Nobody's Angel
by Patricia Rice, contemporary (2001)
Ivy, $6.99, ISBN 0-449-00602-6

I hate self-absorbed heroes who bully their women and punish them when they try to tell him they have a life that don't just revolve around the men. I don't understand women who let their men do this to them because oh, they love these men so. Nobody's Angel pushes all my wrong buttons because the hero is a chauvinist jerk who insists the heroine to stop living for his sake, because hey hey hey, he is Wrongly Accused for a crime. (Turns out he's wrongly accused only in his own convoluted self-deluding logic - he's an accessory as much as anything.) Bah.

Adrian Quinn is paroled after four years in prison and now he wants to find the wife of his ex-partner to help him clear his name. So he kidnaps Faith, who's now not with her (predictably) philandering husband anymore, and drags her all the way to his own place so that she can get him back to the Bar.

Along the way he treats her like a cold slab of beef, tells her that he knows how her hubby was cheating on her but hey, his partner doesn't drink or gamble, so his cheating on his wife is condoned fully by Adrian (where's my bazooka?). He also acts like a Neanderthal bent on seduction - all that's missing is the club - and all along I'm supposed to pity him because he's been in jail?

Hey, Adrian, how's playing wifey to Bruto in the can like?

Sorry. Where was I? Faith. Ah yes, well, if she's a happy camper, I'll be more okay with the whole kidnap-and-bully thing, but she is often telling me how uncomfortable she is, et cetera. The whole story soon smells of coercion. Likewise, shame on Faith for not putting her foot down when this man expects, no, takes her for granted that she will drop everything in her life just for him.

Nobody's Angel seems an apropos title if it describes the hero. In fact, it's a book where all those lawyer jokes are vindicated and given the seal of approval. Lawyers are scums, if Aidan the supposedly brilliant lawyer is anything to go by. How did that joke go again? Ah yes: if you are trapped in a room with an elevator, a ravenous Rottweiler, a giant anaconda, Saddam Hussein, a man-eating alien, and lawyer, and you have only three bullets in your gun, what will you do? Answer? Shoot the lawyer. Thrice.

My apologies to lawyers, but really, this book just sets me in the mood to make bad, mean, and admittedly unfair lawyer jokes. Wonder why. Did you hear about the lawyer and the redneck?

Rating: 40

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