by Linda Cajio, contemporary (1993)
Loveswept, $3.50, ISBN 0-553-44275-9
Me And Mrs. Jones has a fatal flaw: it is too afraid of admitting that the hero may be in any way in the wrong. This compromises everything about the romance. The hero, Mitch Jones, is frankly a creepy asshole but the author treats him like he's the second coming of Man. The result is an apologia for male creeps (ladies, jerk is the new sexy) rather than a romance story.
I have problems with this story since early on, when Mitch gets upset because his ex-wife Kate Perry, whom he divorced years ago, chooses to use back her maiden name instead of Kate Jones. Huh? What kind of creepy jerk will expect his ex-wife to keep his last name after they've divorced? How huge must his sense of self-entitlement be! And the reason for the divorce isn't kosher either: Kate believes that he's slept with another woman. He still swears that he didn't, but he wasted no time marrying that woman when the ink was barely cold on the divorce papers. When this woman runs away with a Frenchman, it's her fault, of course. The fact that Mitch can run two marriages into the ground has nothing to do with him - it's all the other women's fault!
But me, the reader, can easily see why he is a major asshole. He never listens. He just wants Kate to be the mother of his unruly daughter and a sex kitten to him. When Kate tries to tell him that he is spoiling his daughter, he shrugs off her arguments as the words of a woman jealous of his second ex-wife. How can anyone consider this freak a catch is beyond me. Which is why I have to bite my lower lip to stop myself from biting into this book hard when I am trying to finish Me And Mrs. Jones.
To top it off, this book has a cat playing matchmaker and the author actually gives the cat his point-of-view in the story. A normal cat, not a magical cat or an angel in a cat's body, but an ordinary cat. I am not amused at the precious oh-so-human kitty thoughts or antics, maybe because I'm never a cat person or perhaps because Mitch the Asshole is intensifying my hatred so much that there is no room for even a little love for Thomas the Cat.
This second time love story has a hero who runs roughshod over a passive heroine too weak to stand up to the hero or his sense of self-entitlement. For this story to work, the author must convince me that the hero and the heroine have mellowed and learned what they have to learn to make it work this time. However, Mitch is still an asshole, Kate is still a weak-willed doormat, and I give these two two more months before he gives her another major heartache.
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