REVIEW Tool Belt Defender by Carla Cassidy

14 Jan

This book was a copy provided by the NetGalley for an honest review. After being drawn in by the catchy title, sexy cover, and reading the blurb I desperately wanted to like it. It’s a romance, it’s a light, easy read. What’s not to like?

The story is “No Strings Attached'” meets “Friends with Benefits.” Beautiful troubled girl Brittany Grayson meets sexy, hunky guy with baggage, Alex Crawford. They both have many reasons why they shouldn’t be together.

Brittany is a kidnapping and abuse victim, having survived four months of mental torture, yet her actions are many times at war with this past. She’s a former deputy but I didn’t feel that her vocabulary or actions give much support to her having had this career. A few instances are: she lets Alex go out to check the windows to see if someone came inside her home, she calls her brother (true, he was the town’s sheriff) instead of 9-1-1 when she sees someone outside her kitchen window, and she gives up her gun in response to the kidnapping. This last seems particularly at odds with both her previous career and with her kidnapping. To me, someone that has been a victim–no matter what type of abuse–would likely not give up something that makes them feel in control, or at least gives a feeling of protection. Throughout her journey a masked face appears outside her window, or random creepy messages appear and disappear from her house, but unfortunately fail to create the kind of intensity needed to make me fear for her life.

As a result of the kidnapping, Brittany is described as someone more insightful, more mature, stronger than before. Her behavior–staying in her home, watching TV, or watching Alex, the guy she hired to build a deck behind her house–doesn’t show enough of the change. She also spends too much time networking with strangers on the internet, which seems odd for not only a former deputy, but for a victim of a violent crime.

I felt there was too much time spent on explaining why Brittany and Alex shouldn’t be together rather than giving the reader reasons why they should. I might have been more invested in their relationship if I’d been given more of that.

I applaud Ms. Cassidy’s effort to write this story, for which I give 3 stars because I believe in her and would like to reward her obviously hard work. I look forward to seeing her future efforts as she continues to improve with her writing.

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