The about-to-have-sex scenes have always been the most distinctive feature of Hendricks’s steamy neo-noirs (Iguana Love, 1999, etc.), and here she extends them to cover practically every page.
Destiny Donne got into her highly competitive program in veterinary medicine by seducing her mentor. Now that she’s practicing in central Florida, her days are filled with goat fecal samples and her nights with nothing at all—until skydiving instructor Tom Jenks walks in with a lion cub that’s been clawing his furniture. Before you can shout “Metaphor alert!” this blue-eyed tomcat has talked Desi into bed and into a tandem skydive that’s even sexier than sex. Soon Desi is hopelessly hooked on the dangers of jumping from an airplane in rigging gear her loverboy has packed. True, the women’s cosmetics in Tom’s medicine cabinet and the fact that every time she checks his lion cub it’s a different animal suggest that Tom isn’t exactly what he seems. And he eventually admits that, yes, he isn’t divorced but only separated from his wife, that Swan just won’t let go of him, and that she’s so jealous that she’s hired some guys to follow Desi and kill her (a couple of apparent brushes with death here). A child could see where this relationship was heading, but, as Desi admits early and often, “I know I’m a pure fool, and I don’t care.” Every time she makes a move toward figuring out what’s going to happen next, Tom covers his mouth with hers and unhooks her bra, and she’s off to the races—until Tom’s cornball patter itself becomes one more token of foreplay along with the jumps into terminal velocity, the close encounters with wild cats, and the time-outs for fecal samples. (Hey, nobody said sex had to be pretty.)
Less successful as narrative than as a comprehensive museum of neo-noir motifs.