Snarkling Clean

Snarkling Clean- because you don't have to cuss to make fun of stuff. Two dedicated readers discuss romance novels- from what made us weep with joy to what made us want to poke pencils through our eyeballs.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Ignore That Thud You Heard


Yes, I just finished a wallbanger. Is there any worse feeling for a reader? You've just invested your time, your thought, your emotions into this book- and it doesn't suck. It lets you down, man. Sort of like your mother's worst punishment: not getting grounded or spanked, but The Look. Accompanied by The Big Sigh. Which is followed immediately by a soft voice saying, "I'm So Disappointed."

It could have been great. It was an old Harlequin Temptation by Madeline Harper- The Pirate's Woman. Come on, how can you go wrong with a title like The Pirate's Woman?

Once again, I think I'm getting a time travel and what I get is a reincarnation. And you all know how much I luuuuurve reincarnation stories.

It started with such promise. Our heroine, Diana, runs a costume shop. On New Year's Eve, a tall dark handsome man, Adam Hawke (Hawke, yet! What self-respecting pirate doesn't have a name like Hawke!) runs in just before closing to get a costume for a business/charity event held on a...say it with me...refurbished 18th century ship. Adam, of course, gets her special pirate costume. She's like had pirate fantasies for like, ages, y'know? And the costume so totally fits him. Like it was fated and stuff. Especially since he talks her into, y'know, going with him and she dresses as an 18th century lady with these really gnarly corsets. Diana don't do velcro, okay?

But do Adam and Diana both get swept back in time and have a great adventure? Nooooooooo. No, our I-run-my-own-business-but-I'm-not-smart-enough-to-stay-away-from-trees-in-a-lightning-storm heroine gets zapped. Right after a Swooning Tonsil Swab with Adam, this monster storm hits and she's struck by a tree that got knocked over by lightning. And she wakes up in...come on, you know this. She wakes up on the boat, and Adam Hawke walks in the cabin. The real, 18th century pirate Adam Hawke.

Suffice to say, she falls for him even though he's taken her hostage, he falls for her even though she's a raving lunatic, and just when they're going for the HEA she gets zapped again and wakes up in the modern hospital.

After she went through nine kinds of torture to finally accept her new life and absolutely, positively, totally fell in love with her pirate, she goes back. And her reaction to losing the love of her life? She grieves for maybe three and half minutes before she realises- hey! I have an Adam here too! Yes, she waits for The Sign. There's always a Sign in these things. Yes, darling. You're dead. You watched me get fried by lightning, had to live out your life without me, and then die, but you're not done. I want you to hang around Earth for two centuries so you can find me and give me The Sign that I can have Tea and Crumpets with another man. Thanks, honey.

Arrggghhh! Present day Adam looks the same, he talks the same, he touches your cheek the same way, but he's not the same dude! NOT! And pirate Adam? We never find out what happens to him. And she can't be bothered to even drop by the library to look! He loved her. Risked everything for her. And all he gets is horrifying memories of his lady getting electrified while he's twiddling his thumbs for two hundred years so he can give her a Sign, then watch her have Swooning Tonsil Swabs with his doppleganger.


I'm so disappointed.


Blogger Missie said...

I am looking around for something to throw against the wall for you in sympathy. Even though your Readers' Digest version of the story was very well written, I still got confused with all the swabbing and electrocuting and reincarnating and crumpeting. I am sorry that you will never get that couple hours of your life back.

10:35 PM  
Blogger Camy Tang said...

Oh you have got to be kidding me. I hate those romance books where the main character DIES. That's not romance! That's literary fiction!

Did you ever see the movie Sliding Doors? DON'T! I slugged my husband when it ended.


3:32 AM  
Blogger Anna said...

Augh! I feel your pain. Also share the sentiment on reincarnation books, verbatim. We're going to wait until its father gets home because we're too upset to think of appropriate consequences now.

5:10 AM  
Anonymous Michelle said...

Oh, argh! No, wait..that should be...Arrrrrr! for the pirate.

I hate reincarnation books, too. Jude Deveraux is one of my all-time favorite historical authors, but I HATED the ending of A Knight in Shining Armor. Give me a break!!

6:26 PM  
Blogger Robyn said...

Ohhhhhhh, yes. After I read KISA I wanted to personally pelt Ms. Deveraux with rotten tomatoes. I know a happy ending when I see it, and that wasn't it!

8:13 PM  
Blogger Anna said...

KISA *and* rotten tomatoes? I am SO there, and will bring stinky eggs, too. Bleh, bleh, bleh. I not only throw that against the wall, but retrieve it, throw it again and stomp up and down on what's left. *Not* a happy ending! Ms Deveraux can and has done SO much better I have to wonder where that came from.

5:00 AM  
Anonymous Bonnie said...

I remember that book. It had some good, um, tea and crumpets scenes, as I recall.

I also remember thinking the author had been influenced by Jude Devereaux, specifically that one where the heroine goes back in time, A Knight in Shining Armor, I think.

6:49 PM  
Blogger Robyn said...

Yep. KISA was the first thing I thought of. Right before hurling the book against the wall.

And there ain't enough crumpets in the world to make up for a lousy ending.

8:41 PM  

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