Kimani, $6.50, ISBN 978-0-373-86461-4
Contemporary Romance, 2016
I’m not sure what happened to Brenda Jackson, an author whose books I’ve been known to enjoy in a distant past. It could be that perhaps my tastes have mellowed, or maybe the author has run out of steam after writing a bazillion books over two decades or so, but Bachelor Unforgiving is, alas, not breaking the trend of the author putting out near-unreadable books.
This one suffers from idiots enacting an idiot plot. The whole thing makes sense only if the author’s take home message for the readers is the whole story being an idiotic waste of time, but even if that is the case, it’s not right to charge people $6.50 just to bring that message home. Not when better stories are given out for free these days.
Let’s see, once upon a time, Kara Goshay and Virgil Bougard were in love… until she believed a lie her sister told her without checking for veracity, and the relationship got flushed down the toilet as a result. Since then, Kara learned that she was wrong, but Virgil is done. She can talk to the back of his rear end if she wants to apologize, since he’s busy sticking it to every ho that twerks at his direction. How dare she thinks of him as some kind of man-slut! He’s sleeping with so many women because… they made him! Seriously, that’s the end message of this author: when the hero is in trouble because he slept with his father’s business buddy’s very engaged daughter – mostly because she gave him a “badass blowjob” (the author’s words, not mine) – he ends up digging into that woman’s sexual history and even unearths a sex tape to prove that she is not a virgin and, hence, he can avoid paying the piper for laying the pipe into that woman. The misogyny and double standards in this story are astounding, even for a romance novel, so readers who are not keen on such things have better stay away or drink something strong first before reading this one.
But being a hypocritical sack of words is the lesser of the author’s crimes when it comes to this book: the plot is rubbish, to put it frankly. Because of the drama with the business buddy’s not-so-pure-after-all ho of a ho, Virgil is ordered by his father to clean up his act. The man hires a PR consultant to get Virgil to get his ship in order… and that person is Kara. Why? Does it make sense to anyone that hiring a troublemaker’s ex, whom that troublemaker supposedly hates, will be a good idea? And Virgil decides that forcing Kara to pretend to be his steady date would somehow convince his father to get off his back. How does that work? Won’t that only to prove to the old man that he can’t keep it zipped even for five minutes? Won’t it make more sense to just make love to his own fist, if he really can’t go without, over the next few months?
Kara agrees, of course, and so the whole relationship devolves into another “We agreed – no sex, but he really wants sex, and I really want it too, oh, so anyway, I put out, and now… oh, does he love me? How will I know?” waste of time.
Kara is a typical heroine of a misogynistic romance novel: she is the only attractive woman in the universe who isn’t portrayed as a skank whore. She has no good relationship with any woman that is even remotely a competition for the hero’s overused pogo stick, and her own mother hates her. Kara, naturally, is on good terms with her daddy, because daddies are always perfect in this story. Hilariously, she spent the last four years acting like she was the worst “suffering” victim ever because of her “heartbreak” and all the “stress” that resulted. Good lord, if she could buy a lie and turned on the hero in a heartbeat, how true could such a love be anyway?
As for Virgil, because of one broken relationship, he will never love again. He will never have another committed relationship. He will never forgive her… and he must hurt her to get back at her! How old is this guy again? Both he and Kara display the emotional maturity of kids arguing in a playground, and I’m supposed to believe that they will be okay the second time around because they have great sex. The author doesn’t come up with enough convincing scenes of these two growing up to become more sensible people, instead she relies on sex scenes to tell me that these two are now in love again.
Indeed, she tells me a lot of things here – most of this book is tedious information dumping and exposition, complete with eye-rolling sequel-baiting moments – because a stupid story also needs to be painfully tedious to read.
Bachelor Unforgiving is, indeed, an unforgiving assault on as well as an affront to my senses. No mercy for this one, it can go choke on my one oogie.