Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Review: Femme Fatale by Cindy Dees

I have all of the Brazen books by Entangled and I can honestly say that they've all been at least 4-star books, though most would get 5-star ratings. Femme Fatale, however, failed to deliver the quality of writing I've come to expect from the Brazen series. There's always an element of fantasy in these books but the believability factor in Femme Fatale was nonexistent.

The story is about an actress trying to reinvent her squeaky clean image in the hopes of becoming Hollywood's next Femme Fatale. Olivia Harper spent years working on a family-friendly television show and is in the process of reinventing herself into a bad-ass action star with sex appeal. Despite being in her late 20s, Olivia has little experience in the romance department and decides to remedy this by propositioning the toughened marine turned military film consultant, Blake Ramsey. Despite being recently burned by his double agent girlfriend, Blake is only too happy to improve Olivia's sexual prowess.

The concept of inexperienced girl seeking sexual lessons to serve a specific purpose (learning how to be a femme fatale, in this case), has been done before by Brazen, albeit more successfully. Private Practice by Samantha Beck and Seducing Cinderella by Gina L. Maxwell are two such instances.

Each character wasn't just a stereotype, but an exaggerated version of whatever role assigned to them by the author. Being a film fanatic, I have been waiting for one of these series to tackle Hollywood, but this was a major letdown. There are a lot of loose ends that get tied up with the simplest of explanations, ensuring that the path to a HEA is cleared of any possible obstacle.. For example, we're supposed to believe that a marine is on the run from the Russians, who are supposedly searching for him to retaliate for the capture of their agent. The threat doesn't seem too serious if a dye job and contacts can magically transform him into a person indistinguishable by master criminals.

Everything seemed too easy - there was no real conflict. I kept expecting the heroine to get kidnapped or the hero to get shot. Something exciting seemed always to be on the precipice, but I was constantly let down in this aspect. The most they have to deal with is damage control over an incredibly immature costar who deserves to be put in jail for several offenses. No one seems to take his actions seriously, though, excusing his actions because he is drunk and/or emasculated. I feel like this lack of following through is a recurring theme in the story. Overall, the story was fine. The plot could've been further developed to give a bit of credibility to the unlikely situation.

Rating: 3 stars

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