Taming Clint Westmoreland by Brenda Jackson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
It's kind of hard to rate this book because I like some things about it, but at the same time a few things annoyed me. I don't know why I let a fiction book get to me, but sometimes they do.
I think Brenda Jackson is a great writer. She really has a way of bringing a story to life. She writes some amazing chemistry between her characters, and also inspires poignancy in the reader. She doesn't rely on stereotypes, but makes her character realistic, human beings that anyone could relate to regardless of color.
But some reason, she just will not write a hero who is not a playboy. The closest she came was Spencer's Forbidden Passion, but in a way, he had a ladies' man vibe too. I guess it's just me who gets tired of all the romance novel heroes being players and womanizers. They always fight so hard not to fall in love and want their freedom. Personally I don't want a guy who's that afraid of commitment and marriage. For once I'd like to read one where the hero falls stone cold in love and is totally chasing after the reluctant heroine, wanting to spend his life with her. I am so over the playa playa hero (rolls eyes).
The other thing that bothered me is that this couple, Alyssa and Clint were married for five years due to a mix-up where they got married for a case, but the annulment never went through. I find it kind of hard to believe. If it were me and I did not want to be married to someone, I'd want my paperwork so legal that it was almost written in blood. This brings me to my pet peeve. They have basically been cheating on each other for five years. Yes, I know that technically they didn't know they were cheating because they didn't know they were married, but in my mind that's still cheating. And to make matters worse, Alyssa goes as far as making it to her wedding day and no one told her that she couldn't legally marry because she was already married (she was still in the same state). Another implausibility. And there's a line where Clint confronts Alyssa because he sees the announcement in the paper about her being married. Well she couldn't be married to the other guy legally because she was married to you. I was a little baffled by his logic.
The third thing that got under my skin is the fact they were playing around with each other sexually but knew they didn't want to stay married. That seemed pretty dangerous to me. Clint was coming onto Alyssa really hard. She was still a little bit sweet on him since they worked together five years ago. And hadn't been involved with anyone since she discovered her fiance had cheated with her conniving, nasty cousin Kim. I think it was a little unfair on Clint's part, turning on the Westmoreland Bachelor Seducer Who Doesn't Want to Get Married charm. In his mind he had registered that she was fairly inexperienced. I felt a little better about when Alyssa came to the conclusion that she did want a physical relationship although she knew they would part at the end of it.
One thing I liked was how both Clint and Alyssa had somewhat atypical jobs. Clint tamed and saved wild mustangs. Go, Clint. Alyssa was a website designer. Nice. I thought that Alyssa's angst because of her evil Poison Ivy cousin Kim was a nice element building up the characterization of Alyssa. She was sick of being afraid to have anything that might end up destroyed or sabotaged by her jealous cousin. I like how Clint supported her when Kim tried to start something at the function where Kim shows up with Alyssa's ex, Kevin. Oh the other thing that bothered me is why did Alyssa have to have bad sex with her fiance? Couldn't she have had good sex with him, but better sex with Clint ('Cause you know the hero has to be the best sex the heroine ever had. That's an unwritten rule.)?
So with the above issues, that apparently I am the only one in the world who has, I have to take off one star. Having said that, Taming Clint Westmoreland was a good read and it was a very pleasant way to spend a few hours. And it was nice to reunite with the large and growing Westmoreland clan.
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