Review - MONKEY BUSINESS, Kathryn Ledson
Romance only appears to work for me when it includes a hefty dose of comedy. Having enjoyed the first book in this series - ROUGH DIAMOND - it felt like no trial to be back in the company of Erica Jewell. Probably because she's just ever so slightly bats (in a good way), brave (in a bats way) and free spirited (in the only possible way).
For those that haven't read the first book, Jack Jones is the love / lust interest in these stories, although the relationship status is incredibly vague, to say nothing of the work status. Jewell works for the company of a man who funds the vigilante activities of Jones' crack team. Who in this case have headed off an a clandestine mission in the tropics, only to effectively disappear. Which sends Jewell off on a particularly knee jerk rescue mission, via Darwin and a trip to the hairdressers, with only the able assistance of a dodgy taxi driver.
If you're looking for sensible, well rounded believable plots then that door is off to your left somewhere. MONKEY BUSINESS is nothing if not a bit odd. Even the biggest fan of Ledson's characters would be hard pressed to suggest that Jewell has much of a plan on how she's going to execute this particular mission, and there are points where it's significantly more about good luck than even the slightest hint of management. If you don't have an allergy to anything slightly madcap than MONKEY BUSINESS definitely delivers on the fun. And a bit of steamy longing, lust, romance, jealousy and the occasional bare-chested gorgeous hero.
And besides, who knew Tupperware was a high value black market item. Even made ME regret the occasional Tupperware party back in the 70's and 80's that I missed due to that pesky bout of Ebola, or hair-washing or having my leg chopped off...
Definitely a book for those looking for a bit of escapist reading, MONKEY BUSINESS made me laugh. Sure, it might have a plot that's a bit dodgy at points, but there's nothing at all dodgy about Erica Jewell. She's an all-Australian hero, with a mad mum, a very cute cat and an inspirationally delusional denial system.
ps - Being Kathryn's website manager meant that I was lucky enough to get a no obligations / no guarantees copy of Monkey Business. The above is my own opinion, and Kathryn won't even know I've had one until she's read this (if she does :) )
Erica Jewell thinks being a part-time vigilante is stressful enough without the added pressures of a demanding day job, annoying family and bossy cat. Now her mysterious lover has vanished on some clandestine mission, without leaving a forwarding address. Erica reckons that’s pretty typical of hired gun Jack Jones – he’d rather risk his life than his heart.
Then Erica discovers with a shock that Jack is M.I.A. on the jungle-infested island of Saint Sebastian. When no one seems willing to help find Jack or even acknowledge his existence, Erica knows she’s his only chance. But negotiating her way around lawless and sweltering Sebastian, where monkey business abounds, proves far more dangerous than she expected.
Fast-paced, funny and totally engaging, Monkey Business blends humour, adventure and romance in an irresistible summer read.