Mel Gough, $2.95
Contemporary Romance, 2018
Pete Jackson is a Metropolitan cop – he’s British, in other words – and he’s currently reeling from his wife filing for divorce and wanting full custody of his son. How can she do that? Doesn’t she know that he can’t live without seeing his son for even a second? So what if he smashed a plate in front of her when she asked for divorce, how dare she claimed that she was afraid of him! He will never hurt her or his son! He will never do anything of that sort!
Oh no, so he sleeps with this cute guy, Liam Jackson, while trying to get all drunk and what not, and he really doesn’t want him to call despite having given that man his number. Wait, will Liam call? Maybe he won’t, and that’s good, because Pete doesn’t have the energy to do relationships right now… EEEE, HE CALLED, EEEEEE! Oh wait, Liam is not mad at him… maybe he will throw himself off a building now!
Oh no, Liam is hurt! Beaten by someone! He rushes to Liam at the hospital… no, the hospital! His father died in that same hospital fifteen years ago! And so forth.
Really, my overwhelming impression of Mel Gough’s Tainted Life is that both Liam and Pete – especially Pete – are drama queens. Liam can be excused, as he spends the bulk of this story in a hospital bed. Pete, on the other hand, is “IT’S ON!!!” Central. Whether he’s staring at a wall, replaying a scene in his mind over and over, or claiming to want to die rather than to cause anyone harm, this guy is so dramatic that he could play every role in a Shakespearean play at the same time. This guy’s a cop? How does he withstand the pressures of his job? The author inadvertently makes me sympathize with the wife because if this man were like that in the marriage, my nerves would be frayed and fried before the month is out.
As for the rest of the plot, there isn’t much of one. Despite the plot synopsis making this one seem more like a tale of romantic suspense, the actual story centers mostly on Pete going drama central while Liam recuperates in the hospital. Therefore, Pete has plenty of time to indulge in histrionics. He is way too over the top for me. How I wish the story would morph into some serial-killer-loose-in-a-hospital slasher plot to liven up the day and distract Pete from going all “Oh mama mia! Gallileo Figaro!” on me, but alas, the dream remains a dream.
Read this one if you think you have the fortitude for histrionic wailing passed off as angst. Me, I will need to take a while to decompress, and then move on to something else in my book pile.