November 1, 2011

Review: Cry Uncle by Judith Arnold

Author - Judith Arnold
Genre - Contemporary
Series - N/A
Format - eBook (187p.)
Rating - 4/5 stars

After witnessing a professional hit, Seattle architect Pamela Hayes has testified in court against the hit man. Unfortunately, a mistrial is declared and the hit man is released on bail while awaiting a new trial. He intends to silence the sole witness to murder—Pam—before that new trial begins. She needs to hide, and she runs as far as she can: to steamy Key West., Florida.

Jonas Brenner, a Key West bar owner and easy-going slacker, is about to lose custody of his orphaned five-year-old niece—unless he can convince the courts that he’s a responsible father. What he needs is a prim and proper wife who will create the illusion that Lizard, as his niece likes to be called, is being raised in a stable environment.

What Pam needs is a new identity. Joe offers her a deal: if she marries him and takes his name, no Pacific Northwest hit man is going to find her. In return, she can pose as Joe’s respectable wife, dutifully caring for the rambunctious, feather-wearing Lizard.

Of course, this will be a marriage in name only. No sex. No emotions. No love. Which, once Pam and Joe move in together and the sparks begin to fly, is easier said than done.

• Review •
Cry Uncle was a great story. It was sexy, sweet, intriguing, and just an all-around relaxing escape. There was some humorous moments that while not laugh out loud funny, did earn a couple chuckles. The dialog was believable. As was the plot.

I liked most of the characters. Lizard was a brat though, and I wish she had been either older than 5 or younger… like infant younger. Halfway through the book I started referring to her as the spawn of Satan. I've known some bad kids in my life, but Lizard takes the cake. Anyway, I really liked Pam. This is a woman I would enjoy having a cup of coffee with, and just generally hanging out.

Joe is different compared to the usual hero. He's one of those hybrid, gamma-male types. For the most part I liked him, but it tended to go back and forth. Joe is definitely a study in contradictions. But he is very sincere in his love for Lizard and eventually Pam. The chemistry between him and Pam is palpable, and I found myself rooting for them to be together. I could see the friendship building between them when they were together (which wasn't often enough for me). It was certainly refreshing to read about two people that don't need to be naked to enjoy each others company.

Some things that bothered me outside of the story was first the font. It's written in courier font, which gave me a headache if I read for longer than an hour at a time. So this story took me a week to get through because of that. Secondly, I thought too much time was spent inside the "Bad Guy"s POV. I felt it detracted from the time between Joe and Pam. The same message could have been conveyed without all the bs.

I also had some minor issues with some word choices. I know Cry Uncle was written in 1995, but it could have been updated a touch. And even in 1995, I never referred to a bra as a brassiere… If I see that word ever again I may hurt someone. The pacing wasn't all that great. I was reminded of the Little Engine That Could… Cry Uncle just kept chugging along. It wasn't too slow, but wasn't lighting fast either. About average I guess, but I prefer slightly faster.

Anyway! Overall, I was happy with Cry Uncle. I enjoyed Pam and Joe immensely and while some things bothered me, I didn't feel they ruined the story at all. Even though it was a free ebook, I would have still payed. It's a keeper. I recommend it to anyone looking for a decent escape read, full of tender, sweet, and cutesy funny moments.


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