Skeptic scale: ♥♥
Hot or Not - dude pursues you relentlessly even after you've made it clear you have no interest, then scares away other potential paramours, conspires with your family members to trap you into seeing him and "proposes" to you by declaring "you'll marry me"?
She: Web designer
He: Divorce lawyer
Conflict: She has a deep hatred for lawyers because her father, a doctor, was "cheated" by a malpractice attorney and lost all his worldly possessions in the lawsuit. After this, both he and her mother were killed in a car accident leaving the h and her sister all alone in the world. Nursing a deep hatred for the lawyer who ruined her family's life means she can never love a lawyer.
Plot hole that could have been resolved by story-boarding this with my 6-year old niece:
1) My niece, for example, would be able to tell you that malpractice attorney does not equal divorce attorney. (She watches many legal dramas - it's something we're trying to wean her off.)The assumption that all lawyers are a-hole cheating bastards beggars belief and makes me think the h is not a mature adult who should be in a relationship with anyone. Also, to make the tension/conflict more believable it seems like the author could have easily changed the H's profession to make his character a malpractice attorney or even changed it so the h's was scarred by a divorce lawyer instead. C'mon sister...
This other issue comes up again and again in contemporaries so I feel bad heaping all the blame on this book. I have one basic question that I'd like answered in every romance -
WHY does the H like her and the h like him? That's all I really want to know. And if I am clear on this ONE basic "why" I will buy almost anything - shape-shifters, time travelers, bear fighters, rakish dukes who somehow manage never to contract any strange bedroom diseases despite their debauched ways. But if the issue of why remains unresolved even by the end, I wouldn't even have believed in Elizabeth and Darcy.
In this story specifically, the h is gorgeous and hot and she lives downstairs so there's the proximity thing. But WHY does he decide almost immediately that she's The One when all she's done is push him away and be generally bitchy to him?
I want to do a thorough analysis of why authors use this "Pursuit" device so often. Is it because all girls have a secret fantasy of being relentlessly pursued by a hot, amazing dude even when we've been saying "no" the whole time? Seems weirdly rape-fantasy-ish to me. Yeah, yeah, he's obviously a nice guy and perfect for her in every way, but the thick-headedness of his pursuit seems out of proportion with the negative signals she gives him.
Anyway, all my irritation with the Conflict aside, I can say that the writing was smooth. The H was a cutie and despite the description of an excessively cheese ball early-90's-mills-and-boon-level date they have, it was an ok read.