Monday, June 14, 2010

The Mancini Marriage Bargain- A Review

If you don't know what the heck I'm doing, you can read all about it here.....

Oh man. This book sucked so bad it probably would have broken all of the windows out of my house from the pressure if I had left it open for another second. This book is AWFUL. But just for you I am going to give you a run down of the plot, which doesn't deserve any in-depth analysis, and then share a few choice sentences that are just so painfully quintessentially romance-novelish that I couldn't pass them up.

Okay, so this British woman living in Paris named Helene is the most immature 29 year old in the world. Back when she was 17 and impetuous (as opposed to 29 and stupid), her father was going to marry her off to some dude as part of an oil deal. Seriously? Is this 1534? Are daughters still commodities in England? At first I thought maybe this book was supposed to be a historical fiction trashy romance novel, but then our heroine jumped a plane for New York City, so I guess not.

To get out of the unthinkable marital trap she was facing, she instead married her "friend" in college, an Italian exchange student or something. So she was promptly disowned by her parents, and lived for 12 long years waiting for the oil guy to get married so she'd be safe from him and not be forced to marry him because women cannot make their own choices in life ever. Still with me?

Oh, and did I mention that Italian dude and British chic both had the hots for each other but their own obnoxiously strong senses of propriety got in the way of doing the deed? This book would have been so much better (nonexistent) if they'd just gotten it on already 12 years before.

But noooooooooo, he comes to her apartment in the middle of the night so that she can sign divorce papers because low and behold the oil guy is married. And of course after lots of significant looks and rising temperatures they FINALLY have sex thank god is the book over yet?

Nope. Instead she gets pregnant. (With a lot of tedious reasoning about her going off the pill the month before but surely people don't get pregnant as soon as they get off of birth control, right?) (And I don't believe that there is sex so passionate that you forget about birth control, but maybe that's just me.)

And when Mr. Perfect Italian finds out he turns into a controlling asshole who pretty much runs her life because he wants that baby and he takes her to Italy to live with his mother and SHE GOES ALONG WITH IT. Because she thinks that she TIED HIM DOWN FOR 12 YEARS with a stupid marriage. So in her weak mind she OWES HIM A CHILD.

And after some really bad back and forth totally contrived plot points they fall in love and live happily ever after. The end. My disgust is unwriteable.

Oh man did I hate this book. It's the modern version of fairy tales- really bad fairy tales telling women to be passive and take crap from men because deep down under the hate and scorn they really do "love" them and so it's all wildly romantic. No wonder society is so fucked up about marriage. Not even marriage, just relationships.

The most depressing part is that it's got 5 stars on Amazon. Granted, only 4 people reviewed it, but that still doesn't give me much hope in humanity.

But as promised here are the sentences that made me cackle in cliched delight and horror all at the same time.

"She turned back to Paulo and their eyes collided. His dark scrutiny held such raw pain she could feel its jagged edges reaching out to scrape uncomfortably against her own feelings."
No- that's not sexy. Just vaguely gynecological. And eyes colliding sounds painful.

"Emotion hitched in his words, forcing her to really look at him, and guilt speared her deep inside."
Well they are talking about feelings and a conversation but I think that's a preview of what's about to happen.

"Softly, tenderly, his lips brushed against hers, the supple warmth of his mouth like a salve to her hurt, the rasp of his chin like a gentle file scraping away her pain."
Ewwww. Scraping is not hot. Why does she keep using this word? IS THIS A MANICURE?

And score 6 points for the word SUPPLE.

Okay I can't bring myself to type the sentences that talk about tissues tingling (EW), and "an apparent knowingness that felt so right" (EWWWW), but here's the best one:
"The magic of his predator-like stride, the beauty of his perfect form, the sheer size of that which made him man- there was no dragging her eyes away, just as she know there was no denying the fundamental truth of what he'd said."
Really, the dude could be totally hot or right out of an alien movie... there's no way to be sure.

I can't believe this stuff gets published. On paper. IN BOOKS. THINK OF THE 1000s OF TREES THAT DIED FOR THIS MESS!

And in book number two the main guy's name is... Rafe. Where do they come up with this stuff?


Dr. J.D. said...

First of all, Predator is the best movie ever made. As soon as I read that word, it was all I could think about.
Secondly, SUPPLE is 10 points. It goes by Scrabble scoring.

Heather said...

Best movie ever made? WOW.

According to the Scrabble points calculator, supple is worth 14 whopping points! Scrabble-wise throbbing is worth 20 and I don't think it should be allowed to score higher than supple. I think scoring needs to be done based on how many ways you can use the word. You could have a throbbing headache, but not a supple one.... I'm guess that harlequin romance word association scoring could be it's very own post!