Protecting Plain Jane: Tripp

My car was really iffy the past week so I couldn’t get to the library. But Wegmans has a book section and Harlequin category romances so my days were not so desolate!

I haven’t read a lot of Harlequin categories. I enjoy the publishing company’s regular paperbacks more while the categories seem light and…this. But since I’ve learned in the past few years that romance novels are not things to be generalized and tossed aside, I figured I wasn’t doing anyone a favor by wholly rejecting the categories either. Some may be silly, but every genre and sub-genre has its very silly stories.

(On a sidenote, I meant to get a cowboy romance because I haven’t read much of those. But all the cowboys were either billionaires or secret princes. Where are the real cowboys?)

Ten years ago prior to the story’s opening, Charlotte Mayweather was kidnapped from her school prom. The daughter of a wealthy man, Charlotte was held hostage and tortured while her captors demanded ransom from her father. Now an adult, Charlotte is a deeply traumatized young woman afraid of strangers, of leaving her home unless it’s to work in the museum vault. Her passion is archaeology but she can’t bring herself to go on an actual dig. The museum (owned by her father) is the best she can do.

It is while she’s there that a man kills her driver and comes to attack her. The men who tortured her years ago are locked away, but this new tormentor seem to know everything about that kidnapping. He seems to know what to do that will terrify her. She calls her friends for help (the police will draw out the paparazzi) and they send SWAT team member Tripp in to save her. After she tries to kill him (thinking he’s the bad guy) and things calm down slightly, he’s fascinated by her.

“I found her. She’s…” Unpredictable. Frightened out of her mind. Unexpectedly charming. “…she’s safe.”

It turns out that the man after Charlotte may be the infamous Rich Girl Killer who killed a friend of her’s and targeted her friend Audrey as well in another book in the series (more on this below).  Tripp and his SWAT team are on the case, with Tripp staying close to Charlotte.

I won’t discuss too much more of the plot because the book is short. I’ll focus on Tripp. Because of the characters and situations I was really afraid that it was going to turn into “Let me solve all your paranoia and anxiety and agoraphobia…with my penis.” That would have killed it for me.

But thank you Julie Miller, you did not do that. Thank you. We have Charlotte at the beginning of the novel already wistful about the carefree girl she once was. She knows that she wants to have that kind of courage again but doesn’t know how.

Tripp is bewildered when he first meets Charlotte (and not just because she and her dog kick his ass in self-defense). He doesn’t know how to handle Charlotte but he is a strong, take-charge sort of a man there to help her through the various panic attacks. He doesn’t have all the answers, not about the demons she’s battling. Or about how attracted he is to her from the get-go (which she doesn’t understand. She was dumped a la Carrie style at the prom the night she was kidnapped). What he does for her is provide an anchor for her and an inspiration to battle her demons.

What was it like to have that kind of confidence about the world? Would she ever be able to reclaim the adventurous spirit she’d had as a child? Before the kidnapping? Before the phobias and therapy and seclusion transformed her into this shadow of the woman she’d once hoped to be?

Charlotte tightened her fingers on the wheel…to keep her anchored to the here and now. To trust Tripp’s word.

I like Tripp. I wouldn’t say he is the most memorable hero but he definitely has his swoony moments. (Any guy who falls hard for the awkward/nerdy girl that hard wins points for me. And their banter is very cute)  When the story is said and done, I didn’t get the sense that Charlotte was miraculously cured of her troubles. They remained with her, but she was taking positive steps to live in the world again with Tripp at her side.

The only thing that bothered me about the story wasn’t really a problem with the story itself. I have read a few romance novels that have tie-ins to others: mentioning other characters/couples featured in a story that isn’t part of a definite series but very related. I’m someone who prefers to read things in order so I like to have the cover say something like “book two in this series.” When that isn’t there, I expect that I don’t need to have read any other books to get the one I’m reading.

There were characters from other novels in Projecting Plain Jane but I got past that since they don’t take over the story. What bothered me is that the story of the Rich Girl Killer was obviously started in another book and was not resolved in this one. There was no list in the actual book at the front or back. When I tried to check the Harlequin site for what books in the series I should read I didn’t find anything. Thankfully, the author’s personal site provided the information I needed but I wish the publisher had given me an indication.

But really that’s the only complaint I’ve ever had about Harlequin. I like them, they have friendly blogs and tweets and are very interested in interacting with their customers. And the book I bought this time was a nice, sweet read even though I wanted Tripp to stop the RGK because that man is pretty awesome in my book.

Breakdown

Appearance: Tall, Dark-haired, Handsome,

Personality: Take-charge, Caring, Understanding

Best Quality: Very solid, caring

Worst Quality: Can be a little too take-charge

Grade: B

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2 Responses to “Protecting Plain Jane: Tripp”


  1. 1 Santiago March 27, 2013 at 12:29 am

    Hi there, I check your blogs on a regular
    basis. Your humoristic style is awesome, keep it up!

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