miércoles, 19 de octubre de 2016

TBR Challenge: ‘DROP DEAD GORGEOUS, by Linda Howard

The topic of this month is Paranormal or Romantic Suspense
Published: 2006
Genre: Suspense
My Rating: 3 stars
Part of a series: Blair Mallory #2

This month I had to choose either a paranormal romance novel or a romantic suspense one. I bought this Linda Howard’s novel in a very interesting offer last summer, and it looked like a good option. Before reading it, I re-read To Die For, the first Blair Mallory book. And what happened was surprising - I liked it more the second time. I think it was because I knew now what to expect - more romantic comedy than suspense. Thanks to that, I could continue with this Drop Dead Gorgeous in a very natural way. I think if I had not done so, I would have been disappointed, as this does not look like anything else written by Linda Howard. It was as if she had decided to give chick lit a try.

Blair Mallory has to organize her wedding. This is a very difficult task to do if you want it to be perfect and with all the family around. Tired of waiting and wanting to start living together and have children just-now, Wyatt Bloodsworth gives her an ultimatum: they have to marry in a month or otherwise, they’ll marry as he says. This means that they could end in a tacky chapel in Las Vegas

But, of course, he is not going to give a hand. Everything has to be done by Blair.

So now she is quickly trying to organize decoration, flowers, shoes, clothing, catering, and wedding cake. Bridezilla at full speed!

To make matters worse, a crazy woman tries to hit her in the parking lot of a shopping center. And Blair receives disturbing calls. She thinks that someone is stalking her. Wyatt starts to think that Blair is a paranoid who just wants to get his attention. This causes another row between them. Again. The umpteenth.

That's basically the story,

... Blair as a victim of a stalker, Wyatt half believing her;
... A crazy Blair organizing the wedding, Wyatt indifferent to her efforts;
... Constant bickering between the two of them that will produce in the reader that guilty pleasure of seeing how funny is seeing other people angry with each other at the same time that they are crazy for each other.

I have to add that this book is pure sexism in the most literal sense. The underlying ideology is that men and women belong to different species. We do not speak the same language, nor value the same things, not even the food is the same to boys and girls!

I'm the opposite kind of person. I do not think that a woman has to love makeup, or wear high heels, or be obsessed with your appearance ... I do not see marriage as a struggle but as an adventure in which we are together, I’m not crazy for shoes (although I recognize some of them are real pieces of art) and I don’t give a damn about furniture or decoration ... and all those things about "weddings" I just find them absolutely ridiculous ... Therefore, for me, spending this time at the head of such a woman (yes she is the one from another species) I found it highly entertaining.

They are arguing all the time, and then reconciling with spectacular sex. But of course, there comes a time when her boyfriend is just too disrespectful and that makes her think. She demands a lot of attention from her partner; that’s something that Wyatt knew beforehand, and the reason why he didn’t want to be with her two years ago. However, Blair is still the same person, equally intense, does Wyatt realize it?

As she is a very clever woman, Blair begins to wonder if the marriage could work. Because love alone is not enough. There must be other things, such as liking and respect. She had thought that Wyatt was a person strong enough to endure everything that she does. But, what if he was really not ready to endure everything she does?

So, in the midst of trying to survive attacks on her life, Blair must find out if they can really have a future together.

I usually don’t like a first person novel. But in this case it worked for me because it seems funny to see things through the eyes of so bizarre a woman, she’s so funny and so different to me and to my world!

The general tone of the novel is romantic comedy with a touch of suspense. As I say, the prevailing idea is the battle of the sexes, so if you really think that women are from Venus and men from Mars, then you will be laughing all the time and all your prejudices will be confirmed.

My opinion, as I have said, is different. It has not been proved that we are psychologically different, and this “war of the sexes” sounds more to the invention of patriarchy to makes us not to require men to change their traditional gender role.

So you have to read this book with your feminist sensibility off, because if you cannot do that, you will end up throwing the book against the wall.

That’s the way this book is. Even from the first scene, when the discussion revolves around whether Blair has to change her name or not to marry him. I’ll never understand why women of other cultures accept to change their names name when they married. I have two surnames, one from each parent, and they are mine, this is who I am, and I don't change it if I marry. BTW, this has nothing to do with the book, but I think that our love for our own surnames is why we Spaniards usually know not only two family names but up to eight names! For me this obsession comes from the time when you had to prove you were an old Christian. Now it's something just plain fun, to realize the variety of sites from which you proceed. Of course, unless you're one of those obsessed with the purity of blood, they seek and scavenge to show that none of their eight family names comes from beyond the limes.

I read this book on paper, in a Spanish translation that was quite good, although the title had little to do with the original.

3 comentarios:

  1. These are literally the only two books from Howard that I have not read. Hmmm, maybe....

    I am in the slump to end all slumps.

    1. They don't look like anything else Linda Howard has written. They sound like chick lit. And you either love them or hate them. Sorry to hear about your slump.

  2. I liked To Die For when I read it 10 years ago, but even then I found the power-struggle relationship horrific. Since I'm becoming less and less tolerant of that sort of sexism as time goes on, I probably shouldn't even bother with this one now.