When I was a teenager I used to stay up really late on Saturday nights to watch a show called “Cheaters.” Girlfriends, boyfriends, fiance’s, and spouses would hire this private detective (whose name I honestly can’t remember right now) to follow their loved one. “Convince me that he’s not cheating on me” they would say only to be told 30 minutes later, “Sorry ma’am your mans a dog! Ruff Ruff!” SURPRISE!
Needless to say I was never fully convinced that these “take-downs” where 100% spontaneous (not that it mattered all that much) but now…being the much older, (and I would like to think marginally more intelligent) person that I am, I have decided that yes… these crazy, “I’m-going-to-confront-you-on-late-night-TV” melodramas do actually happen.
When I first picked up “Excuse Me, Miss” by Phillip Thomas Duck, “Cheater’s” is the first thing that popped into my mind. (I had a time warp moment… it was a little scary.)
Victoria (or “V” as her “savior-boss” affectionately addresses her) is a “Sexy Decoy.” What is that exactly? Well, let’s just say that you think your hubby is shagging his secretary… instead of performing your own home-grown lame version of Sherlock Holmes, (reading text messages while he’s in the shower, or wearing a lame red wig and hiding behind a bush) you can just hire V to hit on him. Perfect right? Not so much. On paper the idea is brilliant, but when V’s emotional past starts to rear its ugly head, she suddenly realizes she’s not just lying to the men she’s sent to catch… she’s lying to herself as well. Will Victoria burn herself in the process of burning someone else… or will help arrive just in time to stop her from self destructing?
When I started reading EMM my thoughts were, “Wow! This is kinda cool… fun… sassy” and then, all of a sudden it wasn’t. I was not expecting the dramatic, and pragmatic turn that popped up in the 2nd half of this novel, but that’s not to say it wasn’t well received. Duck’s writing was a tad elementary in the first several chapters, (over using names, and awkward dialogue) but by the time to novel took it’s turn, so did its fluidity. Chalk it up to the change in structure (conversational to reflective) or even throw out the standby “author found his niche” cliche’, (it really doesn’t matter,) what matters is that it got better the longer I read. I think the plot was a tad bumpy in places (specifically when detailing her past) and I could have used a little more insight into her “love interest” but, what the hey… I got what I needed and that’s what matters. Let’s just see if Duck can hold onto his groove for any future pieces.
Let’s put this one into the decent summer read column. Fun, sometimes deep, and easy to read.
Happy reading my fellow Kindle-ites and remember: If a guy in a green tweed jacket ever approaches you at 2 in the morning and says he “just wants to talk” keep in mind that that is code for… your woman is about to bitch slap you.
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