Avon, $5.99, ISBN 0-06-050231-2
Contemporary Romance, 2002
There’s far-fetched, and then there’s the local loony bin bash. It is so hard to even take this book with a smidgen of seriousness because this book is so whacked. And whacked in a bad way.
You will have to accept that the local matchmaker broad, Mary Todd (she is the one who manipulates everybody else in Paradise Beach to have sex), will willingly hire a lawyer and embroil herself in a court case with her nephew, and willingly lose the case just so to get her long-time suitor to marry her. Along the way, if she has to sign over her property and even her competency to her greedy nephew, she will do it. It’s all a “test”, see.
The problem is, guess who does all the dirty work for her? That’s right, the lawyer Richard Wesley III, Esquire, who genuinely believes that Mary’s in deep trouble and tries to help her. Or Mary’s protege, Erin Kelly, who wants to marshal the troops but she just doesn’t have the brain cells to even plot a decent countermeasure. All she does is stomping her foot and calling Richard names in between lusting after him. These two spar and bicker and pout like two overheated but under-brainy teenage brats, while that smug bitch Mary is just waiting for everyone to solve her mess.
Mary’s action crosses the line from manipulative scheming to outright Neurembergian villainy here, and I, for one, am hoping that the nephew Linus will win and have Mary incarcerated forever in a mad house. That will serve that self-serving bitch right. Likewise, Ms Civil-Brown inserts lots of schoolyard bully humor, poking fun at the villains’ stupidity and laziness, while remaining oblivious that Erin Kelly is the stupidest one of them all. At least Linus can plot, no matter how much Ms Civil-Brown snidely tells me he’s stupid and useless, and at least the mayor can smell a plot. Erin? Oh please. Nothing she does makes sense, and she’s loved for being “cute”.
The only person I feel sorry for in the end is Richard. He’s in love with a dumb broad, manipulated by Satan’s grandmother, and stuck in Paradise Beach, just one mile away from Hell. I love this author’s previous book because it’s ridiculous but fun, but this one is ridiculous, mean-spirited, and it is a story where logic is ruthlessly trampled in the spirit of mocking the fat and the ugly, all the while remaining clueless that its perfectly formed characters are the biggest morons of them all. Breaking All the Rules does just that – it shatters the boundaries of logic, coherence, and sanity and offers unadulterated stupidity passed off as cute slapstick comedy.