Bella is a doormat. There were a few moments there (days, actually) where she actually considered marrying the cheating scumbag who treated her like crap. She also tolerated the fact that the hero treated her like a crap a few times (more to come on that). I have VERY little tolerance for doormat heroines.
I also didn’t like that she got super judge-y with Christian when he admitted something to her about his past that he wasn’t proud of. Christian isn’t the type of guy to open up about his feelings, but he did it with Bella, and she responded by basically calling him a scumbag and stomping away from him a prissy, judgemental huff. Way to be the big hearted, compassionate, sweet woman everyone seems to mistakenly think you are, Bella.
She also kept a secret from Christian for way too long for no apparent reason. She shouldn’t have agreed to be his “girlfriend” before telling him the secret. He had a right to know right up front.
I’m sorry, but Christian is an asshat. He seems to be a decent father, so I cut him a little slack, and I didn’t really like Bella anyway, so it didn’t bother me too much that he treated her like crap. But when he started casually banging another woman while he was thinking about Bella and wanting to be with Bella, I had to quit making allowances for him and admit that he was just a douchenozzle. I also didn’t care for how quickly he bailed on Bella when “the secret” came to light. He acted like a total wimp, and I have no tolerance for wimp heroes in my romance novels.
Why is it that in romance novels, every woman who has had a crappy sex life assumes there’s something wrong with HER? Why do these women assume they’re bad in bed instead of wondering if their boyfriend/husband/life partner is the one who doesn’t know his way around a clitoris? I HATE that! Have a little self-confidence, ladies. If you don’t like sex, it’s entirely possible that you’re just having sex with someone who doesn’t care enough to make sure you’re having a good time. Look elsewhere for sex before deciding that you’re frigid and bad in bed, m’kay? And the whole idea of seeking out a man who can “teach you” how to be better in bed? Gross and pathetic.
Long story short, this book gets 1 star for the pretty, pretty cover and 1 star simply because it wasn’t the worst thing I’ve read in a while. I finished it, at least. That’s gotta be worth something.
Full disclosure: I received an ARC from NetGalley at no charge.
Does this book contribute to or help crush the romance stigma?
I don’t know about the romance stigma, but it’s certainly not doing anything to advance feminism.
Other reading suggestions
For a great read about a cool, smart, funny woman who ditches a cheating loser at the altar and finds her HEA with a sexy bartender, try Dirty, by Kylie Scott. Trust me, it’s awesome.