Tangled Roots
by Giselle Renarde, contemporary (2008)
eXcessica, $3.99, ISBN N/A


I learn a few new things while reading Giselle Renarde's erotic contemporary romance Tangled Roots. For example, I can use the word "incurvate" to describe a man's tumescent penis. That's cool - I love a story that helps me expand my vocabulary. Really. I'm not being facetious... yet. I also learn that a woman can spew "clover juice" all over a man when she's having a most intense orgasm. That's the first time I come across that phrase being used in that manner. How timely - my doctor has just recently suggested that I may want to try taking clover juice at my age. I have better ask whether I should opt for carrot juice instead.

Ms Renarde starts out by making her heroine Simone a complete bitch that I have no idea how I am supposed to even warm up to her a little. I generally find cold-hearted heroines a refreshing change from the usual crop of democratic and selfless romance heroines out there, but Simone is unnecessarily really nasty and confrontational to everybody she meets. It's not a "romance heroine" thing - I won't be able to warm up to Simone even if she's written as the romance hero.

Simone decides to sell off her family cottage since she needs the money, what with having no job and all. I wonder whether she lost her job because she kicked one baby too many at the workplace. Still, she decides to visit the cottage one more time before she washes her hands off it. It is there that she meets Moses, the man who has recently moved in next door, and I'm sure you know where they will go from there.

Ms Renarde tries to make Simone more sympathetic by highlighting how being Native American caused Simone to experience unpleasant bigotry and what not in the past, but it is really hard not to wonder whether a huge dose of sedatives will be more useful to calm Simone down. She is so unnecessarily abrasive throughout way too much of the story to the point that she's like some kind of constantly yapping chihuahua in a cartoon. I have no idea, as a result, what Moses sees in this woman.

The author has made a pretty big miscalculation with the heroine, I think. There is only so much that a sad past can make up for the heroine's present behavior, after all. The ridiculously prickly heroine along with the occasional "Huh? Come again?" phrases in the love scenes (see: clover juice) make Tangled Roots a missed opportunity of sorts. The prologue is unexpectedly well written, if ended way too abruptly, and I will always be disappointed that the rest of the story never matches up to it. If you enjoy reading interracial romances with the heat level turned up a few notches, you may like this one... provided that you can overlook the heroine's antagonistic nature.

Rating: 53


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