by Joan Johnston, contemporary (2002)
MIRA, $7.50, ISBN 1-55166-937-4
Sisters Found is the thirteenth book in this author's Hawk's Way saga. I haven't read any of the author's books for MIRA, Harlequin, Silhouette, Temptation, or whatever that place chooses to call itself, but from this book, I'd guess that Hawk's Way is a residential area somewhere in the only area that really matters in good old America - the South - reserved specially for very stupid people to live and stay out of everybody else's way.
We begin with two twin sisters, Hope and Faith. When Hope was 18, she fell in love with Jake Whitelaw, who was 36 at that time. She all but threw herself at him, but he held her back, saying that she had to finish college first. But no, Hope wailed - she didn't want college. She just wanted to marry Jake, bear his babies, and live life the Good American Way - barefoot, pregnant, and always cleaning.
Now that she has finished college, she is back in Jake's life. But Jake is going to marry Amanda! No! But Amanda loves Jake's brother and he loves her back. No! Jake knows that Amanda loves his brother. No! Amanda knows that Jake doesn't love her. No! Hope stalks Jake and throws herself at him again and again and again. No!
So why can't Amanda and Jake just call off the marriage, you ask? Well, here's the thing: Amanda will not call it off because she has promised Jake and she will go through this even if she doesn't love him, et cetera. And he too will not call it off unless she calls it off first, because he has proposed and as a man of honor, he will go through his farce even when his hands are mashing Hope's luscious 21-year old "See, Jake? I'm legal now, legalize me baby!" kitties under Hope's blouse. These two idiots don't talk, so they just cheat on each other while wailing that they cannot call off the marriage, the other person must do it first. They are - get this, people - honorable this way.
Jake and Hope do the deed. A 21-year old babe and a 39-year old man who had known her since she was a kid, finally copulating, just like destiny foretold! (I don't think I want to visit Texas anymore - that place is scary.) And so much for honor, eh, Jake? Then he proposes to Hope. Isn't this what Hope the psycho woman wanted? Yes, so is she happy? "No!" she will shriek in anger because he is marrying her out of pride, et cetera. "I will never marry you - EVER!"
If I take a pencil and shove it up my nostril, will it hurt more than I am already hurting?
Then there's the other twin, Faith. Faith has one real hand, one prosthetic one. Yup, it's "Boo-hoo-hoo! Woo-hoo-hoo! I'm not a woman, woo-hoo-hoo!" time. Faith has two raison d'etre in this story. She already has a guy, and she and this guy decide at first to throw Hope and Jake together. Then, when the third twin Charity blows into the story, she will be filled with anguish and self-doubts because oh, it is because of her that their parents threw Charity away! It is because of her that everybody hates everybody in the Middle-East! It is because of her that kids are starving in Africa! Er, can I pull the plug on this whinebag now? Please, pretty please?
Yes, there's a third one, if two stupid idiots aren't two too many already. Charity is angry at her real parents for ditching her away. I don't blame her. I'll be mad too if my parents give two-year old me to somebody else over these two idiots. Then again, maybe I should send them thank-you postcards instead, come to think of it.
Hope, the psychotic one, and Charity, equally shrill and psychotic, immediately hurls brickbats at each other (the usual "I hate your Daddy!" and "Don't you dare hate my precious Daddy!" nonsense) while in the background Faith mopes and gasps and goes into dry sobbing heaves because everything, you know, is her fault and she hates herself for having a crappy prosthetic hand and not being able to make everybody happy, sob sob sob.
But of course, in the end everybody makes up in the most artificial way and there is a triple wedding. Yes, Charity also has her man too.
It's nice to see that Joan Johnston has finally found her niche: writing for die-hard Jerry Springer fans (not the ones that watch that show for fun, but those that really believe that the show is Quality and Real). Maybe that's what Sisters Found really mean. For me, I think wiping my nose with a broken beer bottle will be much less painful than to sit through this horrible time-waster of a book once more. The sisters are found, but their brainpower is MIA.
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