By day, I'm a domestic violence prosecutor. By night, I read romance to restore my faith in love, relationships, and humanity in general.
This is one of those books that everyone loves but me. Usually I'm fine with that; it happens. Catcher in the Rye, The Great Gatsby, The Grapes of Wrath -- these are great works that I just didn't like at all. Sometimes, though, a book comes along that is so bad, so lacking in redemptive qualities, that the fact that so many other people like it seems like an assault on all I hold good and honest in the world. This is such a book.
Kristen Ashley is kind if a big deal in Romancelandia these days. This book in particular was really hyped. Read it, people said: Kristen Ashley has such a great voice, so different, so hot. Um, no. I read it, and that's six hours of my life that I'll never get back.
I should have known better. I looked at the Goodreads reviews before I read it, and I knew that among all of the book squee, the voices of the one- and two-star minority warned that this book is rife with all the things I can't stand: rampant sexism, poor plotting, crimes against grammar. I can't say I wasn't warned.
I hate this book. I hate Shy for being a violent, misogynistic ass. I hate Tabby for always bending over. I hate that women are described as either "bitches" (skanks whose purpose is recreational sex) or "old ladies" (the kind of girl you can settle down with, so long as she knows her place: i.e.,knows to shut up and not ask questions or express opinions). I hate that the women of Chaos can't join the Club of their own right and don't get their own bikes (or even get to drive). I hate that every time Tabby calls Shy on any issue in their relationship--from the major ("I'd rather you not beat the crap out of my boss, honey") to the minor ("how come you never help with the laundry, buddy?")--Shy's response is that she should suck it up because he gives good sex, and I hate that Tabby lets him pull that shit.
I hate the run on sentences and the incomprehensible dialogue and the hail of misplaced commas (I swear, Ms. Ashley must think she gets paid by the comma) and the rambling plot. I hate the cliffhanger-wrapped-in-a-cliché ending that deprives me of any sense of closure or accomplishment after I forced myself to finish this drivel.
I hate this book so much I'm tempted to argue with all the positive reviews, especially those who say that Shy is the shit, because actually, Shy is a shit, not the shit. But we are all entitled to our own opinions. I may be in the minority, but this is mine: 1/2 star.