by Sandra Hill, contemporary (2006)
Warner, $6.99, ISBN 0-446-61652-4
Pink Jinx is the story of Veronica "Ronnie" Lawyer, a lawyer, and Jake Jensen, a poker player. They have been married and divorced four times. Yes, four times. But for some reason, the old coots related to them decide that those two are meant to be - sort of like Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton... hey wait a minute. In this story, Ronnie's grandfather Frank, who had barely spoken to her in years, decides that he knows better than her what she really needs in life, so he pretends to be broke even as he pretty much forces Ronnie to take over his treasure-hunting company Jinx, Inc. Abetted by Tante Lulu, whom you may remember from the author's previous three books, the old coot is determined to soothe his conscience by forcing his granddaughter to live a life that he thinks is best for her.
I'm sure you can guess from my summary of the story above what my problem with this story is. I've said it many times and I'll say it here again: a romance that happens solely due to machinations of a third party is never believable to me. In this story, poor Ronnie is treated as if she's a fool for wanting a stable man in her life. Jake spends a lot of time showing her little respect for daring to be a straight-laced babe wanting stability and security in a man, as opposed to loving risk-taking selfish men like him and Frank. Then all of a sudden he's telling Ronnie that he's willing to change and give them a fifth go. I don't buy it. Even when he decides that he's in love, he is still a selfish ass - it's all about him and making her agree with him that they are now really, really, really in love. She doesn't think so? Watch as he makes her change her mind. I find it depressing how everyone in this story acts as if he or she knows what Ronnie needs in her life and makes those decisions for her without her knowledge or consent.
Did I mention Jake's bimbo fiancée? No? To cut a long story short, this is one relationship that will only work if Frank and Tante Lulu will not leave them alone for the rest of their days, because I doubt it will last otherwise.
The sad thing is, it shouldn't have to be this way. If the author has allowed Jake and Ronnie to spend more quiet time alone, away from the intrusive meddling of obnoxious secondary characters, this story may have worked, who knows. But because the author seems to be more focused on getting Ronnie all flustered for laughs, I guess I will never know.
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