“You don’t apologize much, do you?”
His eyebrow twitched. “Is it so obvious? I’m just being honest. When I’ve got you in bed, I don’t care about what’s polite. I go straight for the prize.”
I read Detective Jon Amendola’s scintillating rebuttal a couple of years ago on a flight to Toronto, and I can remember wanting to stand up and wave my hand, frantically, yelling “I’m a prize! I’m a prize!” But since my husband has always known that, and the fella who sat across the aisle would’ve likely called the flight attendant over to administer sleeping aids, I kept my cool.
That passage, along with the detective, is from one of Shannon McKenna’s novellas called Anytime, Anywhere, and epitomizes one of the elements I love about her stories: a hot mess hero. Yes, indeed, Detective Jon Amendola of the North Portland PD is a “tough, cynical, foul-mouthed, funny, and flat-out, drop dead gorgeous” dude. By now, “hot mess” is part of the mainstream colloquial, but in case you’re iffy on its meaning, Urban Dictionary defines it as “when ones thoughts or appearance are in a state of disarray but they maintain an undeniable attractiveness or beauty.”
Speaking as a card-carrying feminist and assertive gal, there’s no way in hell I would ever consider one of McKenna’s hot messes as a viable mate—be it for an hour, a hot affair, or a lifetime commitment. But my reader-self would challenge Gloria Steinem to read these men as anything other than captivating … scorching … and as addictive as crack.