Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Review: Get a Clue - Jill Shalvis

All in one day, city girl Breanne Mooreland gets left at the altar, takes the flight from hell to her honeymoon--alone--loses her luggage, and ends up snowed in at a Sierra mountains lodge run by the kookiest staff this side of the Addams Family. Oh, and there just happens to be a gorgeous naked man taking a shower in her suite who says he isn't going anywhere. 
Burned-out vice cop Cooper Scott is in serious need of this vacation, and he's not about to give up the only available room during a bad snowstorm just because an upset, okay, make that insane, woman is having a conniption fit. They'll just have to make the best of it--her side of the bed versus his. But when Cooper wakes up kissing the long, leggy Breanne, he has other thoughts. Part of him wants to prove that not all men are scum, and another part of him entirely wants to show her exactly what that honeymoon suite is intended for. But that will have to wait, because a screaming Breanne has just stumbled on a very dead body.

After a recent glut of historical romance I decided that I needed more contemporary passion in my life. After having enjoyed Shalvis's 'Play by Play' series I decided that I would try Get a Clue - it seemed like a nice light read to spend an evening on.

Thinking back on it there were quite a few things that should have tipped me off to the fact that I might not have loved Get a Clue. The protective cop is quite a tradition amongst romance authors, I suppose in some manner he is the contemporary Duke, powerful and authoritative - the jaded cop however, is an entirely different matter. I think that the jaded cop, while adding a bit more personality and dimension to what could be an overly simplistic character, has to be done carefully or you're right back at romantic cliché.

Needless to say, Cooper, in my opinion, isn't a very well rounded and developed character. Cooper is tired, his job has worn him out and his love live has left him weary and disillusioned - which, while I am writing this doesn't sound to bad, but Shalvis failed to make me feel any sympathy for Cooper's plight. Breanne's life is a disaster, after just being left at the alter (for the third time) she decides to head on her romantic honeymoon, alone. Breanne is sold as tough and independent and yet she spends the entire book clueless and scared of her own shadow.

Get a Clue is your average 300 page romance novel, it surprised me therefore that the first third of the book takes place on the first night. In fact, the whole story only spans a long weekend and by the end of it I wanted out of the damn hotel. I'm not a fan of the romance that buds that quickly, it takes some imagination to think of it being substantial and long-lasting.

Get a Clue is cliché after cliché, all the circumstances and catalysts employed by Shalvis seem to be quite amateur. The murder, utilised to bring out Cooper's protective side and enhance his feelings for Breanne, is just thrown in the novel and the conclusion is rushed and entirely too hackneyed. Attempts to spike the heat between Cooper and Breanne are similarly banal with the borrowing of clothes from numerous characters, etc. The humour in the novel didn't strike me at all, in fact I found the recurring joke to be horrifically overdone and entirely devoid of all humour. The supporting characters are so 'kooky' as to be lifeless stereotypes whose stories are not developed enough to make them interesting or worthwhile.

Finally, personally, there was far too much voyeurism in the novel for me. Possibly an attempt at humour from Shalvis, our main characters all too often find themselves in situations where they are hidden witnesses to other character's romantic entanglements. One such moment even manages to completely turn around Cooper's entrenched jaded attitude, if only it were always that easy. While we are on the subject, the HEA of all the supporting cast were also a bit too neat and tidy for me.

Overall Get a Clue was all sex and no substance, instantly forgettable, possibly regrettable. It keep me occupied for an evening but there were far too may eye rolls for it to be a good read. I'm glad that this was a borrowed read and not one I spent any money on, disappointing after the 'Play by Play' series which I did enjoy.


  1. I enjoyed your honest review. I haven't read contemporary romance and I don't want to (and not because of your review!). It's just not what I'm interested in reading right now. I prefer history and historical romance. :) BTW, I think the background wallpaper on your page is lovely as is your blog title!

    1. Hello Maria, glad you enjoyed the review. Don't get me wrong, some contemporary romance is great! Historical romance is a lot of fun thought. The background of my blog is Millie's Wallpaper by Cath Kidston - I love it.