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Thursday, January 22, 2009

Nutcase by Charlotte Hughes

Nutcase by Charlotte Hughes
Publisher: Jove Books
Heat Level: Sensual
Length: Full
Genre: Contemporary, Comedy
Rating: 5 Books
Review by Camellia

Psychologist Kate Holly is about to get evicted from her office, and her best option may be to share space with her jacuzzi-loving ex-boyfriend, Dr. Thad Glazer. That's not going to help her patch things up with her firefighter ex-husband. With her oddball patients, meddling mother, and eccentric secretary thrown into the mix-not to mention a spree of suspicious fires-will Kate put her life back together or wind up in a padded cell?

A bevy of interesting characters, many of them emotionally challenged, inhabit Dr. Kate Holly’s world. Even she, a clinical psychologist, sees a couple’s counselor trying to reconcile with her ex-husband, Jay, whom she rather accidently divorced.

NUTCASE,a stand-alone sequel to WHAT LOOKS LIKE CRAZY, lives up to expectations. It is humorous, irreverent, and politically incorrect at times with characters saying things that many of us think but would never say aloud.

Charlotte Hughes uses her style of humor, which is never cruel or unsympathetic, to reveal some serious psychological problems that many people must learn to deal with so they can function in our society that isn’t always understanding of mental and emotional challenges that some people face.

Kate’s life, often a comedy of errors, seems destined for a total meltdown at every turn. Some antagonists threaten her with professional ruin while others create life-threatening situations for both her and Jay.

Her fear of Jay being killed in one of the fires he fights clouds her judgment while his fear for her safety with some of her unstable patients nags at him. Both have good reason for their fears, but they both feel their work is important and intend to keep doing it. Consequently, they are at an impasse.

Charlotte Hughes creates a multitude of delightful characters to relieve the stress. Mona, Kate’s unpaid assistant, is a treasure. Dixie and Trixie, Kate’s mother and aunt(the junque dealers), drive Kate to distraction at times but are never failing in their support. Kate’s patients, Jay’s colleagues, and Mike’s the dog who brings a new set of acquaintances into the story make NUTCASE funny and heartwarming.

NUTCASE is good therapy – prescribed for reading to relieve stress.

Surely, Charlotte Hughes will give us more of the life and time of Dr. Kate Holly and her true love Jay, the firefighter. They still have unfinished business.