Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Book Review: One Red Shoe by Diane Burton

If I could describe my week in one word, it would most definitely be LATE. Late getting up (daylight savings), late on day job deadlines, late sending my prize packages to the blog hop winners, and now, late on posting my next review! But oh, my goodness, I promise you this book was worth the wait.

Book: One Red Shoe
Author: Diane Burton
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press, Inc.
Genre: Romantic Suspense 
Rating:  [  [  [  [  [   (5 out of 5 hearts!)

About the Book:
Wannabe writer rescues wounded spy while risking her heart.

Daria Mason’s life is too predictable. Nothing ever happens in her small Iowa town where everybody knows everybody else. But when she travels to New York City looking for a little excitement, she never expects to bring home a wounded spy.

From the moment agent Sam Jozwiak steals intel vital to US security from a Russian Mafia kingpin, Murphy’s Law takes over. No matter how he covers his tracks, the kingpin’s assassins find him. What’s worse than getting shot in the butt? Accepting help from an Iowa tourist.

Sam and Daria flee cross country with the assassins right behind them. Sharing danger and excitement—and a few kisses—with Sam soon has Daria convinced he’s the man for her. He thinks she’ll be better off once he’s out of her life for good. With their lives on the line, can she convince him they belong together?

My Thoughts:
Holy moly, I loved this book. Like, seriously loved it. I hope I don't sound too gushy and effusive here, but for me, there was no downside to One Red Shoe
Diane Burton did the nearly-impossible and created a realistically naive main female protagonist who was likable and engaging. Now, don't confuse "naive" with "dingbat," because our main character, Daria, is sharp as a tack and makes your average Girl Scout look like a fumbling, unprepared, hot mess. Daria just hasn't gotten out much, is all. And Sam, our male protagonist, is just as appealing, but in a completely different, uber sexy, hard-nosed way, and the sparks that fly between these two opposites are fantastic.  

These two work so well together. I mean, Sam is a spy on the run from the Russian Mafia and Daria is a teacher and writer from Iowa whose idea of going crazy is buying a sweet lot of vintage Nancy Drew books. Doesn't sound like it would work, right? But who better to have by his side when he gets shot in the butt than a cool, levelheaded woman with a First Aid kit, a cooler and water stashed in the trunk of her sensible brown Buick? I don't want this pair to sound trite, because the match-up is anything but, but Daria's honesty, openness and sweetness is a perfect foil for Sam's more jaded, world-weary outlook. 

I also think its great that Daria channels her book heroine, Alexa, when she needs a little extra bravery. I might need to try that. Alexa sounds pretty kick-ass.

So, take these two awesome, loveable characters, and throw in some action. Like fast-paced, super suspenseful, run-for-your life action. But mixed in perfectly with that action, like the bubbles in a gin and tonic, is humor. Sometimes farcical (oh, Ivan, how I love you), but never ridiculous, this book strikes the perfect balance of comedy, intrigue, steamy attraction and adventure. Think Romancing the Stone or True Lies--there's no shmaltz here, just pure, enjoyable writing. If One Red Shoe were a movie, my husband would watch it with me and get a huge kick out of it. 

This probably goes without saying, but I wholeheartedly recommend One Red Shoe to any romance reader who loves action and adventure along with their spice. For Diane, this is a foray outside of her usual sci-fi genre. I'm not as big of a reader of sci-fi romance, but if this book is any indicator of Diane's talent and voice, I'm going to enjoy her other novels just as much. I'm thinking Switched, next.

About the Author:
Diane Burton combines her love of mystery, adventure, science fiction and romance into writing romantic fiction. Besides the science fiction romance Switched series, she is the author of The Pilot, the first book in a series about strong women on the frontier of space. One Red Shoe is her first romantic suspense. She is also a contributor to the anthology How I Met My Husband. Diane and her husband live in Michigan. They have two children and two grandchildren.

Connect with Diane Burton: 
Diane's Website
Twitter @dmburton72
Goodreads Author Page

Buy the Book:
Have a Kindle? Buy One Red Shoe through Amazon. Available in all formats, including print, January 2014.

Disclaimer: I received a free digital copy of One Red Shoe in exchange for a fair and impartial review.

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