Almost a Lady

Callie’s Convict

Cinnamon & Roses

A Promise of Roses

Walker's Widow


Tangled Up In Love
by Heidi Betts
(St. Martin’s, $6.99, R) ISBN 0-312-94671-6
Ronnie Chasen hates Dylan Stone, her rival columnist who beat her out of a job at the Cleveland Herald. She now works at the Cleveland Sentinel, and uses her column to challenge Dylan every second month; they have dared each other to do a myriad of crazy things, from Ronnie getting a tattoo to Dylan having his legs waxed. In Tangled Up In Love, they insult, taunt and challenge one another at every turn. They also have friends in common, and run into each other at The Penalty Box, the bar they hang out at. 

Dylan is fascinated by Ronnie. She’s prickly, funny, competitive, sexy, and completely immune to his charms. Then Ronnie challenges Dylan to learn how to knit, and he’s forced to join her knitting group after several unsuccessful attempts to learn to knit on his own. 

Eventually, Dylan offers Ronnie $1000 in exchange for private knitting lessons and she agrees.  Ronnie starts to see a new side to Dylan, a kind, sweet side that she didn’t want to know existed.  When Dylan learns that Ronnie is terrified of losing her job and going back to the impoverished lifestyle that she grew up in, he offers her comfort, advice and support. Ronnie is stunned. When their time alone heats up and their hate-based relationship turns to lust, Ronnie becomes even more confused.

Dylan is a great lover; he makes Ronnie laugh but he’s a little too tender and considerate to have a short-term affair with. Unfortunately, they have been very public enemies for so long, Ronnie really doesn’t feel like she can confide in anyone about her change of heart, and her closest girlfriends that she mentions her conflicted feelings to aren’t much help.

As for Dylan, he’s managed to melt the ice princess he’s fantasized about for so long while learning to knit, and he’s starting to believe the impossible just might work out…

Tangled Up In Love is sexy, witty, and surprisingly deep. Ronnie’s polished façade quickly gives way in the story, letting the reader become deeply acquainted with her and this lends understanding to her prickly ways. Her professional career, sophisticated friends and gorgeous clothes are a useful veneer for her less-than-perfect, fearful, self-doubting ways. The nice thing is that Ronnie is honest with herself about her faults, and she isn’t a downer.

Dylan is refreshing - a handsome, successful guy who’s used to getting his way, until he met Ronnie. He isn’t used to being shut down personally and professionally and their feud has really affected the way he looks at himself-positively…which helps him to be the kind, caring man that Ronnie never thought was underneath his image.

I found the challenges, and the taunting between Ronnie and Dylan really interesting and funny at first, a great jump start to the book. As it went on though, especially after they started getting better acquainted, I found Ronnie to be too harsh and I wondered why Dylan was sticking around. The reader knows more about Ronnie than Dylan does, and you try to cheer for her, but it’s hard when she’s spitting like a viper at a man who’s only trying to help her.

It also seemed that the emotional connection between Ronnie and Dylan was sort of superimposed over their lovemaking - more of an assumed connection than a real one. Was the romance hot?  Yessss…  Does that necessarily make a perfect couple?  No. And sometimes, that lack of connection can make an otherwise fabulous couple, just a good one.

--Amy Wroblewsky 

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