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Monday, February 17, 2014

Review: Hot Tango by Sidney Bristol

Title: Hot Tango
Series: Good Guys Wear Black #1
Author: Sidney Bristol
Published: January 2014, Ellora's Cave
Format: Ebook provided for review
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SWAT officer Cole Westling walks a fine line of control. If his wife knew exactly what he wanted to do to her, he’d lose the most precious thing in his life. Instead, he throws himself into work.

Tanya Westling did not leave her job as a globe-trotting humanitarian to spend her nights playing roller derby and sleeping alone. Armed with a few adult toys and a prayer, she challenges him to a sensual game that will strip away their ideas of what sex should be.

Cole’s surprised but it’s his dream come true. With each sexual encounter, the walls between them come crumbling down and each must face the truth of what their marriage has been and what it could be.

Inside Scoop: Contains an alpha hero who wants sex at all hours and a heroine who knows what she wants, just not the words to get it. Also depicts criminal activity, the strong arm of the law and a self-rescuing heroine.

I’m kind of new to Sidney Bristol, but I got to tell ya – I am really digging her. The other book I read of hers was How Zombies Stole Christmas, which you can tell just from the title, is completely different from Hot Tango. So I was really interested to see just how this would come out. And if you are curious – it’s awesome.
Hot Tango is the story of Tanya and her husband, Cole. Tanya is a roller derby girl, and on the rink she is Hot Tango. I liked Tanya well enough. In the beginning it felt like she was under a ton of emotional stress about her marriage, and it's stagnancy. The story kind of evolved into this action drama type story, and she really shone as a kick ass woman – on roller skates. But throughout the story she felt very real and I loved the way she evolved from semi-naïve to kickass.

Cole is Tanya’s husband, and I didn’t always love him in this book. There were times I was downright mad at him, for his behavior toward Tanya. The thing is they were highschool sweethearts, and then they got married. They don’t know anyone else in that way, and so that means they really don’t have the knowledge of how to just deal with some of the issues that come up when there is an issue in the relationship, since they’ve always had it good. But you know what, he acts like a real guy does. He has the same fears, he blows up, he throws a man-trum (ladies, you know this is a male tantrum). But he does redeem himself, and for that, I liked him. And hey, he’s SWAT, so he gets mega sexy points just for that.

This story covers a few things. First, their marriage has basically turned them into roommates. They both want the good times back, and it’s a rough road to get back to good. And then there is something that happens that directly involves the both of them, and a SWAT issue. I found both plotlines to be very interesting. I really felt like this portrayal of their relationship was very realistic. It wasn’t prettified up for a good story, it showed the good, the bad and the ugly. And when the SWAT issue come up, it was a great adrenalin boost and really got ya going.

There’s some great bonuses in this story. First, roller derby – hello?!? I mean, this is probably one of the coolest sports on the planet, and you get a good taste of it in Hot Tango. You get to meet great characters like Pandamonium, Goldie Fuckers, and Mallory Bruiser. As soon as I heard roller derby, I wanted in on this book.

Sidney also writes with heart. You can feel it in and through these characters. There were a couple slow spots in the book for me, but they were quick and not really of much consequence. There was a great arc to this storyline, and ended on such an awesome note. I almost wanted to read the ending again, I was so pleased with it. So hey, if you want a book that is a bit different and unique, yet very real in its relationships and emotion – I suggest you give Hot Tango a try.

It can never be said that Sidney Bristol has had a ‘normal’ life.  She is a recovering roller derby queen, former missionary, and tattoo addict. She grew up in a motor-home on the US highways (with an occasional jaunt into Canada and Mexico), traveling the rodeo circuit with her parents. Sidney has lived abroad in both Russia and Thailand, working with children and teenagers. She now lives in Texas where she splits her time between a job she loves, writing, reading and belly dancing.

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