Harlequin Mills & Boon, AUD14.99, ISBN 978-174306978-3
Contemporary Romance, 2013
Okay, I’m a day late with the TBR Challenge review, but better late than never, as the wise ones always say. At any rate, this month the theme is contemporary romance, and when we think of that genre, most of the time we think of Mills & Boon. Therefore, how apt that this month, I will be reviewing Kelly Hunter’s What the Bride Didn’t Know in honor of the legacy of Mills & Boon in transforming the genre into a limited, stagnant one that will likely die out one day, when all current readers expire from old age and there is a lack of new readers because everyone young and hip these days would rather read something – anything – else.
Well, that and I’ve already read and reviewed the other story in this Australian two-in-one volume.
So, this one. I can only imagine that when Kelly Hunter’s editor passed her the things she would be required to put into her story, they must have had this conversation:
Kelly Hunter: So, how many clichés must I put in this story?
So, the author went ahead and basically did a diarrhea after two weeks of eating Indian food with extra spices and garlic non-stop when it comes to the clichés. What the Bride Didn’t Know has pretty much almost everything to the point that this is more of an overflowing toilet than a kitchen sink.
Lena West has always had a crush on Trig Sinclair, her brother’s BFF, but while he is nice to her, she knows that he won’t want her as she thinks she is unable to pop out brats for the man. She is from a family of geniuses who do cool things like hacking and sequel baiting, and now, she is a hot feisty chick while Trig is a special ops expert.
Lena’s older brother Jared is MIA so she now wants to join Trig as he tracks Jared down because she has the power of the feisty to repel all evil, a surely handy skill in times of danger and darkness. He’s like, nope, so she decides that she’s Captain Marvel and goes over to Turkey armed with her special power. Because Trig is secretly in love with her and he’s the protective action hero sort, he tags after her.
Alas, fate doesn’t believe in leaving silly romance heroines be to enjoy their delusions of grandeur, so Lena gets conked out quickly and OMG, she has amnesia. Bum-bum-bum! So Trig announces that he’s her husband to protect her, and while Lena can’t remember much of her past, she realizes that she wants the Trig rig inside her like, now, so the power of the feisty compels him to do her ASAP.
And on and on and on this story goes. As you can guess, there isn’t much room for character development here because the author is far more intent on sitting determinedly on the metaphorical toilet bowl and blessing us all with one “wacky” development after another. Lena’s one-note angst is that she can’t pop out babies and that’s ooh, ooh, sad. Trig is like, oh, how is he going to tell her that he’s not really her husband, ooh, ooh. Meanwhile, things happen non-stop because there’s no such thing as too many things.
I don’t know, I just think there’s way too much happening here. It’s not even like these happenings are comical or over the top in a memorable way – they are all overused, tired plot devices and tropes being slapped against my face non-stop. The best thing I can say about this singularly uninteresting kind of relentless mediocrity is that hey, it’s short and I manage to reach the end without dislocating my jaw after one too many yawns.