by Cathie Linz, contemporary (2006)
Berkley, $7.99, ISBN 0-425-21284-X
Bad Girls Don't is related to Good Girls Do in that the two heroines are sisters. This book is the story of the sister Skye Wright, the dingbat hippie loser who had a child and showed up with her mother to plague the heroine in Good Girls Do. Skye is actually less irritating in this book, but that's like saying being hit by a car is less painful than being hit by a truck.
Skye Wright seems to be under this impression that she's Maureen from Rent. She's the kind of heroine that mistakes self-indulgence for bohemian hell. You know, the kind that speeds on the road and then hollers when she's caught that speed limits suck and besides, fining her for breaking the rule is against the La Vie Boheme constitution, the one that says she has the right to have fun any way she wants without any reprimand. In this case, she is arrested by our hero, Nathan Thornton the Sheriff of the town of Rock Creek. Nathan overreacts by dragging her to jail, which leads to the people of Rock Creek picketing outside the building for Skye's freedom.
Sparks fly between the stupid hippie dipstick and the straight-laced "I won't love again, yadda yadda yadda" Nathan but I'll be hard-pressed to specify the plot of this story. There isn't a plot as much as a non-stop trainwreck of mayhem and cacophony as secondary characters are packed to bursting point in this story, too many of them acting stupid for laughs. Skye is hopelessly immature and she treats the world like her personal playground, throwing fits when she has to behave with even a measure of responsibility or act her age, while Nathan sinks low when he lets her drag him down to her level. Amidst their petty and childish squabbling, the "laughs" are ramped up by the secondary characters. Most of the "laughs" come from women shrilly screaming or shrieking while acting like total morons, by the way. This book is like a congregation of really sad Janet Evanovich fans/Grandma Mazur impersonators who mistake their exaggerated hysterical antics for comedy gold.
At least in Good Girls Do the heroine starts off as vaguely human. Here, Skye from the get go is roadkill waiting to happen and she drags everyone else down to her level. I suspect that one has to have a high tolerance for heroines who make stupid decisions or act like a child in order to be "precious" or "cute" in order to adore Bad Girls Don't. After all, in this book, Skye demonstrates very nicely that bad girls don't think. Likewise, Ms Linz demonstrates that sometimes even pointlessly bad pandemonium can go for as much as $7.99. Fans of Katie MacAlister and Millie Criswell may get a kick out of this book but I suspect everyone else who instinctively cringes at the mention of those two authors has better stay away from this book. Just... don't.
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