ordinary peopleRating: 3.75 stars
Buy Link:
Amazon | All Romance
Length: Novella

Vinnie Canterbury is quite ordinary, an insurance assessor who wakes up one morning on top of a dead man who’s throat has been slashed. Vinnie, with no memory of what happened, is taken into custody and questioned about the murder of the, well, dead guy.  Believed to be drugged, with no memory of what happened from the time he left work to when he woke up on the dead man, Vinnie is eventually released and is taken home by officer James Laramee. When they get to Vinnie’s apartment they discover it has been broken into and ransacked.

Things like that don’t happen to ordinary people.

James takes a now homeless Vinnie home to his apartment where the men get to know a bit about each other.  In Vinnie’s case, his perceptions are coloured by the drugs in his system and James, the typical male, keeps his emotions in check. As the drugs pass through Vinnie’s system, his memories begin to resurface in the form of nightmares and flashbacks. James shows a surprising amount of compassion for Vinnie, which reinforces Vinnie’s theory that he is in love.

James decides to remove himself from the case due to conflict of interest.  He is beginning to have feelings for Vinnie but has not acted on them and has, so far, remained professional. James’ partner denies his request and insists he “keeps it zipped” and they will be fine. If the case is not solved soon, James will have no choice as his feelings are growing stronger the more time he spends with Vinnie.

Vinnie shows an irrational attachment to James in a short period of time, while James feels similarly but keeps his emotions in check. Fortunately, Vinnie’s drug induced declarations of true love turn out to be true…love. Now they just need to figure out whodunit.

Vinnie’s relationship with his great-grandmother was instrumental in developing who he grew up to be and how he deals with life events. Vinnie lets his imagination run rampant, having conversations with her in his head in addition to his fond memories of their interactions when she was alive. Vinnie is as far from ordinary as an insurance assessor could be, with an imagination so active it takes effort to keep up, and a world view that entertains, and endears him to some, yet irritates and annoys others.

I am conflicted. I truly enjoyed the majority of the premise, the humor, and especially Vinnie’s character, but the reasoning behind Vinnie’s kidnapping and drugging was unrealistic and far fetched.  The ending was just missing something, not that it was bad, it just felt a bit rushed and unsatisfying.

Overall, I was happy with Ordinary People. It had me smiling frequently and reminded me of a 70s cartoon caper with slightly exaggerated character traits, behaviors, and situations.  In a word, fun, but not deep. Yes, that was four words. Enjoy!

A review copy of this book was provided by Dreamspinner Press.

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