Glutton for punishment

Bad Romance: A Stepbrother Novel - Jen McLaughlin

Why the heck do I do this to myself? Why do I read a synopsis and get intrigued with stories when I know that I’m not going to be happy? It’s almost like my psyche is trying to punish me for something. I know that I’m just setting these poor books up, because I am not going to like them. Yet I can’t stop myself from trying anyway.

There was so much wrong with Bad Romance I’m not even really sure where to start.

How about how completely shallow this story was. How shallow these characters were. Right off the bat I can tell you that I am not happy when all that the main character’s can talk about is how ‘hot’ the other is. Honestly, I far prefer stories where not everyone is ‘smoking hot’, but I concede that it’s rare to find realistic looking protag’s in romance stories like these. Then, at the very least, I expect that the hero of the story should not spend a good majority of the time reciting an ode to the heroine’s tits/cleavage over and over again. The same was true of Lilly. I don’t know how many times we heard about how turned on she was by Jackson’s tattooed body. I swear, I couldn’t believe they were in anything other than lust. It was just too much.

Which brings me to my second issue; I’m a romantic. I like a certain amount of machismo in my male characters, but it felt like every single person in this story treated Lilly like she was less than. And she took it. I understand that it was part of the story, and her character, but it was so far over the top. Even Jackson’s internal dialogue was sexist. His words would be saying ‘she can take care of herself’ but his thoughts and actions did not match. Add her boyfriend to the mix, and her father, and you have a circle of the most chauvinistic pricks ever.

Lastly, the award goes to this book for the most contrived plot I’ve ever read before. Lilly’s reason for staying in the farce of an engagement was absolutely ridiculous. She was not responsible for the careers of thousands of people, her father was. In addition to that stupidity, the surprise at the end was worse than overkill. The ending was a gift-wrapped present from the cheese factory. Blah.

Now, how am I going to remember this feeling next time I weaken??

Thank you to Loveswept and Netgalley for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

For this and other reviews, visit us at Badass Book Reviews!