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Friday, July 15, 2011

The Big, Bad … Riding Hood Tales by Nina S. Gooden

The Big, Bad … Riding Hood Tales by Nina S. Gooden
Book 1
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (82 pgs)
Heat Level: hot
Rating: 3.5 books
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

What’s a girl to do when her daily delivery ends in a vortex of passion and gunfire?

All Roux wanted was to bring Grandma her goodies and get out of there before the old lady planted a slug in her back. Unfortunately, her simple routine gets blown sky high when she stumbles onto a crime scene. To make matters worse, the only suspect is a very hunky and very naked Wolf who has decided to claim her as his mate.

Aldrich may be the most overbearing man Roux has ever met, but something about him warms her heart. No one who touches her as gently as he does could be a cold-blooded killer. Roux is determined to prove that, but the closer she gets to the truth the more she’ll wish she hadn’t. There are secrets in the town of Harmony, secrets that could tear her world apart.

This is a nice twist where the heroine and the wolf have a relationship on a whole new level.

Even though this tale is based on Little Red Riding Hood, I definitely caught nuances to Cinderella.

Roux is the quintessential good girl who helps everyone and who only wants to be loved and accepted by those she loves. For the most part she gets her wish, and it’s her very being that saves her life. But her life isn’t what she thought. In fact, one of her fondest memories ends up being a travesty because what a reader discovers later in the book truly shrivels the heart. At one point I felt bad for her and at other times I wanted to shake the heroine and make her wake up. Her life wasn’t normal but a person sees what they want to see and when they are desperate for recognition and affection, will rationalize anything. Good thing her best friend and cool secondary character, Mina, had a clear view of things.

Aldrich was a surprise. Oh my. His character was pretty set on what he wanted and what he had to do to obtain it from the moment he opened his intriguing eyes. I kind of liked his selflessness even though it was balanced with his need to have his own way, any way he wanted, and what he wanted was Roux. Those were pretty hot encounters to rival a chili pepper. I enjoyed Aldrich a lot.

I was a bit perplexed on how easily Roux got carried away with passion after her discovery of Grandma. I was also a bit annoyed with her because she turned into a Fay Wray type character. Aldrich deserved better. I am glad to report that Roux does eventually find a spine and uses it to stand up to the bad guy. I have to admit that Ms. Gooden did a great job on the villain. He was a total whack job and he creeped me out. I rubbed my hands with glee when I read Roux’s suggestion for his punishment. Oh, yes, the heroine has an inner vixen and she flexed her little claws. I liked that. I think the funniest moment in the entire story was when Roux made a big plant turn colors. I laughed out loud at that part.

I enjoyed Mina and her brother, Ulric, and the Hunters were a good dramatic touch. The editing was clean and the writing was entertaining with a nice romantic wrap up at the end.

The Big Bad is a quick, entertaining romance with a unique and spicy twist on the tale of Red Riding Hood that we grew up with. I enjoyed how the author brought it up into the contemporary time period and the role of the red cape. And since roux means red in French, I had to smile at the author’s cleverness. This is a cute book that I’m glad I spent time with. It had its moments of genius and it was a delightful experience.