Elisabeth Naughton, $3.99
Romantic Suspense, 2011
Wait for Me is an uncomfortable hybrid of a Harlequin Presents and a more over the top plot arc of One Life to Live. If I judge this book by how much the elements here resemble everyone’s favorite tried and true tropes, it makes the grade very easily. And yet, very little here makes sense unless this story takes place in an alternate universe.
Kate Alexander can’t remember anything that happened before she woke up from her coma a year ago. She has a son and a husband, but things don’t seem to fit together much. Perhaps this is because her husband and she are not close, apparently having drifted apart even before her accident. And then, the plane her husband is on goes ka-boom, and the next thing Kate knows, she’s discovering letters and notes in her husband’s desk (he’s, conveniently, the kind of person that needs to keep everything recorded down) that suggest very strongly that her life is not what it seems to be.
Well, it isn’t. It turns out that, five years ago, she is married to pharmaceutical mogul Ryan Harrison. She apparently had a daughter with him, so oh dear, what exactly is going on here?
Our heroine is caught in an outlandish plot, and seriously, when the whole plot is revealed, it becomes even more outlandish. This story is like an episode from Alfred Hitchcock Presents, only without the grand reveal that exposes how the whole outlandish thing is a twist to catch me by surprise. The story is perfectly sober in describing the increasingly outlandish twists and turns of the plot, so I don’t know what to think. There’s a reason why I quit watching soap operas a long time ago, and this story only reminds me why and adds a few more reasons in the process.
And then we have the drama between Kate and her husband Ryan. Now, it seems like there is some kind of rule set in stone that every other hero has to be an asshole. Ms Naughton is aware of what an asshole Ryan can be here, as she has Kate throwing Ryan’s behavior to his face rather weakly now and then, but she then kind of validates his behavior by insisting that somehow she loves that man more than the other guy who is also vying for her affections.
And Ryan does come off as deranged at times. The wife lost her memory after being in a coma for three years (long story, don’t ask), and he’s mad at her for being married to another guy. He’s also mad at her for having a son without telling him. Is he serious? Oh wait, he is. It’s not like he has much ground to get all offended, being that he goes through hot women in the wife’s absence. The dolt comes off as so full of ass and his breath probably smells like one, too. He’s not as toxic as some romance heroes out there, but when he gets into donkey gone wild mode, he gets into it without any reasonable context. Ryan’s behavior ebbs and flows according to plot requirements. Need a conflict? Let’s have Ryan bring on the asshole!
I don’t understand why Kate believes that she loves this guy so, so much. He is an irrational twit when the mood hits him. When she needs some emotional support, he presses the “on” button on the emotional blender. The romance is pretty much what it is because the author says so. Everyone’s busy being crazy and stirring up drama to make things believable.
Wait for Me… well, maybe not.