I just don’t think a romance plot typically has enough conflict for a novel-length story without manufactured bullshit. And also the cultural sexist baggage. And that is why I don’t read romances, summed up in 2 sentences. You’re welcome.
But I suppose it’s good for me to expand my horizons and pick one up — or a Kindle sample for one. At the least I get to feel smug that, yep, I’m still right about them.
But I guess I can say that Fate’s Twisted Circle: The Unraveling (Vol 1) by C.A. McJack is…not that bad, considering. I just kinda want to smack the Mary Sue tendencies out of our main character, but not burn her in effigy.
This story is about a Iraq war vet who also lost her husband to it moping around Scotland, finding herself and finding a new dude. The conflict seems to come from a combination of PTSD and shitheadedness because there’s a vague way of blaming Main Character for how his buddy died while they were also in Iraq. Or at least that’s what I can pick out from the summary and the sample.
First of all, everybody go to some goddamn therapy. I know military culture is still shitty about mental health, but GO THE FUCK TO THERAPY. Think of it as retraining your brain to not be shitty, if it helps. But there goes half the novel’s conflict, if you’re relying on romance plot alone.
A lot of Main Character’s oh-poor-me-ing comes off as humblebragging or compliment-fishing because oh noes I can’t find a man because I can benchpress a goddamn car and punch out lasersharks, but I can’t cook. The uncharitable answer is shut up, bitch; the obvious answer is then don’t date insecure shitweasels.
And there’s some pretty insidious sexist baggage in just the short span of the sample, mostly in the recounting of how she got married to her husband in the field. Because he pestered and nagged her and she said yes so he would shut up and leave her alone. THIS IS DISGUSTING BEHAVIOR. And then her workbuddies manhandle and trap her into the ceremony and THIS IS NOT FUNNY EVEN IF IT TURNED OUT WELL.
CONSENT, MOTHERFUCKERS. LEARN IT. Of course it’s a bunch of dudes who do this because fucking men and their fucking inability to listen to women say no when they want to hear yes. FUCK.
And then my Protestant work ethic showed up and I sampled the other one, Fate’s Twisted Circle: The Weave (Vol. 2). And now we’re halfway through the story? I mean, I’ve read Victorian novels that were published in installments, but I’m just wonder what the fuck was there to fill 20 chapters with, when I don’t see evidence of a larger plot from the 21st.
New characters, landscape description, but Main Character doesn’t seem to have made any progress on her arc. She’s pretty much where’s she been at except oh noes I have somehow become handfasted to this dude and I don’t know if I want to get married to this dude I’ve known six months.
THEN DON’T FUCKING GET MARRIED. Slow your roll, get some space from this dude, and figure yourself out with the help of someone professional who isn’t invested in the answer that lets them into your pants. Go learn to paint or some shit.
And I think we still haven’t come to the part where it comes out that Main Character may/may not have contributed to the death of Love Interest’s warbuddy who I think is also his brother. And it may not actually be that big a deal to the dude, so this may not actually be the big conflict of the story, SO WHO FUCKING CARES???
Tapdancing Christ, and the way this presumptuous motherfucker manhandles her whether or not she wants it. NOPE.
So the moral of this story, children, is CONSENT, MOTHERFUCKERS. Also that I’m still not a good audience for romance novels.