Saturday, March 9, 2013

Yours to Keep by Shannon Stacey

Skeptic scale: ♥♥♥
Yours to Keep (Kowalski Family, #3)Romantical Skeptic survives story and kinda even enjoys it despite getting stuck in a gaping plot hole and almost losing foot.

She: Independent woman who owns her own landscaping business who lies to her grandmother about having a live-in fiance so that the old lady doesn't worry about her being alone

He: Ex-army dude who comes back to the States and must now figure out what to do with the rest of his life.

Conflict: The h lies to her grandmother about the H being her fiance (she knows his family and decides to keep things as specific and close to the "truth" as possible). When he comes back, she asks him to join her in the charade because her grandmother is visiting from Florida. She needs to convince dear old Gram that she is really fine so that her grandmother will agree to sell her the old house she has been living in. He agrees to go along with the drama of pretending to be affianced while Gram is around but doesn't want anything permanent since he wants to experience life (travel, check out the lady talent Stateside, hang out with his family) after having been deployed overseas for so long. 


1) SS is a good writer. There were amusing one-liners that I definitely enjoyed 

“I’m a guy. I like guy stuff. Steak. Football. Beer. Women.” 

“One woman, singular. At least for the next month, and then you can go back to your wild pluralizing ways."

2) The h was a tough-girl, did her own manual labor and was generally un-squeamish about things like getting her hands in mulch

3) The H was a decent dude - not too nice but not a douche. Except for the part where he doesn't let her drive HER OWN TRUCK because he feels less manly sitting in the passenger seat somehow. 


1) The plot, I am sorry to say, was really contrived. 

Please pretend to be my fiance so that my grandma will think here's a big strapping penis-wielding caveman around to help wittle old me if something in the house breaks and I can't pay someone to fix it because I don't have any money because I don't really have a job or run my own business? 


This entire confusion could have been solved in one phone call to Florida - hey grandma, I know you worry and I want to assure you that I have been living here penis-free for the past few months and have been quite able to take care of matters on my own. In fact, I have built a successful landscaping business where I am able to do a lot of the manual work too. I hear where you're coming from, but I really, really want you to consider selling me the house - I can handle it. And to prove to you that I can handle it, why don't you come visit and see how things are around here? There. Done.

2) Since they have to pretend to be almost married they sleep in the same room when granny's visiting to help perpetrate the fiction. Obviously there is the requisite sexual tension that is produced by such an arrangement. Efforts are made to remain chaste (she on couch, he on bed due to larger frame and the fact that he's doing her a solid). I thought the whole I-can't-sleep-in-the-same-room-as-a-pretty-girl-without-boinking-her was a bit 12th grade, but I guess I kind of get it. He's hot, she's hot, they both sleep in the same room* - by the laws of Romance Novel Plot Thickeners, they're going to get it on.

That's all really. It was generally well executed but it was like my leg got stuck in a cavernous plot hole and I couldn't dislodge it the whole time so my enjoyment was somewhat lessened.

*Can I just ask the obvious question here - when there is a scene like this in a romance novel - h & H for some contrived reason have to spend a night together and must do it platonically - why, WHY?? does the dude always insist of tempting the fates by sleeping in the buff?

I get that this may be his preferred bedchamber apparel, but for modesty's sake - she is a stranger after all - would he not think of throwing on a pair of shorts and a t-shirt? I mean, it is PHYSICALLY possible for him to sleep entirely clothed, right? On a red-eye from NY to LA, he wouldn't take off all his clothes so that it becomes possible for him to get a little shut-eye, right? Surely, while in serving in Afghanistan, he didn't strip to his undies every night because that would put him in a jam if surprised by an enemy in the wee hours, no? Well, it happens A LOT in romance novels and I begin to think these dudes are kinda slutty exhibitionists. Which, come to think of it, is fine by me.

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