Friday, February 02, 2007

Gina is my homegirl...

So I've definitely been having a case of the "it's not you, it's me"s (tm KristieJ). I was having trouble getting into a book, not because it's bad, but because it just wasn't fitting my mood. I was looking forward to something grabbing me the way Demon Angel did, but it just wasn't happening. Definitely the January blahs. What to do? I pondered. Aha, time to call on an old standby. Paging Ms. Brockmann.

So I committed a breach of personal protocol, and read Breaking Point, even though I was going out of order. I needed to get some resolution on Max and Gina. I first fell in love with Max and Gina in Over The Edge. Max Bhagat was the unflappable FBI agent and ace hostage negotiator. Gina Vitagliano was the Italian-American college student from East Meadow New, York (right next store to me! Strong Island in the house!) stuck in the cockpit with the terrorists. They communicated via radio, and Max was eventually able to save Gina, but not before she was beaten and gang raped by the terrorists. While Max was forced to listen and watch. Their relationship developed over the course of the books, a mix of animal attraction and deep emotional connection mixed with a large dose of Max's guilt over his "failure" to save her, as well as his weirdness over their almost 20 year age difference. Eventually, Gina has it up to here with Max's shit, and takes off for Africa. Breaking Point begins when Gina's name appears on a list of casualities in a German terrorist attack. Jules Cassidy (He's gay. Did you know he was gay? Well, he is and don't ever forget it.) is the lucky stiff who gets to break the news to Max. And away we go!

Now let me just say, one of my favorite types of romance hero is the uptight, controlled guy who underneath it all seethes with passion. Well, Max takes it a step further. He is eaten up by passion with Gina, but he is thrown into a tailspin by what he perceives as any weakness or failure. In short, he is a mess. As I mentioned before, Max needed some therapy toute suite. What's so bad about a beautiful, intelligent, strong, nubile babe adoring you? Stop it! As for Gina, she's great. I find many of Brockmann's heroines somewhat... emasculating, but Gina's someone I'd hang out with. She's strong and down to earth, and sees through Max's facade to the mess underneath, but adores him anyway. However, she's not a doormat or a martyr, so when she's had enough of Max's crap, Gina decides to cut her losses. We see the deterioration of their relationship through flashbacks, as Max travels to Europe and then to Indonesia
to find out what happened to her. (Spoiler: she's not dead. But I bet you already guessed that).

I enjoyed this one, it definitely had me from the get go. It was interesting, emotional and hot. Although, as per usual for me, my interest in the "action-y" bits started to flag towards the end, so I started to skim to get back to the emotional bits. Max and Gina had as much chemistry as ever, and a very satisfying reunion. And I'll definitely be picking up Out of Control to get the full story on the secondary couple, do-gooder Molly and man-of-many-aliases Grady, because they were hot too. My main complaints were the fact that I started to get bored of the action, that Max and Gina were apart for too long for my tastes and that Max was such an annoying bitch sometimes.

Plus, enough already with Jules. I do live in a blue state and all, but I find it hard to believe that no one can react to Jules without discomfort and homophobia. For God's sake, "Will and Grace" was on for, like, 8 years. They're here, they're queer, aren't some people getting used to it at least? It's just so heavy handed, the way everyone's like, "Yikes, he's gay!" But then they decide he's not so bad after all, even though he's GAY. Love Jules though. Give him a man, already. Actually, I'm reading Hot Target next. I read Suze's dedication to her son, and it made me verklempt. No joke. Keep it up Brockmann, and I'll be your bitch forever. A B for this one.