The Wedding Night
by Jayne Ann Krentz, contemporary (2001. 1991 reissue)
MIRA, $6.99, ISBN 1-55166-851-3

It's been awhile since I read a Jayne Ann Krentz, so when I saw this book... oh who am I kidding? It's like a bad drug addiction. This author's brand of fun has long stopped being pleasurable because of severe overkill, yet fuelled by memories of better times long ago, I keep going back, even if it means that my brain may be permanently damaged by the experience. Is there a twelve-step program for this sort of self-destructive behavior?

Anyway, The Wedding Night is a particularly annoying story because in all essence, it is a Big Misunderstanding story made worse by the heroine's doormat behavior and the hero's ridiculous alpha caveman behavior.

Angie Townsend, who is from a family of well-known melodramatists and overly-emotional lunatics - bet she is really fun after a few sniffs of white powder - marries Owen Sutherland, who is from a family of crazy, greedy nutcases. Uhm, at the risk of sounding like a Nazi eugenics freak, do I want to see the marriage of these two families? Uhm, let me get back to you on that one.

Angie learns too late that Owen marries her for - gasp - business opportunities! Hey, I'm gasping too, because hello, a man marrying into business today, in this twenty-first century? You'd think sleeping with the boss' wife will be an easier way. Or hiring a group of lawyers to start a takeover. But anyway, who am I to say? Carry on, people.

Angie refuses to have sex with Owen until she makes Owen see that they are soulmates who just have a lousy start. Or something. Owen wants Angie not just for business, but he will not tell her, he will "prove it to her" - after she lets him have sex with her first, of course. And all the nasty Sutherlands - a product of bad inbreeding, I'm sure - gather around to rip Angie to shreds, upon which Angie defends Owen and herself very well.

This is a plus in my book - Angie is no fool, at least when the subject matter is not Owen. On the other hand, she realizes that Owen is just misunderstood - see, he's just a man who just needs to have his woman clean his house, cook, and give pumpies and he will be sweet and manageable. If I'm Angie, fine, I'll keep Owen for his moneypots, but hey, any out-of-work Hollywood aspiring actors (or do they call these blokes "bartenders" nowadays?) want to be my poolboy?

Ooh-kay, whatever, really. But seriously, why can't he just tell her straight, "Angie, look, I marry you because I love you, so here's flowers, Godiva chocolates, and oh, look, my American Express card with no credit limit. Go buy yourself one, or ten, diamond rings, honey, because hey, it's all on your sweetie hubby, okay?"

The Wedding Night isn't even good as vintage Krentz, thanks to a plot that drags because the two leads just can't speak without arguing about sex and drama. It sure beats the inbreeding session of, say, Perfect Partners, but I'll advise Krentz virgins to spend the $6.99 on a copy of Trust Me, Hidden Talents, or Grand Passion instead.

Rating: 52

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