Nutcase, by Charlotte Hughes

We were pleasantly surprised by What Looks Like Crazy, the first book in Charlotte Hughes’s Dr. Kate Holly series. Our previous experience with Hughes was limited to the mediocre Full House series she co-wrote with Janet Evanovich, but What Looks Like Crazy showed us that Hughes’s solo work had far more charm than we’d given her credit for.

Nutcase, the sequel to What Looks Like Crazy, opens with the after-effects of a bang: psychologist Kate Holly is about to get kicked out of her office, thanks to an unfortunate accident involving a particularly crazy patient and a vial of nitroglycerin. Unfortunately, imminent eviction isn’t Kate’s only worry. Her clients are clamoring for attention (including a woman claiming to be Marie Osmond), her reconciliation with her ex-husband has hit some major snags, and her dog is depressed. Add a series of suspicious fires, and Kate’s thinking of having herself committed.

What Looks Like Crazy's biggest flaw was the yawn-inducing relationship between Kate and her firefighting, too-good-to-be-true ex-husband. Happily, Nutcase adds some unexpected roadblocks to their reconciliation, including a pretty new recruit at the fire station and Kate’s deepening friendship with a handsome local veterinarian. (Kate is convinced her new friend is gay, but we, as longtime romance readers, are less certain.)

The things we liked best about What Looks Like Crazy work even better here. Kate’s uneasy relationship with her mother is explored in greater depth, and her troubled clients are unexpectedly three-dimensional (particularly graded on the romantic-comedy bit player curve). Hughes's combination of plausible characters and a genre-hopping focus on work, family, and romance make Nutcase a pleasure to read, and leave us enthusiastically looking forward to the next book in this series.
Posted by: Julia, Last edit by: Julianka


No comments yet. Be the first!

No new comments are allowed on this post.