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Heidi Hart

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 One Pushed the Feminist Rage Buttons

Tangled - Emma Chase

I'm really torn about how to review this. I have to give Emma Chase some credit: this was like no other romance I've ever read. It's told entirely from the first person POV of the male protagonist, Drew Evans, and he's talking to you, the reader. I also give Chase credit because, while Drew is an unapologetic asshat most of the time, his character is believable and fully developed.


Most of the other reviews are five stars, and I get that. Tangled is appealing because it's so unique. The pacing of the plot is perfect. The dialogue is fast and sharp. Kate is sassy, smart, and independent. Drew is charming and funny.


Here's the thing, though. Sociopaths and wife beaters can also be charming and funny, yet, like Drew, they are often manipulative, misogynistic, self-centered, immature bastards. Drew is a manwhore, and women are objects for his sexual gratification. He tells us right off the bat that he generally doesn't even bother to learn their names. His narrative is full of jawdroppingly anti-feminist and anti-gay quips (I didn't start keeping track until I was more than halfway through the book, but I highlighted at least a dozen examples of misogyny and homophobia in the last half alone.) He refers to his sister as The Bitch (though she's nothing but good to him.) He derisively refers to chick-flicks like "The Notebook" as "totally gay." The things he says to Kate at work blatantly cross the line into sexual harassment territory, and he knows it, but doesn't worry because he's confident she likes him and won't rat him out. Drew knows he's being crass, but thinks he should get away with it because, the way he sees it, he's just telling it like it is.


Even when he falls in love with Kate and has to win her over, he's totally manipulative. They work together. Drew is the boss's son and the firm's well established Golden Boy; she is a brand new, entry level associate, an uneven power dynamic that makes his behavior all the more reprehensible. When she spurns him, he arranges a series of highly visible and disruptive stunts AT THE OFFICE to change her mind, apparently not knowing or caring that the last thing a newly-hired, professional woman trying to build a career needs is to have her personal relationships be made into a sideshow at work. Outside of romance novel fantasyland, Drew's behavior would likely get Kate fired and him slapped with a restraining order.


Other reviews talk about how funny Drew is, but mostly it's a mean spirited humor, reminiscent of a witty high schooler shoring up his own popularity by making jokes at others' expense. Bottom line: I can see what others liked about this book, but too much about it made my skin crawl.