Saturday, 2 June 2007

Night Play by Sherrilyn Kenyon

Maybe I prefer middle-class romance authors.

This is a horrible and difficult read. It reads like the wish fulfillment of some fat, ugly, working-class serial girl-friend.

Basically its a romance between a barman and a shop owner. Being a Kenyon novel however, the barman Vane is also a blindingly handsome, rich, Were-Hunter (daylight killer of vampires) and his predestined mate, Bride, the shop owner.

They have full intercourse and oral sex about 20 minutes after they first meet. Just after Vane has bought a $600 necklace for Bride and told her he thinks she's beautiful. This happens on the same day that Bride is dumped by Taylor, her partner of 5 years. From one to the other. For much of the 5 years, Bride recalls that Taylor has treated her with not much respect, and continually let her know she's fat, ugly and he only stayed with her because Bride has relatives that work at TV studios and Taylor wants to get on in show-biz. So why on earth did Bride put up with a cunt like that for 5 years? Because she's trash that's why. And just so incredibly grateful when handsome men want her for sex. Yuk. Throughout the whole story Bride is completely subservient to the power of Vane's money. So gross. Basically Bride is a true doormat.

There's a particularly horrible wish-fulfillment fantasy near the beginning of the novel. The former partner, Taylor, threatens to dump Bride's belongings on the pavement. But the handsome hero Vane roars up on his Harley and pays the moving-men $2000 to put Bride's stuff in her shoe-box 'apartment'. It's like this experience really did happen to the auther except there was no Vane to prevent the former partner from humiliating her. Do I want to read shit like this? Not really.

But I persisted. About half-way through the adventure kicks in which makes for a much more interesting read. What I like about the Dark-Hunter world is that its basically a very sociable world. The guys go to bars, drink, have fantastic tatts, live in each other's houses and all know Ash and Simi. But Bride doesn't get any better. And actually I'd like the DHs a lot more if they weren't all so very very handsome.

It turns out that Bride is actually a daughter of the state's most successful veterinarian. (!!!) And she tries to justify her relationship with her former disrespectful partner like this; "...sometimes we let other people treat us wrongly because we want to be loved and accepted so badly we'd do anything for it." Crap. That is the philosophy of criminals, doormats, women who like to victimise themselves and hookers. If you have self-esteem you don't 'do anything' for some idiot's 3 minute love. By the end of the novel Bride is still fat and ugly. Nothing wrong with that. But her self-esteem is still totally dependent on another person; Vane. Get therapy sister.

Please Amazon. Hurry up and deliver my Lara Adrian. It's got to be better than this unromantic drivel. If I really wanted to read stuff about people like Vane and Bride I'd buy crap like Take A Break or watch late night repeats of Jerry Springer. I would say that that is exactly the target audience for Night Play. Unfortunately the target audience doesn't read books. So why inflict this nastiness on an aspirationally middle-class reader like myself? The heroine has minimal self-respect or dignity. (btw I have no trouble reading crimmies or thrillers by working-class male authors...I think)

However there is something interesting in this novel. The author quotes a little saying: "No good deed goes unpunished." Now what is that all about? I've never come across it before. Very negative and miserable. Actually I'd be more interested in what happened in Kenyon's life that makes her use that sad quote than continuing reading Night Play. (According to Wiki, Kenyon is a working-class dyslexic who went through some very tough times before she struck publishing gold with the Dark-Hunter series.)

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