Hi! My name is Anna, "You'd really like me if you got to know me. I've known me for years and I love me."
Word count: about 100 000
Rating: I'm not saying I approve, I'm just saying I understand.
Two things to mention before I go at it:
a) I’ve read it at a bad time
b) I’ve had way too much romance lately and it makes me sick
I had a problem with rating this book. On one hand it drove me crazy. On the other it's a really well balanced story. Every element is well developed and realistic. I can't just ignore it because I don't like the heroine. It deserves four stars
I will try to speak about this book as objectively as humanly possible, but I had my big, big, BIG issues with the heroine. Suffices to say we wouldn’t be ‘besties’.
Writing: The author really does a decent job from a technical point of view. It reads well (apart from a few ‘flowery’ phrases. His penis smelled like forest in the summer XD That is hilarious. Or his “talented hands”. Seriously. What is wrong with those authors?! Or the way “He claimed her without apology” How do you claim someone with one? Say 'I'm sorry" on every stroke?) I guess authors really struggle to make descriptions of sex scenes entertaining and poetic. At least it was funny. I never turn down a good laugh.
Story: It’s there. It isn’t much, nothing special, but it’s a romance novel, so action wasn’t the main focus, obviously. It’s coherent, has a mystery element to it and more or less makes sense. It’s interesting enough to pull us in, without being overdone and overshadowing the real topic – emotional turmoil (no, not a drama- lama; we get here something more realistic).
And that is what I’d like to point out – the realism of the romantic plot. It was really good. There was no instant love. Both heroine and a hero have personalities, faults, and charming sides. It doesn’t seem forced. The pull between them is logical, the progression makes sense. That is way more than could be said for vast majority of romance novels.
Sean – a male love interest. If you know where to find a hot geek (or you are one), call me. That guy is awesome. Much better than Kate (our female MC). He has both strengths and weaknesses. In ways he has been hardened by life, but still is crushingly vulnerable. He has issues, fights them, sometimes runs from them, but doesn’t wallow in self pity. He is likeable, but not perfect. His struggle with stuttering was realistic, interesting and justified a lot of his behaviour. Maybe ‘justified’ is not the right word. His stutter is an integral part of his life that affects everything. Which is what happens in real life. Things like that have a huge impact. Yet it didn’t overpower the story. It would be so easy to reduce Sean to his stutter. Luckily, that doesn’t happen.
It all makes him feel much more real than 99% of ‘hot guys’ we find in books. To be fair he has his fucked up asshole moments too! But Kate…
Kate took annoying me to another level. On every. Single. Page. There was something that made me frustrated. I’ll voice my problems with her in a minute, for now I’d like to keep it fair, instead of focusing on my pet peeves. She was a doormat in the past. Now, after a failed marriage, she tries to get a grip on her life. She’s highly motivated to become a better person. It’s nice to see someone try to change. She struggles (duh), but never lets it stop her from trying again. You need that type of admirable determination to get things done. Unfortunately for her, she's so focused on what she believes is supposed to be, she can't deal with reality. That + the fact that she’s a type of person I prefer to keep 20 mile distance from, doesn’t help.
With that said, she’s a well constructed, realistic character. She’s not a sex-bomb, but she’s also not ugly. Just a normal woman that has her characteristic trades and makes the most of her assets. She’s not one of ‘holy virgins’ we find in books. She’s not a slut. She’s just… normal. Just normal.
So what annoyed me about Kate? She’s a petulant child. Naïve. Ignorant. Selfish.
- She’s useless and whiny. No skills/abilities/talents – all mouth and demands.
- She came back to her hometown and is working for her brother’s company. Really? That is her way of becoming strong and independent? Working for your own brother. That’s a joke…
- She gets assigned to the case ONLY because her brother decided to be indulgent. She doesn’t have experience, education, skills… She’s about as qualified to become a field agent as I’m to fly an aeroplane or give birth to a live albatross.
- Ergo she’s not helpful on the case, just a waste of space.
- She allows her brother to be overprotective. I wouldn’t take bullshit he’s been trying to pull, but since she has no mind of her own, I guess she’s fine with that.
- Her nosy brother is a dick and I'd slap him. I totally would. It’s her life and she should make it clear.
- Her 'ambition' is childish – “oh, I don't know anything and have no skills, but I soooo want to be a real field agent! I totally deserve it now that I'm assertive and shit. I mean, this is how I actually express my assertiveness!” Yep, unreasonable demands make her seem extremely mature. *sarcasm*
- I think she's fake and weak. If she really wanted to prove something to herself, she'd find a job outside of her brother's company.
- He treats her like a child and she act's like one. (Mock conversation between Kate and her brother):
- I'm totally getting a promotion.
- Sure, when you earn one. *smirks*
- I will! I can do it! You know I can! Admit it! ADMIT IT!
- Of course you can. *pats on the head* You can do anything when you put your mind to it.
- You only say it because you don't think it'll happen *pouts*
- *smirks* sure, sure. *steals her coffee and leaves*
- *mutters* I totally deserve it. I'm a real field agent now! Well, I'll be, when I finally get my first client. I don't have any skills or experience or knowledge? So what, I'm totally professional with my plans to fuck a client that clearly hired me solely to have some fun in between the sheets. But that doesn't mean I'm not fit for the job! It's a SECURITY AGENCY, what attributes could I possibly be missing? I'm perfect! Yes Katie, think happy thoughts, imagine your 'best self'.
- Chapter 11. Seriously. First pages of this chapter make me want to murder her.
- She’s been exercising with her brother in the basement. Brother leaves to open the door so she skips part of a workout. Hello? You’re doing it for yourself. Your brother’s presence should be irrelevant.
- She loves celebrity gossip… I just can’t. I can’t. I can't really like her. For fuck's sake, she has favorite gossip sites! Shoot me.
- No, you didn't tell your friend about sex by accident. You're a hopeless gossiper. So she likes gossip in all shapes and forms. Keep her away from me.
- She can’t keep a secret.
- Or a promise - don’t trust this one.
- She drives a car while chatting on a phone. She poses danger to others! I’d literally slap her for it. I do understand that sometimes you need to make a quick call. But to have a useless, pointless friendly chit-chat lasting over an hour? I HATE her for it. I wish her a slow, painful death.
- Why the fuck she wants Judah to apologize? For what? I don’t' think she deserved an apology she DEMANDS.
- Why did she decide to become a field agent? "The short version is, I got sick of sitting around in an office all day, and I thought going out in the field would make my life more interesting." Are you fucking kidding me... She's a bored child that wanted to play an interesting game.
- “She enjoyed going through guys' wallets" WTF? How often does it happen?! How often do you do that? You should be locked up… Seriously, bitch respects no boundaries.
- She feels entitled.
- She doesn't do her job. She doesn’t know what the job entails! USELESS!
- One of the things I'll probably never understand is loss of control. I never stop thinking. So when people forget themselves I get annoyed. What are you? A cat in heat?
- She's unreasonable. She knows how Sean works - he told her - he locks himself in, and works without a break. And yet she fucking cries, because he hasn’t seen her in a while! Give me a blunt object, before it breeds.
- She's worried because there are haters out there? Trolls on the internet leaving mean comments on artists’ websites? Really? Welcome to the real world, you useless bitch. And he agrees somebody should be tracking them! Please, don't feed the troll. What a waste of time and effort.
- Talking during serious foreplay? Really? That's when you keep on bringing the case?
- "Women who turned themselves into doormats got walked on. How many times did she need to prove it to herself before the lesson stuck?" Yes, except the thing she's referring to WASNT FUCKING ABOUT HER! The world doesn't revolve around you, hon. Just another proof of childishness and naivety. She believes everything is about her.
- Scene at the shop when they’re trying on dresses for the wedding. My version of hell... Women are despicable. Those were not empowered women. Those were giggly, selfish, inappropriate, stupid, and nosy as hell bitches. They embody everything I hate about my own sex. Congratulations.
- Even though she goes overboard with "I won't let people use me" to the point of being self obsessed and controlled by that fear, she has a good idea. Just needs to find balance. She makes stupid decisions and struggles to stay with them "I've decided to move on, no, I won't try to get my happiness here"
- Little Camelot Security agency + criminal profiling? You are a one, dumb bitch. If you get to criminal profiling, you’re dealing with crime, which means involvement of a police/FBI. Not some small town “security agency”. Which, by the way, we don’t know anything about. That is a huge plot hole if you ask me.
Some fun quotes!
"If Caleb knew someone was threatening Judah's life, he would fabricate a reason to send another agent to New York. He wouldn't come right out and admit he didn't want her to go, but she'd know he was protecting her, and she didn't want to be protected. She wanted to go to Buffalo with Sean" A) childish B) that's why you don't work for your brother C) you're really not qualified.
"I'm not going to be stupid anymore. That's why I changed jobs. I'm going to be a different person. Smarter, and stronger, and all-around tougher and less idiotic. So, you know, fair warning if you liked the old Katie. I'm killing her off." See? She lost the connection with reality.
"I never wuh-want to her you use the word 'stupid' t-to descrive yourself again. you're not stupid. You were sssmart as a whip in high school, and you still are..." Nope, I'd say she was a classic doormat; focused on a guy to the max. I honestly don’t know what you see in her.
“I’m going to go up there and see if there’s anything I can do to help. I’m useless back here.” She’d been told to stay out of the way and observe, but she needed to be watching a door or scanning the crowd from one side of the stage (scanning for what, she doesn’t know). She had to do something. --> What? What the fuck are you looking for? Just GTFO. She needs to learn to sit on her ass.
"I've never been fired before" Well, if you were always working for family and friends...
She's really rattled after she 'gets fired'. Why? "I wanted to be good at this job, but if I wasn't good at it, I at least wanted to be a good friend to Judah." Fuck me. What is wrong with her?
‘Brilliant’ observation by Kate: "She'd done her make up for the show. I bet it took her more than twenty minutes" - yeah, what a sin! Newsflash, most women tend to take at least 20 minutes to get ready before being seen in public. That doesn’t indicate ANYTHING. You’re no Sherlock. Go home.
"She doesn't look dangerous" ... She's mentally unstable and having an anxiety attack. If that's not dangerous I don't know what dangerous looks like. The wise Katie strikes again! Proving she’s only qualified to asses pancakes.
I'll stop myself here. There is no point to raging on. If those behaviours are a deal breaker for you - you've been warned. If not - have fun.