A talented writer, Vicki Hendricks, lives in Hollywood, Florida. A few years ago I was on a quest to read only Florida based writers; there turned out to be many more than I expected. I ended up reading a number of short stores (love short stories) by Hendricks and found out she was a student of James W. Hall, one of my favorite writers, who teaches creative writing at Florida International University in Miami. I really enjoyed Hendricks off-beat writing.
Goodreads friend Jackson Burnett recommended Miami Purity but he forgot to give the triple X warning (maybe double X?) so I was taken by surprise with the descriptive sexual content from a woman's point of view which I thought was interesting and unique. Let me state firmly, that I’m not a prude, reading many books with sexual content. Miami Purity
was my first introduction to Vicki Hendricks books (not short stories) and I loved her tough writing. Miami Purity got a very solid five stars from me. (I’m stingy with my stars, too, seldom give five.) Sex, yes there was enough, for certain but it did not seem gratuitous.
So I was ready for sex this time around, in Iguana Love; there were no surprises that sex played a big part in Ramona Romano’s life. She is addicted to sex, addicted to bodybuilding, addicted to scuba diving. She seems to be trying, whatever it takes, to fill a void within and unfortunately she chooses to fill it with pure and simple self-destruction. And, she knows, she acknowledges that it’s self-destruction. The plot of the book was great, I thought.
The name, Iguana Love, comes early when Ramona finds an iguana and captures it for a pet. She, well maybe, she falls in love with Ignats the iguana? Not sure but there definitely some symbolism going on. Not sure what though. (Made a quick store run and was thinking about this review, and it hit me! The symbolism of Ignats. I think it hit me. Others might see it differently.) She has cats, too…five she’s had since kittens. She likes to rescue animals; herself though? A Face Only A Mother, Ramona Could Love?
Hendricks writes with much imagery so there’s a constant challenge, what does that mean? There are obscure meanings throughout the book. That’s how Hendricks writes. So the reader must think, and constantly read between the lines. That, to me, doesn’t make for fun reading when I’m challenged constantly with her use of imagery. I enjoy some but every sentence, not so much. (Ok, every other sentence.)
Photo Courtesy Philip Greenspun
I got the message with the first five very descriptive sexual encounters and when I say, very descriptive, I mean very descriptive
. In my mind it leans toward hard-boil erotica genre. Or noir erotica if there is such a genre. If not, this book can create it although it’s the only book I have read that would be in the genre class.
Goodreads does have an erotica groups with book choice read every month. I’m not a member but someone should suggest this book for that group read. A disclaimer here, for me, I’ve never read erotica unless Letters to the Editor in Playboy are considered erotica. So perhaps my opinion that it should be in a genre other than mystery, is off base. Not sure of that.Thought This Sign Was Appropriate for the Book Theme
My Goodreads friend Col gave it more stars than I did, and so did Jackson and Jeff. So they’re welcome to set me straight on my review and my giving it three stars. Three solid stars since I had to read about so many times about her explicit sexual experiences. Otherwise, a shorter book with less explicit sex on every other page and it would have easily gotten four stars from me.
To brighten up this review, thought you folks would like a few pictures of Iggie...and is that Romona in tub? Probably not.
Feel like shooting the moon? Read this one, you may enjoy it much more than I did, especially the sex.
After my rating, after the review, after thinking about this book most of the day, I am increasing to four stars from three. She's tough though, I'll put Vicki Hendricks' writing up there with any of the hard-boiled writers today.