When A Man Loves A Woman
by Bette Ford, contemporary (2002)
Arabesque, $6.99, ISBN 1-58314-237-1


Wow, that Skeletor guy on the cover is scary. That stomach isn't just a washboard, it's a freaking cheese grater. If I'm the heroine, I'll be very careful when I'm rubbing my kittens against that Skeletor stomach.

Anyway, if you are in a mood where all men are bastards in your opinion and castration is too good a fate for them, hey, read Bette Ford's painfully emasculating romance When A Man Loves A Woman and enjoy. You'll probably even want to have sex with a guy again after exorcising your demons by watching hero Zachary McFadden getting down on his knees and begs for his wife's love. It's quite pathetic.

Yes, I kinda like this one in a malicious way at first, because I'm fresh from reading too many books in a row where it is the woman who goes onto her knees and begs for a slice of rescue fantasy. But shallow petty feelings can only last so long before I feel exasperated at the characters of this story. By page 186, I want them all dead and I'll sponsor the gasoline if we can barbecue those losers and feed them to the pigs. (I saw this in the movie Snatch, I think.)

Zach and Amanda are husband and wife. But after a year of domestic bliss where he does all the good stuff like pamper and cherish and she just whines, whines, and whines, she files for divorce, walks out of the lawyer's office, and immediately gets run over by a trailer, a bus, and car, a Land Rover, and a Big Foot in quick succession. They have to cremate her.

I wish.

Amanda moves away to start a business, leaving her past behind. Husband chases after her, begs her for a second chance. Husband is gentle, kind, gives good sex, is financially stable, emotionally stable, has a sense of humor - and all Amanda can bitch-whine-moan about is how her father beat her mother up, her own life is so screwed because she had a miscarriage, she is so unhappy, she is SO SAD, boo-hoo-hoo gag. And instead of passing her the razorblades and ending everyone's misery, Zach is so patient, always waiting in the wings, always eager and willing to try again. In short, he is the biggest moron ever.

Then again, who says he is perfect? Wait until you see his mother, oh my holy-freaking goodness. Mrs Bitchella here makes Cruela de Vil looks like the love child of Albert Schweitzer and Mother Teresa. Between her and Amanda's perpetual pity party, I'm sure even lesbians will be persuaded to look a little closer at men after reading this painful, painful story.

Seriously, being depressed is one thing. But when this depression turns into selfish, irresponsible non-stop whining and moaning that not only is endless but also inflicts misery on everyone else around, this is where I draw the line. This is not a romance, this is a bad attempt at a hysterical farce that only succeeds in mocking both sexes as losers in love. It's quite depressing, if you ask me.

When A Man Loves A Woman - the new Cosmo for misanthropes of the world. Enjoy, people.

Rating: 17


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