Pros: Entertaining book with returning characters.
Cons: Mystery and suspense could have been stronger.
I first started reading Linda Howard’s books many years ago. I really enjoy her books and pick up her new books when they are released. In 2004, she released To Die For, a book that was a little different from her usual books. In November of 2006, a sequel called Drop Dead Gorgeous was released.
I want to briefly discuss To Die Fo since the same main characters returned in Drop Dead Gorgeous. There would be some spoilers in this book if To Die For wasn’t read first.
Blair Mallory was a former cheerleader that owned a successful gym. She witnessed the murder of a woman that happened to look a lot like her late one night. Wyatt Bloodsworth was a police detective that was working on the case. He and Blair had a history so she wasn’t happy he was involved. They restarted their relationship while someone tried to kill Blair.
Blair was trying to figure out a date for the wedding when Wyatt finally said if she couldn’t get it planned in a month, he was taking her off to elope. Blair didn’t want that to happen so she got busy, heading off to look for a dress after work. On the way to her car, someone almost ran her over. Blair was determined to get the wedding planned even though she was still recovering. She received a few strange phone calls and believed someone had been following her. She was more upset when Wyatt doubted her. That changed when Blair survived yet another attempt on her life.
Drop Dead Gorgeous picked up a few months after To Die For ended. A few things that happened in the first book were mentioned a few times without a lot of details being shared about them. Readers could be confused about some things if they haven’t already read the first book. I do think certain things would make more sense and the characters would be more developed if the books were read in order. This book was written in the first person point of view, like the first book, and one of Howard’s more light hearted books.
Linda Howard has mainly written romantic suspense books. She did start off writing books for Silhouette. Some of those books had hints of mystery in them as well. Eventually she moved on to writing longer books that had more mystery and suspense in them. Some of her books have had more suspense and stronger mysteries than others. Several scenes in Drop Dead Gorgeous included suspense and there was a bit of mystery in the book related to who was after Blair. The mystery wasn’t one of the stronger ones Howard has created, though I did still enjoy it. Something happened fairly early in the book that I gave me an idea on the resolution. I ended up being right about that even though I wasn’t sure of something else. There were still a few surprises in the book.
Blair and Wyatt’s relationship had been firmly established in the first book. They were still adjusting to the relationship and figuring out how to deal with a few things even though they were engaged. They did clash over things, like Wyatt’s way of doing what he felt was necessary to keep her safe. Blair was spending a lot of her time working on planning the wedding, so a lot of those details were brought up. The wedding stuff didn’t over take the other aspects of the book. The relationship was important even though there really wasn’t a lot romance in the book. There were only a few sex scenes between Blair and Wyatt. That could disappoint some of Howard’s fans since she has tended to have more descriptive sex scenes in most of her other books.
I really liked Blair and Wyatt in To Die For, so I was very happy when I found out that they would be featured in another book. I hadn’t expected them to be in another book after I read the first one since Howard really hasn’t done that before. She had former main characters return as supporting characters briefly in books before, but this was the first time she’s ever written a second book with the same main characters. I still liked Blair and Wyatt in this book and I would love if Howard decided to do a third book with them sometime. I think it would be very interesting to read more about them further into their relationship.
Drop Dead Gorgeous was written from Blair’s perspective, so everything was colored by her thoughts and feelings. That did help to make her a fuller and more developed character. Blair had a very unique thought process and she went off on tangents at times when she was talking about something. Some of the things that Blair thought or said were very funny and had me laughing many times. In the acknowledgments for the book, Howard said that friends and family actually said a lot of things that Blair said or thought. Blair was smart but she did say and do some wacky things a few times. She didn’t always think things through as much as she should have before acting.
None of the other characters were as developed as Blair was. Wyatt was a main character and very important to what was going on. There wasn’t as much focus on him as there was on Blair. That’s normal when a book is written from the perspective of one character. He was still well developed, though I would have liked it if he had been featured a bit more. Blair’s family and Wyatt’s mom were briefly around in a few scenes. Blair’s mom and sisters were featured slightly more than the others. Lynn, the assistant manager of the gym, only turned up in a couple of scenes. None of those characters were developed very much. That didn’t bother me since they weren’t as important as Blair and Wyatt.
Drop Dead Gorgeous was a very entertaining book that I really enjoyed. It was one of the funnier books that I’ve read in a long time. This is a must read book for people that enjoyed To Die For.
Linda Howard Book Reviews
All The Queen's Men ~ Cover of Night ~ Cry No More ~ Dying to Please ~ Killing Time ~ Kiss Me While I Sleep ~ Mr. Perfect ~ Now You See Her ~ Open Season ~ To Die For ~