Thursday, May 15, 2008

Review: Dial M for Mischief by Kasey Michaels

Dial M for Mischief by Kasey Michaels
published by HQN in May 2008

Meet the Sunshine girls — three mischievous sisters out to clear their father's name ... and maybe get a little romance on the side.

Hollywood darling Jolie Sunshine is accustomed to trashy headlines. But the shocking gossip surrounding her father's sudden demise has sent her over the edge ... right into the arms of millionaire Sam Becket.

Jolie and Sam once shared much more than a bed, till fame ended their escalating relationship. Now that very limelight is bringing them back together. With a murder to solve and a white-hot passion to quench, they're really about to give the paparazzi a field day.

Genre: contemporary romance
Series: The Sunshine Girls, book #1

The Story: Teddy Sunshine-father to Jade, Jolie and Jessica Sunshine-was a cop turned private investigator. The police and public believe that Teddy committed suicide after he killed the wife of a politician; however, the Sunshine girls know better and they are determined to clear his name. In order to do so, they re-visit some cold cases that their father has caught as a cop and kept investigating years after years after years.

My Opinion: Ms Michaels dabbles in a bit of everything: contemporary, mystery and historicals... I usually enjoy her contemporary romance books very, which is why I bought Dial M for Mischief... but not this one.

My main issue with Dial M for Mischief was the Sunshine girls. Ugh. They are all very strong women with strong personalities and somehow, it grated on my nerve, because they kept arguing between each other and against other people. They won't sit down, discuss things and listen to others' opinions. They just barged in, bulldozing whatever is in their way. All three of them. I don't mind one hard-headed heroine... but three is a bit too much to make a storyline enjoyable. Although their reasoning is correct, their attitude is just disagreable.

In this book, the romance is between Jolie Sunshine and Sam Becket. They were engaged 5 years ago, but suddenly, Jolie left to pursue her dreams in Hollywood and is now a superstar. Well good for her, but ugh for me. I don't like starlet characters... sometimes it works out, but most of the time, they just annoy me and Jolie is no exception. What frustrates me most with Jolie and Sam is that they were obviously in love, but they couldn't compromise. I mean, they could have work it out... but no, Sam was too proud and expected her coming home running and Jolie, well seriously... You don't just leave the way she did or else, don't accept the man's proposal. It was totally selfish on her part. Anyway, I usually enjoy past lovers relationship;however, in this case, it was meh.

Character-wise, well the focus was on Jolie and Sam. The sisters had some screen-time, but it was limited and their counterparts (future heroes) were introduced without too much dwellings. For some reason though, I liked the men better. I guess that I found the women too selfish and careless of the people around them. So, the main characters... I started out liking Sam a lot... He's a wealthy businessman, level-headed and a bit anal, LOL :P and I think he deserves better than Jolie. Towards the end though, I thought he was just too passive. It was like he didn't have any opinions at all and just followed and helped Jolie. Jolie, well she's a Sunshine girls and you know what I thought of them.

As for the mystery thread in this book, it was resolved a bit too easily and I'm not sure the sisters actually did any work. Sure, they interrogated a few people and look around, but for me, it's not enough to solve a case. It seems their father did most of the work and they simply had to follow his leads, but at the end, the resolution was way to easy and unrelated to Teddy's death... it almost felt like a filler.

Another issue I had was the book was too busy. There was too much going on... Teddy's death, the introduction of the characters, the setting-up for the trilogy, the romance between Sam & Jolie, the dynamics of the sisters, the cases and etc. Ms Michaels tried to put the romance as the focus, but it was just going back and forth with other elements. I guess that's why the mystery suffered so much. I think it have been better if less was going on.

My Grade: C-. Ms Michaels gives a good effort, but the characters are too irritating for this to be an enjoyable read.


  1. Hmmm, I have not been real big on this author. Sounds like another pass for me.

    It's weird. I like heroes who are stars (Hollywood, sports, etc.), but I want my heroine to be a "normal" gal.

  2. Shannon- I think you might want to skip that one. I too prefer when the hero is the star and the heroine, a normal girl.