She’s a stereotypical nerdy librarian who doesn’t know her own worth or beauty. (I can’t even remember her name. That’s how typical and average she was.) Authors everywhere: can you please write self-confident, outspoken librarian heroines for me? Or how about a sexy librarian hero? Please and thank you. The days of the pocket-sized, glasses-wearing, super-shy librarian who dresses like a schoolmarm on Little House on the Prairie need to end.
And also, this particular cliche heroine has a nasty habit of spewing nerdy literary exclamations for no good reason. I’m sorry, but the chick who mutters crap like, “Hairy Heathcliff” and “Dancing Darcy” is never, ever going to land the hot guy. It’s just not possible, and frankly, I don’t want to live in a world where it is possible. It’s just weird and wrong and...weird. (It’s weird enough that I thought it should be repeated)
I enjoy romance heroes who are men of few words. There’s nothing at all wrong with that. But Nash took this concept to the extreme. He didn’t say anything but one syllable words to the heroine throughout the whole book (because reasons), and he only gave her a handful of those. When he first met her, he grunted at her and said, “Small.” (Because she’s short, I have to assume. It was never explained further.) The next time he saw her was to grunt at her and say, “Dinner.” Which was his way of asking her out on a date. He made no other attempts at communication. I mean, sign language, writing on a dry erase board, texting...he did none of that. I’m sorry, but no matter how hot the guy was, if he came up to me and grunted, saying only, “Dinner”, I would NOT go out with him. I’m not something that can be ordered off a menu like a steak, and it bummed me out that the heroine just went along this kind of asshattery.
All Nash has to do is grunt at the heroine a few times and she’s in love with him. She knows nothing about him, he hasn’t uttered more than 100 words to her throughout the entire book, but she loves him. I’m calling bullshit. And I’m rolling my eyes. Lots and lots of eye rolling.
The villain is another stereotype: the other woman who is jealous of the heroine and wants the hero for herself. Why can’t other women in romance be supportive of one another?
There’s also a scene where the villain kindly explains her subterfuge to a bystander who explains it to our intrepid heroine. Otherwise, the dimwit wouldn’t have had a clue what was going on.
A couple of unanswered texts and the heroine goes from loving the hero to being ready to write him off altogether. Emotional whiplash much?
There’s no sex
Anyone who starts reading this book thinking that maybe, based on the cover, there are some sexy times would be sadly mistaken. This one is super clean. (I don’t mind clean romance, but I wouldn’t want anyone to get the wrong idea about this one. It’s tame enough to be lumped in with the Christian and Amish romances out there, in my opinion.) I think the cover is a little misleading in that respect, as it hints at intimacy.
So, long-story-short, this one irked the crap out of me. I won’t be continuing with the series. But if you like cliches and monosyllabic heroes, this one will be your next 5-star read.
Does this book contribute to or help crush the romance stigma?
Other reading suggestions
As far as Beauty and the Beast retellings, you can’t go wrong with Tiedby Carian Cole or In Bed with the Beastby Tara Sivec.