Tuesday 14 August 2018

Book ~ "Hissy Fit" (2004) Mary Kay Andrews

From Goodreads ~ Keeley Murdock's wedding to A. J. Jernigan should have been the social event of the season. But when she catches her fiance doing the deed with her maid of honor at the country club rehearsal dinner, all bets are off. And so is the wedding. Keeley pitches the hissy fit of the century, earning herself instant notoriety in the small town of Madison, Georgia.

Even worse is the financial pressure A.J.'s banking family brings to bear on Keeley's interior design business. But riding to the rescue - in a vintage yellow Cadillac - is the redheaded stranger who's purchased a failing local bra plant. Will Mahoney hires Keeley to redo the derelict antebellum mansion he's bought. Her assignment: decorate it for the woman of his dreams - a woman he's never met.

Only a designing woman like Keeley Murdock can find a way to clear her name and give her cheating varmint of an ex-fiance the comeuppance he so richly deserves. 

Keely is an interior decorator and engaged to marry A.J., the son of a local wealthy banker.  On the night before the wedding, at the rehearsal dinner, Keeley catches A.J. and her maid of honour and best friend doing naked stuff they shouldn't be doing.  Keeley freaks out and needless to say, the wedding is off.   A.J., though, hasn't given up and tries to woo Keeley into going back to him.

In the meantime, Keeley is hired by Will, a rich business owner who has recently purchased a plantation house, and he has a very aggressive schedule.  He wants Keeley to redo the house so it will be the marital of home for him and Stephanie, a lawyer.  Will, though, has never met Stephanie.  He saw her on TV on a telethon and fell in love with her.  By making a large donation, she has agreed to go to dinner with him.  He feels that once she gets to know him and the house, they will live happily ever after.  Seriously?!  I thought he was either very arrogant or very stupid to think this way.  And Stephanie is a lawyer but I thought she came off as very dumb.

On top of of this, there is the story of Jeanine, Keeley's mom, who had run off with one of her dad's employees 25 years ago.  Neither was ever seen or heard from again.  Keeley realizes she may have abandonment issues so decides to find out where her mother is after all these years.

I've read quite a few books by this author and I didn't really like this one.  I found most of the storylines (except for the one about finding Jeanine) absurb.  It is written in first person perspective in Keeley's voice.  As a head's up, there is swearing and adult activity.

I found the author's portrayal of some of the characters questionable.  The two gay men were so stereotypical and it made me wonder whether the author had ever met a gay man before.  There is an Asian woman named Selena and I thought the author's portrayal of her was racist and I cringed a bit.  Keeley seems surprised that Selena has a Southern accent.  And she's also surprised that Selena is making Shrimp Creole and not "some sort of chop suey or stir-fry" for supper.  Later when Keeley and her friend are talking about Selena, her friend wonders whether she knows any "kinky geisha girl tricks ... sort of like that whole Kama Sutra thing".

As I was reading this, I was happy that the author had seemed veer away from her usual style which was girl meets boy, girl and boy get together, something happens to break up girl and boy but they end up together in the end.  The last chapter was disappointing as apparently a happy ending can't happen unless a girl is finally with a boy (this came out of the blue).

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