Avon Impulse, $6.99, ISBN 978-0-06-233172-4
Contemporary Romance, 2014
Gemma Carlton may not date rock stars, but she has no problems sleeping with them when drunk and having their illegitimate children, if her antics with Travis Bowers, country rock star, are anything to go by. They were lovers when they were younger, until she caught him in a compromising position with another women and broke the whole thing off. She never told him she was carrying her son, while he didn’t call or do anything after she refused to listen to his protests of innocence. Cut to today, when they meet again in Las Vegas. She wants him to stay away, he won’t because he decides that she’s the one for him, and she wakes up with a hangover with his ring on her finger. Great, now to tell him of his child, and everything will be fine. Right?
If Gemma accepts the hero this second time around, then Good Girls Don’t Date Rock Stars would be only about 50 pages long. To keep the story going, therefore, poor Gemma has to play the crazy shrew. She constantly finds excuses to keep Travis at arm’s length, and I may respect her if she backs up her talk with a bit more walk. She’s pretty easy when it comes to Travis, so she’s all talk but spreads like peanut butter when she has to back up her talk, hmmph. Therefore, Gemma is just… noisy. The author also makes our heroine a neurotic mess. Whenever Gemma decides that she’d do something, of course she’d either fail it or bungle things up because she’s an emotional mess. Everything about her has a pattern of spiraling out of control. The fact that nothing seems to go along as she plans, coupled to the fact that she turns every scene in a painfully dramatic moment about her body “betraying” her or something, makes Gemma an exhausting heroine to follow. She can’t do anything at all without hesitating and doubting herself, so everything about her is melodrama ramped up to crazy levels.
Travis is quite the persistent stalker. but at least he’s not the emotional wreck like Gemma. This is good, as Gemma clearly needs someone to help her hold herself together. However, he’s what he is, and Gemma right now is already plagued by insecurities, jealousies, and paranoia about him and other women. I can’t imagine how she’d be a few months down when he’s on the road, while she’s gnawing on her knuckles and being an emotional wreck because she couldn’t get the washing machine to work. The paranoia would probably send her over the edge and right into the loony bin.
The heroine isn’t cut out to be the wife of someone like Travis, not when she’s always acting like someone who needs to lace her drinks with Paxil. There is no discernible sign of emotional growth – or appropriate prescription – to convince me otherwise. The romance in Good Girls Don’t Date Rock Stars, therefore, is never believable to me.