a futile attempt to shore up the LOST people’s capabilities, to an unbelievable degree. But the most tragic is the villain, who turns out to be a “MUA-HA-HA-HA!” lunatic whose identity makes an already silly plot even more ridiculous. It’s like things just happen, at random, and somehow maybe because the moon is full or the planets are aligned for the first time in 666 years, things just come together and boom! The end. The plot is rubbish, frankly, and the fact that it is still better than the idiot plot in Broken is a rather terrifying notion to behold.
The romance isn’t a romance as much as it is two cardboard clichés – Overbearing Hero and Complete Victim – joylessly humping because the heroine apparently needs plenty of meat in her diet to keep herself from experiencing a complete meltdown. Clearly Dean’s meat is not enough, as Emma spends all her time crying, screaming, and blaming herself for everything. Despite the fact that she apparently fended for herself on the streets after her father died and life made her a victim, Dean immediately infantilizes her, always insisting that he must protect her 24/7 or she will apparently die the moment she has to inhale oxygen without him watching her closely to make sure that she is doing that right.
Unfortunately, he is justified in his behavior, however unappealing as his behavior may be, because the moment Emma is on her own, she flees FBI custody – because they are trying to drag her from her old life, a no-no even when she knows that the serial killer is after her and has already murdered her friend! – and right into a cemetery where the villain is waiting with open arms. She is rescued, but it’s not long again before she is screaming and crying, once more in trouble and needing rescue. When the author claims that Emma and Dean would be partners and lovers in the end, I laugh, because who is she kidding? Emma will probably drown if she tries to fill a kettle with water all on her own.
Twisted is a laughable rescue fantasy of a braindead victim by an overbearing erection on legs passed off as romantic suspense with a plot that reeks like a rubbish dump. Its only redeeming factor is that it is still better than Broken, but that’s kind of like saying that a twisted neck is better than a broken one. Oh well, at least I didn’t lose so many brain cells this time around.