Headline Eternal, £8.99, ISBN 978-1-4722-2741-6
Contemporary Romance, 2014
Violet Fowler, the middle daughter of a perfume tycoon, is 23. She is not happy that the man she has been dating for two years, Zachary, has not yet put a ring on her finger. She’s 23, after all, practically an old maid. Never mind, she is confident that Zachary would propose when the story opens. She will be the perfect wife, the darling of society, and all the women would be so jealous… and then, oops, he tells her that her father is transferring him to London so that he can fill in as acting chief brand and marketing director there. It’s only for a few months, and this is an opportunity he can’t turn down.
Violet sees red. How dare he puts his career over her! Okay, it’s not like she wants to go to London with him, but how dare he doesn’t ask her to go there with him! How dare he even considers wanting to be away from her even for a second! Why is he so selfish? Why can’t he think about her, for once? Clearly, her sisters are right – he is not worthy of her time and affection, they are so over. Over! OVER! OVER!
Later, I’m told that Violet knows that Zachary had been unfaithful to her before – many times, actually – and she’s now panicking over the thought that he’d, like sleep with zillions of hot women in London. Oh, what a gullible imbecile. Does she think that Zachary would stop for gas at only her station after they are married, just because he has put a ring on her finger? Screw that ring, come to think of it. Let’s just wring her neck!
Hey, that guy, Ryder McKay, is kind of hot. He treats Violet like a piece of dirt, a complete jackass, but he’s so sweet that way, so clearly, he’s a step up from Ryder. Oh, how can she have sex with him non-stop without being judged by readers as a slattern who can’t keep her legs shut?
The author hits on the classic tried and true solution: keep telling me that the other woman is the prostitute of the century and hope that I don’t notice that Violet is a vapid, idiotic airhead with vomit where her brain should be. Or that I won’t grimace with disgust when Ryder, in a “moment of weakness” sleeps with Pilar while getting it on with Violet, and when Violet smells Pilar’s perfume on Ryder, his reaction is disgust – he’s disgusted that he’d never thought to change his clothes first before coming over for an encore with Violet. And yet, Pilar is the evil one, of course, between she sleeps with both Ryder and Zachary – and likes it! Wait, Violet slept with both men too… but I guess that’s okay, because she’s the heroine so she’s perfect!
You know, when I first picked up the book, I never thought this would be one of those stories – the ones that try so hard to emulate the whole “spineless vapid airhead needs a bigger asshole in her rear end” nonsense that are flooding the “new adult” listing on Amazon. The synopsis in the back cover makes it seem like a straightforward contemporary romance. Oops, my mistake. This one has the laundry list of all the clichés – dark secrets, stupid sex, spineless women who wilt without male attention for even a second, steaming asshole douchebags – topped by the two main characters being absolutely disgusting in every sense of the word, from the D to the G and back again.
By the last page of this book. I am so disgusted with myself for actually reading it all the way to the end. I’m lucky I can still move all my limbs, as I’m sure big chunks of my brain must have simply exploded from the sheer outright misogyny and hypocritical nonsense spilling out from every page, like a nanovirus outbreak in a nursing home that has run out of adult diapers and toilet paper. I loathe the fact that I have to expose my sensibilities to two of the most unlikable skank-buckets of the year.
However, unlike a new adult vapid douchebag main character, I won’t blame other women for my mistakes, I’m a nice person who believes in advocacy and peace and love and other crap like that, so I’m taking the time to write this review and warn everyone from even thinking about touching the pages of this book, at least not without girding one’s nerves first and clutching a crucifix to the chest. And you can thank me for exercising enough self-control to stop myself from peppering this review with foul language expressing how I really feel about this… this… thing.