Seriously? I had to read about 10 pages of backstory before I get to the part where the hero and his wife are fighting to stay alive? There wasn’t any better way to weave that backstory in without interrupting the action?
After that, I get a bunch of backstory about the heroine. Again, I’m TOLD all of this backstory, as opposed to having it shown to me throughout the story. If there’s one thing I can’t stand in a romance it’s a lengthy info dump at the beginning.
Consent. It’s a real thing, dude.
So, after some horrific stuff happens to our hero (including losing his wife), he goes into hiding and becomes a grumpy mountain man. Now, y’all know I love me a grumpy mountain man. I’ll admit I kind of skimmed through all the boring backstory to get to the part where the hero turns into a grumpy mountain man, and that’s when I read about him finding the heroine (who is badly hurt in a car crash) and taking her back to his house to help her. Here’s what I find at 4% of the story (after he’s laid her in his bed--while she’s unconscious and hurt--and removed her wet clothing):
“She had the softest skin, smooth and white. I left her satin lace panties and bra, but my heart was raging a war within me. I used every ounce of restraint to keep myself from peeling them off and sampling the subtle delights within. This beautifully broken angel was going to be mine, I knew it. There was no way I was going to be able to keep myself from her.”
SERIOUSLY? WTF, dude???? This woman is hurt and unconscious and it’s all you can do to keep from violating her while she sleeps? And THIS is supposed to be the hero of the story? Am I supposed to think it’s sexy that this guy has to use “every ounce of [his] restraint” to not rape this poor woman? And you’re sure she’s going to be yours, that there’s no way you can keep yourself from her? What if she DOESN’T WANT YOU? I’m assuming he’d just force her to do whatever he wants. That’s the kind of guy he seems to be.
(And this is a minor point, and I’m not a grammar Nazi or word nerd, so I could be wrong, but I think you “wage” a war, not “rage” a war. In other words, I think “my heart was waging a war within me” would be correct, but “raging a war” is not. The author could’ve said a war was raging within his heart and THAT would’ve been an OK alternative, I think, but as it stands, the whole sentence sounds weird. But I digress…)
So, I was forced to DNF at 4% because I think the hero is a sicko rapist, is quite possibly a future stalker, and might be into necrophilia. Just sayin.’
Does this book contribute to or help crush the romance stigma?
I’m not really sure if it contributes to the romantic stigma, but it’s gross and wrong.
Other reading suggestions
Check out any of these alternatives to find some grumpy, hot recluses who AREN’T rapists.