Don’t Look Down

Don’t Look Down

by Jennifer Crusie

and Bob Mayer


SHE is a director of dog food commercials who’s just been recruited to finish a four-day movie shoot. But as soon as Lucy Armstrong arrives on set, she discovers that the staff is in chaos, the make-up artist is suicidal, and the stunt director just happens to be her ex-husband. That, and the temperamental lead actor has just acquired as an advisor a Green Beret who has the aggravating habit of always being right.

HE thought that hiring on as a military consultant for a movie star was a to-die-for deal: easy work, easy money, easier starlets. But his first day on the job, Captain J.T. Wilder ends up babysitting a bumbling comedian, dodging low-flying helicopters, and trying to find out who’s taking “shooting a movie” much too literally.

Lucy Armstrong has been called in to finish a disaster of a film shoot and has her work cut out for her. Her little sister is taking drugs, her niece has no supervision, she’s working with a skeleton crew, and is having to wrangle her horny action stars. Her assistant despises her and the stunt coordinator, Lucy’s ex-husband, is hiding something big. And then hunky Army Ranger, JT Wilder, waltzes on to set, making it tough to concentrate on the chaos around them. It’s a wild story full of alligators, helicopters, dangerous stunts, and, of course, Wonder Woman.

Don’t Look Down had the potential to be a REALLY GOOD story, but it just didn’t quite make it. I mean who would say know to a movie shoot being used to cover up an art heist?! The book was written by two authors, and, and their writing style just didn’t mesh. This left the plot feeling sloppy and resulted in knee-jerk characters, or characters lacking depth behind their reactions. I really liked and at the same really didn’t. I’ll use the two main characters to explain why.

Lucy is a stubborn, smart, and strong female lead. YES, my favorite type! She is determined to take control of the shoot and fix whatever is bothering her little sister. And then she becomes a micromanaging boss who is constantly fighting with her ex. NO! It eventually felt like Lucy thought every character, besides JT and Pepper, were complete idiots. She obviously adores her family and is capable of a relationship with JT (though that was a tad Insta-love), but I just felt something was missing. I was hoping to see her grow a little more, though I will say that she does back off on the Mom act with Daisy. I liked her but I felt she could have been so much more.

I am the first to admit that I’m a sucker for a strong, military man, so I was happy when JT arrived on set. Unfortunately, JT spent the first half of the book being a condescending jerk. He was kind and patient with Brice and was sweet to Pepper and Lucy, but pretty much everyone else was an idiot in his opinion. He does get better as the book progresses because he eventually opens up to Lucy, but I was sick of how he treated the CIA agent and Nash. Sure, they both deserved it, but JT’s arrogance blinded him to the truth and almost got them all killed.

I like flawed characters but it a bit overwhelming for this read. Pepper was really the only fully developed character, and she was 5 years old. She still managed to maintain a solid personality while displaying a vast range of emotions. All the characters were unique and interesting even though some of them, like Brice and Althea, where pretty cliche and stereotypical. I still found them engaging. I even liked the idea of using a movie shoot to cover up an art heist. Don’t Look Down has a good plot, fun characters, and a snarky voice; it just needed one good edit to smooth out the rough edges, beef up the characters, and meld the two authors’ writing.

I still recommend Don’t Look Down; it is the perfect beach read for spring break! Let me know what books you’re reading this month! Have you read Don’t Look Down?


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