I read pretty much anything, from fantasy (City of Stairs by Robert Jackson Bennett) to romance (Bared to You by Sylvia Day) to classics (Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad). The only genres I don't read are self-help and comic books/graphic novels.
29/1 - What's worse, a really boring classic where the main character/narrator is waffling on about God knows what, or a dated romance featuring a TSTL heroine (my first use of that phrase/acronym, YAY!) and an asshole hero? I think the one thing that tips the balance in the dated romance's favour is that the pages are thick and the writing big, which meant that while I grimaced and shook my head through the whole session I managed to read 70 pages in half an hour last night.
After getting started I remembered that I had read another of Krentz's early books a couple of years ago, Witchcraft, which didn't impress me much. If I had remembered that when I saw the book at the library I may not have picked it up, but at the same time I might have held out hope that not all her early books were nearing the level of 'dreadful'. It's not just that it's dated - the amount of unprotected sex going on Shannon (female MC) should be pregnant and suffering from a horrible STI by the end of the book - it's also too short for any kind of character development.
Shannon's excuse for chasing after the stranger who's moved in next door was weak and stupid, but her reasoning for deciding Garth was a brooding author/poet was even worse. I couldn't decide whether to laugh or swear at the book. I don't understand why Shannon decided that Garth was the one for her. He was rude and dismissive of her and made it pretty clear that he wasn't in the least bit interested in her or her dinner party. He then made it even more clear when he insulted her other guests on numerous occasions. Why was she any more than civil when she saw him the next morning at the café?
Usually I don't mind, and even quite enjoy, alpha male characters in romances, but those alphas have redeeming features to balance their possessiveness and need to control the heroines - a good reason for feeling the need to protect/control them (a bad guy), deep, abiding love and passion for the heroine and usually a lack of horribleness. Garth has all the bad traits of an alpha with none of the good ones. He's abrasive, abrupt, rude, has no sense of proper manners, and is treating Shannon like a prostitute who he has a regular weekend appointment with. Except Shannon's not getting paid.
Let me tell you about the timeline for this 'epic' romance. She chases him down the beach and invites him for dinner that night. He is horribly rude and insulting and then propositions her at the end of the night. She practically throws him out (as would be completely understandable). They meet the next morning in the café and she decides that the fact that she feels 'drawn' to him is reason enough to forgive his previous behaviour. They see each other frequently over the next two days - walks on the beach, etc. He gets her to go out for dinner with him on the third night of their 'relationship'. They have sex that night. They have sex like rabbits over the next few days, before Garth goes back to his high pressure job at an electronics company in Silicon Valley. Before he leaves they decide that the arrangement will be that he'll stay and work in San Jose during the week, then drive back to Shannon's house in Mendocino for a weekend of sex before going back to work again. Sex on the third day (that's day, not date), a relationship that involves weekendly booty calls by the fifth day. I know this was the 80s, but this isn't meant to be a romantic fantasy for commitment-phobic men.
I'm continuing despite all the very good reasons not to because it's really fast reading. To be continued...