by Lori Copeland, historical (2000)
Avon, $5.99, ISBN 0-380-80249-X
It is not a good sign when I spent the whole time while reading absolutely loathing the walking cliché that is Walker "Walk Your Butt, You Tosser!" McKay. As for the heroine Sara Livingstone, well, she becomes human way too late in the story.
The plot is like this: Tosser McKay is once jilted by a woman and now he spends his life hating all women and uses them for One Purpose Only. He tells everyone who listens - this means the token old man who looks over him - that women are good at lying and nothing else. After surviving an almost fatal accident (dang!) he decides maybe it is time to get married, pop some brats, the usual.
Meanwhile, Bimbo Livingstone is very sad. At 18 and having a broken nose, she is convinced she will never get married. Dang it daddy, she's eighteen - she's an old maid already! When Daddy refuses to buy her a hubby, she runs away in a petulant stomp. She encounters a mail-order bride and ends up swapping place with her. At this point, when Bimbo Livingstone tells me and herself that, "Hey, so what if the man is butt-ugly, at least I'll be married!", I really wonder how the author can even put both Bimbo Livingstone and intelligent in the same sentence.
Needless to say, Moron McKay is good-looking, and our heroine falls in love with him right away ("even though she hardly knows him..."). Never mind that Pighead McKay actually told everyone his wedding is a "barbecue" - after all, the maggot is certain Bimbo Livingstone will run away at the last moment (alas, she didn't - that stupid girl). Never mind, after marriage, Moron McKay helps himself to his wife, all the time treating her like a slab of diseased meat at other moments.
Bimbo is absolutely, utterly in love.
Bimbo tells Scum McKay that his best friend is cheating him. Scum McKay lashes out at her - what do bitches know except for lying, eh? Bimbo's cover is blown open, and again Pigarse McKay lashes out at her. Bitch, he knew she would lie! Bitch! Whore! Even after she, like a doormat trying to please him all the time, she FARKING LIED! HE KNEW IT! ALL WOMEN ARE BITCHES!
Finally, when I am about to gladly cast this book into a pile of dynamites and happily detonate the whole crap sky-high, Bimbo loses her bimbo mantel and puts her foot down. Bimbo becomes Sara Livingstone and tells the Bastard McKay, "You forgive your best friend who cheated on you, but you won't forgive me, your wife!" before making an exit that would make any wronged but proud woman applaud.
And here is Pongbreath McKay's chance to redeem himself, but hey-ho, I quote: "... he was too proud to beg."
No good grovel as pay-off, no convincing change of attitude in Tosser McKay, nothing to make it worth my headache and blood pressure overdrive in the first 360 pages. I hate Bugger McKay and I spend way too long pitying Bimbo Livingstone. Marrying Walker McKay? Hah! I wouldn't wish that fate even on my worst enemy.
This book at Amazon.com
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