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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

You Don’t Have to Cook in the Clink by Jennifer Catlett

You Don’t Have to Cook in the Clink by Jennifer Catlett
Publisher: Lyrical Press
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Short Story (133 pgs)
Heat Level: sweet
Rating: 4 books
Reviewed by Freesia

Two lives. Two men. Too little time.

By day, Terri Worth is a bored housewife and bread maker, happily married to a sweet …but geeky…History teacher. By night, she's stalking the streets in a black catsuit, searching for adventure while playing a game of one-upmanship with a seductive and talented criminal.

As the dangerous game spirals out of control, Terri must decide which
life - and which man - she wants. Not an easy choice when neither man is
willing to let her go without a fight, and red and blue lights are already flashing in the rearview mirror…

Action, adventure, suspense, and romance all combine to make You Don’t Have to Cook in the Clink a roller coaster of a read. Following the antics of frustrated housewife/baker Terri Worth, who seeks adventure by night as an avenging angel cat burglar, leads the reader to wish for her kind of capers...almost.

Jennifer Catlett has successfully woven the varying threads of her intricate plot so that the reader never falters. Her characters, especially Terri, are well developed. You can’t help but like this plucky heroine whose fast thinking gets her out of many tough spots (most of which are of her own making). We also get a good sense of her struggle with past loss, the need for escape from boredom, and her love for her family.

The villain of the piece, Chris Scarlotti, is equally well drawn. A mixture of hunky charm and criminal malice, he is a rival love interest for Terri, who is flattered at his attentions to her less than super model appearance. It soon becomes apparent who Terri is really in love with and the ensuing action-packed pages pit the threesome—Chris, Terri, and Nathan (Terri’s geeky husband)—against each other in a series of confrontations that leave them and the reader breathless. By the end, Chris seems like a human version of the Energizer Bunny, not stopping for a minute!

The one thing that threw me a curve, though, was the title of the book. You Don’t Have to Cook in the Clink sounded to me like a romantic comedy. It is far from it—but in a good way. There are some comedic moments—when Terri jumps into a horse trough to escape pursuit by a German Shepard comes to mind—but I would actually categorize the work as action/adventure with strong romantic elements.

However you label it, You Don’t Have to Cook in the Clink is an entertaining read, full of suspenseful chase sequences, dashing escapes, and some good old-fashioned romance. If you pick this book up, hold onto you hat—it’s one wild ride.