Loveswept, $2.50, ISBN 0-553-44307-0
Contemporary Romance, 1994
I have a great time staring in awe-horror at the first chapter of this book.
Where had the little girl gone? Only the flowing, wild mane of her sable hair marked her as the child he’d always harbored a special fondness for. It amazed him how much she’d matured since his last visit two years ago, when she’d been a coltish twelve-year-old. That was the girl he’d bought the dress for, not this woman-child with a lush, feminine body.
Addy McDonald is 14. Aaron Breedlove is 25.
He caught her wrist. The innocent contact didn’t feel innocent. It was laced with a current of sexual heat that defied age differences and an outside society’s disapproval. It wasn’t right for him to be feeling these feelings. It wasn’t right for Addy to be teasing him like this. But then again, she was only a simple mountain girl trying out her feminine charms on a man of the world and had no idea she might be courting disaster.
Oh my goodness, I’m reading my first redneck romance! How exciting!
Alas, Aaron Breedlove – snort – decides that he can’t bring himself to deflower Addy, so he flees the scene despite Addy’s pleas to take her along with him and get her out of the Redneck County. His departure leaves quite an amount of ill will in his wake, as Addy’s father spots him leaving the barn with Addy and suspects that someone has been fiddling with his daughter. Aaron’s own parents are not happy with what they perceive to be his turning his back to their old ways, so when Aaron comes back to see his dying father, the old man springs a trap on him: Aaron must marry a McDonald woman in order to keep peace between their clans, or there would be bullets and bloodshed.
Aaron is giving the choice of his bride, from women who parade themselves before him and say things like:
“I’m Esther, and I bring with me the skills of my hands. A good wife I’d be, but if the honor goes to another, then take this sampler I stitched as a wedding present to you and the kin of mine that you choose.”
This is fascinating! Is he allowed to keep a harem? I’m getting a Helter Skelter vibe here.
Unfortunately, it turns out that Addy is available and eligible – although legal now – so he wastes no time dry humping her all the way down the aisle. That’s when things become boring, because these two then move out of Redneck County and turn into a standard bickering couple. They come up with all kinds of excuses to frown and scowl at one another. You’d think they’d be happy to finally get to boink all day long without fearing that the FBI would break down their door, but no, they are not happy that they are forced into this marriage. There’s Other Woman drama as well as misunderstanding and wrong assumption galore.
Still, things aren’t that boring. Addy can be quite the demented creature, as her violent tendencies surface when she discovers that Aaron has a mistress before he marries Addy. Compared to the train wreck parts of the story when these two are in Redneck County doing such fascinating things, though, I can’t help feeling that I’ve been cheated of a delicious train wreck of a read. I understand why the author opts to go down the more conventional route for her story eventually – this is a marketed as a romance novel, after all, not some fabulous trashy beach read type of story – but come on. Those The Hills Have Eyes people need love too.