By Cora Kenborn
First of all, yes, I know, Tangled released in 2013. Have you ever been into one of those “New to You” stores? Usually you dig and dig and end up finding a something of a classic that becomes a staple in your everyday life. Tangled, by Emma Chase, is a classic romantic comedy that should be dug out at least once a month and re-read over and over. Yes, it’s THAT good. When I think of Tangled, I imagine it being held up above a sea of RomCom books like Rafiki presenting Simba to the jungle in The Lion King. The standard. The epicness. The Drew.
If a RomCom novel is worth it’s sticker price, it will have you snickering and laughing out loud; sometimes hours after you’ve read a line that’s just so freaking brilliant you laugh for no reason. It simultaneously makes you snort, sigh, swoon and laugh out loud again so hard you damn near pee yourself. Tangled fits the bill and then some. Emma Chase hooked me with the opening chapter, and from that point on, could do no wrong.
The uniqueness of the Tangled series lies in the fact that Drew Evans is talking directly to you. As if you’re sitting right beside him in his dirty, take-out container infested apartment. And if you forget what he’s told you earlier, he’ll remind you just to make sure you’re paying attention next time. Chase is a genius in nailing (no pun intended) the male POV. I power read this book in one night and went furiously hunting for any other Drew Evans goodness I could get my hands on. Luckily Twisted and Tamed were there for my greedy one-clicking happiness. I’d read a dictionary if Drew Evans narrated it. Hmmm…now there’s an idea.
Drew Evans is a man-whore. He’d tell you straight up, himself he’s not a relationship kind of guy. And don’t expect him to call you the next day.
“For those ladies out there who are listening, let me give you some free advice: If a guy who you just met at a club calls you baby, sweetheart, angel, or any other generic endearment? Don’t make the mistake of thinking he’s so into you, he’s already thinking up pet names. It’s because he can’t or doesn’t care to remember your actual name.”
His brutal vulgar honesty is almost endearing in a warped and twisted way. He’s smart, professional and beds as many women as possible. Sex is like breathing for Drew; if you stop breathing you die. Drew would tell you there’s not much else to say about that point. It’s self-explanatory.
Drew works at his father’s investment banking firm and is a hotshot among hotshots. Enter Kate Brooks: she’s smart, ambitious, business savvy and isn’t shy about putting Drew in his place. Of course, since she’s engaged, Drew wants what he can’t have…a challenge. But when Kate proves to be immune to his usual swagger and bedroom charm, Drew’s thrown for a loop.
But, let’s face it, Drew is an asshole. He’s the typical guy that tells you what you want to hear then pretends not to know you if you bump into him again on the street. It was only a matter of time before his world got rattled and spun around in an F5 Kate Brooks tornado. Without his permission or approval, Drew falls hard. Then hits rock bottom when he realizes Kate is engaged to another man. What’s a redeemed asshole to do?
Hide out in his apartment with the “flu,” of course. This is how Chase opens the book and we hear the tale past tense from Drew’s heartbroken huddle on the couch. Some say what goes around comes around. Drew finds this out ten-fold as he watches the one thing he thought he never wanted slip through his fingers.
Reading Drew’s inevitable fall from bachelor grace is sad and gratifying all at the same time. You want to hug him and tell him it’ll be all right, and in the same breath you want to flip him off and tell him that karma’s a bitch. But you can’t. Why? Because just like Kate, you’ve fallen hopelessly in love with the big asshole.
He’s is the bad boy we all want to tame. He’s sexy, suave and outrageously witty. Kate Brooks is my kind of heroine. She’s strong, has a mind of her own and doesn’t take crap from anyone. However, Kate has a tender side and once Drew figures out how to get his hands on it…all bets are off. These characters are hot, competitive, unforgettable and have some of the most intelligent and hysterical banter I’ve ever read in a book.
Even the secondary characters are spectacular. Drew’s family dinners would be reality show gold. I’d watch that over and over. His niece provides an innocent hilarity all her own and shows she can really stick it to Uncle Drew when he deserves it.
“Idiots annoy me.” Mackenzie holds up the jar again, and in goes another dollar. The jar? It was invented by my sister, who apparently thinks my language is too harsh for her offspring. It’s the Bad Word Jar. Every time someone—usually me—swears, they have to pay a dollar. At this rate, that thing is going to put Mackenzie through college.”
Chase crafted two characters that made me yell, cheer, fan myself, cry, laugh, fan myself some more, laugh…did I mention laugh? And it crosses the generational gap. I gave this book to my mother in order to sit back and enjoy her shocked reaction. To my surprise, my Mom now has a cougar thing going on for Drew, too. It’s inevitable, per Drew’s own proclamation:
“Old women have a thing for me. And I don’t mean a pinch-my-cheek, pat-my-head kind of thing. I mean a grab-my-ass, rub-my-junk, why-don’t-you-push-my-wheelchair-into-the-broom-closet-so-we-can-get-nasty kind of thing…”
No spoilers here on how Drew and Kate’s story Untangles, because after all, there are more books in the series to review. But suffice to say, Drew didn’t have the flu. He didn’t fall into some disease infested influenza waters.
He fell in love.
Drew Evans is, hands down, one of my favorite book boyfriends of all time. And Emma Chase? Freaking brilliant. I power read every book she’s ever written. There aren’t enough stars in the sky to give this book, so I’ll just throw a handful of bills into Mackenzie’s swear jar and say it was f*cking refreshingly unique and timeless.
In Drew’s own words:
“Some battles don’t have a winner. Sometimes the best a good general can hope for is a ceasefire”
I disagree Drew. Tangled was a winner that had me at “influenza.”
Review by Cora Kenborn