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Goat Heads and Sand Burrs, P. Kirby's Reading Blog

The good, bad, and fugly books I've read.
Now You See Her - Linda Howard Goodreads asks, "Are you sure you want to mark this book as read?" and I respond, "Oh, sweet Jesus, yes, finally."

Now You See Her bears a strikingly similarity to Twilight. Not because there is a disco ball sparkly vampire anywhere in sight, but instead, because, like Twilight, the voice is engaging, that of a natural story teller, and it kept me reading long after I'd lost any interest in the characters.

Also, like Twilight, it features a "Rich, powerful male sweeps into the heroine's life, saving her from monsters/murderers/laundry/bad hair/banality" story line. Because, apparently, us chicks dig being saved from...real life. Hey. I get the appeal. There are definitely days when all I want is a wealthy, dangerous, mysterious, hunky man of mystery who will sweep into my life, make crazy love to me, arrange for weekly maid service, and buy me a Mini Cooper. ('Cept my husband might object a smidge to the idea.)

Paris Sweeney, an artist, has a problem. A couple years ago she started seeing ghosts. Which, in a world where no one else converses with the dearly departed, is a skill that makes for awkward moments. Because she lived in a small town where she often knew the restless dead, Sweeney (she hates her first name), relocated to New York, where she knows no one, including the dead. Then she started acquiring other abilities, including a knack for knowing the questions/answers on Jeopardy, keeping houseplants alive, and making streetlights green. If it were me, the first thing I'd do is start buying lottery tickets, but Sweeney goes on with life as usual, painting and being socially inept. For the record, I like that Sweeney has no filter on her mouth and says whatever is on her mind.

At the gallery where she shows her work, she meets Richard Worth, soon-to-be ex-husband of the gallery owner Candra. And...it's lust at first sight for both Sweeney and Richard. Richard, of course, is obscenely rich, a former Army Rancher(love that typo) Ranger (he couldn't just be an accountant or an engineer), and instantly smitten with Sweeney. I don't know why. Maybe it's her curly hair. Apparently she has long curly hair like Merida from Brave.

Stuff gets more complicated when Sweeney develops a new ability: she paints murder scenes while sleep walking. I guess it's "sleep painting" but, anyway, the morning after illustrating the morbid, she gets horribly cold. This is where things got annoying. Pages and pages of text are devoted to Sweeney's desperate attempts to warm-up: she cranks up the thermostat, piles on the blankets, devours hot coffee. But she's cold...so cold.

And...I'm bored. I get more bored when Richard conveniently arrives on her doorstep and warms her up with naked snuggling. And they haven't even gotten to the actual sexing yet. ZZZZzzzzzz.

I don't know what Sweeney sees in Richard since he's a paint-by-numbers, two-dimensional, he-man. No apparent wit; no personality; just a pulse and a big...wallet. Since most of the story is devoted to his and Sweeney's love story, skimming did ensue. A lot.

The story disintegrates toward the last third when Sweeney does something that seems utterly moronic.

She has a half-finished painting of a crime sitting sitting in plain view in her studio. And this isn't random stranger on the street, but rather the deceased depicted in the painting is someone Sweeney knows. Technically, Sweeney could be considered a suspect in the murder.

If I had painted a freaky death scene and knew that at any moment the cops might come snooping around, I'd make sure that thing was covered and hidden in a closet.

The novel ends with an epilogue whose sole purpose is to explain, poorly, why Sweeney has psychic abilities.

One of the worst, easy-to-read, "I can't believe I didn't DNF this sucker" books I've read in a looong time. Two stars for its perverse entertainment value.