WOW. So. I almost didn’t grab this book. I looked at the blurb for Giant Men and Violent Women by Clover Blaire and thought it sounded rather hum-drum and kind of boring. Never, ever, has a blurb been more wrong. HOLY COW. This book was an emotional roller coaster. The beginning Presley Ann comes off as a little boring to listen to, but actually redeems herself as a human with her little forays into “fantastize-about-Ashley-land”. She doesn’t seem to know who she is outside of everyone else’s perceptions of her. You really start to wonder at the romance designation after certain events, and then the author switches to Ashley’s point of view.
What to say about Ashley? He’s the most anti- anti-hero I’ve ever read. Instead of the dark and broody tattooed ex-con, we’ve got a good ol’ boy from the mountains of New Hampshire…attorney, memeber of New Hampshire Royalty. But the opening scene shows us that this is not all there is to him. He is actually rather off-putting for a good chunk of the book, but I grew to really feel for him and by the middle of the book, I was actively rooting for him. I’m still not sure why, but Blaire writes his character so well that you can’t help but empathize with him and want him to find happiness. Ashley is not the anti-hero that’s all dark and dangerous and broody. He’s the good ol’ boy who will kill you in a Broadway theater in front of hundreds…and get away with it. He is unapologetically loyal to those he cares about and loves, to the point of ignoring his own wishes and desires.
Throughout all this muddle of a romance (and it is a muddle), you have what can only be considered political intrigue with a crazy amount of reality tv drama. The idea of this book becoming an epic drama miniseries makes my mouth water. There is SO MUCH that happens all over the place. There are riots and political secession and assassinations and bounty hunts. There are kidnappings and galas and socialite luncheons. But it all flows so smoothly…you’re already heading up to the next peak before you have even processed the last valley.
Some interesting things to note about this book are that it is alternate reality. If things were just a wee bit different. Everything–and I do mean EVERYTHING–Blaire mentions is important. It might not seem important, but trust me, it is. I can’t even begin to imagine the notes she has on this.
There’s a weird mix of modern feminism with 1950s socialite mentality. As I am not New England socialite, I’m not sure how true to life that is. However, Blaire makes it work. Blaire doesn’t have a plot twist. She has a plot twist every five chapters. I started out reading this book and feeling like it was decent, but not impressive. I ended this book stalking her on amazon and facebook and declaring my love for her as one of my new favorite authors. I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next, because this story was absolutely brilliant.