A Romance Goes Rogue

Fiction - Humor/Comedy
201 Pages
Reviewed on 05/01/2024
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Author Irene Woodbury’s vibrant, intense novels capture the heart and soul of one of her favorite cities: Las Vegas. Whether it’s romance, dark humor, drama, or unforgettable characters, these riveting reads check all the boxes.
Irene’s five darkly funny novels will make you laugh, and sometimes cry, too. Her latest, Cringeworthy: A Romance Goes Rogue (2024), is a devastating tale of epic jealousy and unrequited love. Porch Pirate Love (2022), explores the turbulent romance between a brash porch pirate and a sassy single mom-to-be. A Slot Machine Ate My Midlife Crisis (2021), is a bittersweet look at a newlywed’s chaotic midlife crisis in Vegas. In Honeymoon Roulette (2021), a bride bolts after learning her handsome fiance may have killed his first two wives. Its quirky companion novella, Annie & Charlotte: The Dead Wives of Connor J. Barrington, was also published in 2021.
Irene’s dramatic novels include the gritty, engrossing Romeo Stalker (2021), which chronicles a Vegas showgirl’s agonizing plunge into stalker-hell. And Love and Payback (2021) is a probing look at a married woman’s mysterious death in Sin City, where she has gone to meet an Internet love.
Denver-based Irene is a successful travel writer who savors visits to London and Las Vegas. She is currently working on her next novel. Please check her out and follow her on Twitter: @IreneWoodbury.

    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

Cringeworthy: A Romance Goes Rogue is penned by author Irene Woodbury in the humor, romance, and interpersonal drama genres. Crescent Weevil's world shatters when she learns that her longtime boyfriend plans to propose to his secret showgirl mistress in Las Vegas. Faced with betrayal, Crescent's reaction takes a dark turn as she embarks on a reckless journey to confront them. From stealing money to kidnapping her boyfriend at gunpoint, her actions spiral out of control in a darkly humorous tale of love and revenge. As Crescent navigates the chaos she created, the novel explores themes of betrayal, heartbreak, and the extremes people will go to when pushed to their limits, leaving readers questioning if a happy ending is possible amidst the chaos.

Author Irene Woodbury uses humor and satire to craft a rollercoaster of emotions and unexpected twists. The combination of sharp, witty moments with darker themes creates a unique twist on the romance genre that pokes fun at all its plot holes, resulting in a captivating and unpredictable narrative that keeps readers engaged from start to finish. Crescent Weevil's journey from heartbreak to vengeance is both outrageous and relatable, making for a compelling protagonist whom readers cannot help but follow into inevitably doomed situations. The exploration of love, betrayal, and the consequences of impulsive actions offers a tongue-in-cheek insight into human nature that actually develops into something quite thought-provoking by the conclusion. Despite the absurdity of Crescent's antics, there's a raw authenticity to the character that is cleverly drawn and confidently narrated throughout. Overall, Cringeworthy is a refreshingly original take on the romance genre, offering a darkly humorous twist on love gone wrong for fans of pastiche and satire.

Jennifer Ibiam

Crescent Weevil dated Dr. Bryce Mackey for ten years and was a fundamental contributor to the success of his podiatry practice. She was his clinic manager. Unbeknownst to Crescent, however, Bryce started dating a patient, showgirl Amy, behind her back. He flew to Vegas and proposed to Amy while Crescent kept his practice together back home. When Crescent discovered his duplicity, she stole a gun, cuffs, and five thousand dollars from the office safe. While the couple basked in the euphoria of their engagement, Crescent drove to their condo, cuffed Amy, and kidnapped Bryce at gunpoint. She and Bryce had an accident while hightailing it out of town, causing him to lose his memory. Will Bryce ever recover? Who will have a happily ever after: Amy or Crescent? Cringeworthy: A Romance Goes Rogue by Irene Woodbury spills the details.

Hell indeed has no fury like a woman scorned! Cringeworthy: A Romance Goes Rogue by Irene Woodbury is a story of heartbreak, unrequited love, vengeful exes, kidnap, and betrayal. This novel would appeal to lovers of suspense, mystery, romance, and crime stories. The intense plot captivated me. Amy and Beau? Why? How could Crescent commit so many crimes? Why would Lissa make such a harmful decision for attention? However, this makes me applaud Irene for writing such a brilliant story that leaves a reader eager for more. The author has a way with descriptions. I loved the plot and the development of the characters, but Beau was my least favorite person. This story reminded me that the world keeps moving once we’re gone. So, remember to prioritize yourself while loving and being loved.

Bernadette Longu

Cringeworthy: A Romance Goes Rogue by Irene Woodbury is a light-hearted satirical romance, with intrigue and adventure based on stalking and obsession. The main characters, Crescent, Bryce, Amy, Beau, and Cassie, take the reader on a journey of misadventure, drama, kidnapping, and chases; in a manner speaking more on foot than in a car but still an especially funny but serious chase by the good guys after a deranged woman wielding a gun. This story captures the reader’s attention from the very first page in the most delightful and interesting way. It makes the reader realize that sometimes it is good not to put too much of yourself out there on social media as strange things can happen that can cause unnecessary problems to all and sundry.

In Cringeworthy: A Romance Goes Rogue, Irene Woodbury uses her characters to the very best advantage and builds the story up with the most unexpected twists and turns, taking the reader on a caper that will have them laughing and amazed at the thinking of one of the characters and cringing at the thought process. The plot comes to a head most unusually with a twist in the tale that the reader is not expecting at all. Cringeworthy is a book that turns out to be a very good read, especially on a rainy day in front of a roaring fire with a cup of hot chocolate. It is light-hearted and hilarious, but full of life and very well written. This book is well worth a read.

Courtnee Turner Hoyle

Cringeworthy: A Romance Goes Rogue is an unconventional romance by Irene Woodbury. Crescent Weevil has helped her boyfriend, Bryce Mackey, build up his podiatry business over the last ten years. She always expected they'd marry, so she's shocked when she learns he plans to propose to a Las Vegas showgirl, Amy. After driving across several states, she pulls Bryce out of Amy's bed at gunpoint. Crescent races through Death Valley, telling Bryce he will marry her. In a moment of fury, Bryce causes the car to run into a ditch, hitting his head on the windshield. He wakes up with amnesia, and Crescent takes advantage of the situation, hoping his memory won't return and that she can manipulate Bryce into marrying her before he remembers the beautiful showgirl he loves.

Irene Woodbury tangles a web of love stories together as she dive-bombs conventional views of romance. At first, you don't know whether you should embrace Crescent's desperate act or marvel at the depths of her insanity. The view shifts from Crescent and Bryce to two other characters and the connection they share. I wasn't certain what to expect from one page to another as I read about the relationships formed and lost and the fates of the characters. Some scenes are pretty intense, and Woodbury puts you in the middle of the action. From the moment the story opens, Woodbury yanks readers from one event to the next, so be certain to read every page or you will miss something important. Readers who enjoy shameless characters that are raw and brazen will enjoy Cringeworthy.

Pikasho Deka

How far would you go for love? Find out the consequences of obsessive love with Irene Woodbury's hilarious novel -- Cringeworthy: A Romance Goes Rogue. Crescent Weevil's on-and-off relationship with Dr. Bryce Mackey, a podiatrist, ends for good when Bryce proposes to his lover, Amy Trotter, a Las Vegas showgirl he has been seeing for the last 18 months. In a fit of rage, Crescent steals $5000 from Bryce's office and drives to Amy's condo in Vegas, ending up cuffing Amy to her bedpost and kidnapping Bryce at gunpoint. However, when an accident on the road causes Bryce's memory loss, Crescent manipulates him into staying with her in the town of Clawson in Death Valley. Meanwhile, Amy begins an affair with Bryce's older brother, Beau. What's next in store for Crescent, Bryce, and Amy?

Cringeworthy is a hilarious comedy of errors filled with romance, drama, and an escalating chain of chaotic events. With quirky and colorful characters and a completely unpredictable plot, Irene Woodbury delivers a dark comedy romance without a single dull moment and that entertains all the way through. This is not the kind of story where you want to root for anyone. Instead, you find yourself laughing at the situations these characters find themselves in, often from blunders of their own making. Woodbury has crafted truly human and flawed characters for whom self-interest triumphs over everything else (some more than others). Crescent is completely unhinged but thoroughly entertaining as a villain. I also felt a little sad about Mavis's and Beau's fates, especially considering that the latter seemed the least selfish person amongst the bunch. Overall, I had a blast with this one, and if you enjoy dark comedies, you should too!