BOOK REVIEW: Tangled by Emma Chase

 TangledTANGLED (TANGLED SERIES #1)
by Emma Chase
Publisher: Gallery Books
Publication Date: 20th May 2013
Format: Paperback (254 pages)
Source: OWN COPY

Drew Evans is a winner. Handsome and arrogant, he makes multimillion dollar business deals and seduces New York’s most beautiful women with just a smile. He has loyal friends and an indulgent family. So why has he been shuttered in his apartment for seven days, miserable and depressed?

He’ll tell you he has the flu….But we all know that’s not really true.

Katherine Brooks is brilliant, beautiful and ambitious. She refuses to let anything – or anyone – derail her path to success. When Kate is hired as the new associate at Drew’s father’s investment banking firm, every aspect of the dashing playboy’s life is thrown into a tailspin. The professional competition she brings is unnerving, his attraction to her is distracting, his failure to entice her into his bed is exasperating.

Then, just when Drew is on the cusp of having everything he wants, his overblown confidence threatens to ruin it all. Will he be able untangle his feelings of lust and tenderness, frustration and fulfillment? Will he rise to the most important challenge of his life? Can Drew Evans win at love? (Goodreads)

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Tangled was that rare read, where the author finds a unique slant on the Contemporary Romance Novel. Rather than take the point of view from the heroine of the story, Chase chooses to show the reader the other side of the tale. Through the womanising, man-whore lead, Drew, we are given the literary equivalent of the movie “What Women Want”, minus our hero gaining the gift/curse of reading women’s minds and Mel Gibson.

The plot of the book is very simple. It is the rehabilitation of a man-boy (our main man, Drew Evans). From someone who lives his life through a series of one night stands, Drew becomes the type of guy you would consider having a long term relationship. The catalyst to this drastic change in Drew is down to Katherine Brooks.

So why is Katherine so off limits to Drew? It isn’t because that she is engaged to her teenage sweetheart. No, after attempting to seduce her in a bar on of his usual Saturday night hunts, Drew finds out that she is in fact a new employee at the firm his father is a partner in and that Drew works. Her status as a co-worked would have put her on the exempt list, but there is just something about Kate that draws Drew in.

Over the course of the book we see Drew’s interest in Kate go from lust, competition, admiration, to finally that other “L” word…..Love. Being the typical alpha male, he doesn’t realise this till it is almost too late, but it wouldn’t be a romance book if you didn’t get a happy ever after. In these types of books, it is more about HOW the characters get together, rather than the fact that the couple do get together.

Since this book is written in the First Person Point of view, you really only get a good idea of the main character. Ususally this would bother me as I end up wanting to find out more about the other characters, especially the main characters love interest. In the case of Tangled, I found that I didn’t really need this. Through the other characters interactions with Drew, I was given enough to build a picture of them. They are all secondary to Drew, as this is his book.

Now Drew isn’t an instantly likeable character and even towards the end of the book I didn’t find myself reacting in the usual way, where I was cheering Drew on in his attempts to win Kate over. (As with “Real Men”, Drew really puts his foot in it with Kate). It his flaws that make him a well-rounded character and by the end of the book he hasn’t had a complete personality transplant to the point that he is unrecognisable.

Drew has all the characteristics of a male chauvinist pig, who does see women as nothing but a distraction. However it is only when we see how a potential client propositions Kate in order for them to win his custom, do we see that though Drew has his faults, he would not stoop to such blatant sexual harassment. In fact, he steps up and basically sacrifices one of the biggest accounts his company has had in its history.

It is true that Drew comes across as a hound-dog and is unapologetic about his womanising ways, but it does come over that the women that he does sleep with, could be looking for a simple hook up too. Or at least it does seem that way to me. It doesn’t excuse Drew’s behaviour, but it does provide an interesting counter argument. I began to wonder if Drew would have pursued Kate as aggressively if Kate had slept with him that first night that they had met. Was it the thrill of the chase that really turned him on? Did these other women do themselves no favours by not offering any resistance to Drew’s seduction? It is an interesting point and it did make me think about the book from another angle.

On a lighter note, I did find the it very entertaining watching Drew’s rather OTT attempts at winning Kate over. After “swotting” up on all the classic Chick Flick movies, Drew goes above the call of duty by hiring a three piece band to serenade Kate with 80’s songs, through the office, sending her flowers every hour, on the hour and even hiring a sky writer, in an effort to show how much he is sorry and that he wants her back. With each gesture, I found myself laughing out loud and shaking my head, knowing that his attempts are futile. Naturally, it is Drew’s adorable niece Madeline that manages to change Kate’s mind in a way only a child can.

VERDICT:
Overall, Tangled really was an enjoyable read that had the type of hero where one minute you swoon at his sexy prowess and the next minute you feel like smacking him with a rolled up paper on the nose… or the ding dong.

The juxtaposition between Drew, the loving family man and Drew, the womanising hound-dog just backs how he is more than the stereotypical alpha male the cover suggests.

Chase has a very unique voice and writing style. So if you are becoming bored with the numerous 50 Shades style books, then I suggest taking a shot on this book.

RATING:
4 star

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EMMA CHASE ONLINE
WEBSITE | GOODREADS | FACEBOOK | TWITTER( @emmachse )

BUY LINKS
AMAZON UK | AMAZON USA | WATERSTONES | BOOK DEPOSITORY

BOOKS IN SERIES ORDER
1 Tangled
1.5 Holy Frigging Matrimony
2 Twisted

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