“You have a college degree? You can barely talk.”
Admission - I love cheesy romance novels and chick flicks. Sometimes it's wonderful to escape into a story where two likeable characters follow a fairly predictable path towards romance, and after some obstacle, true love conquers all. I have fairly little shame about loving the genre, when it's good.
This book was not. Not at all. I didn't even finish it. See, part of the key to a successful romance novel is that your two main characters, the ones that fall in love? They have to be likeable. You need to want at *least* one of them to have their happily ever after in order for the contrivances of the genre to work. I hated both Lucy and Panda (seriously? PANDA?) and wanted them to fail. I hated Bree and Mike and wanted them to fail. I hated Temple. It's hard to hate Toby, but he got on my nerves, too. It's like Phillips designed a book to showcase the least likeable group of characters possible and just threw them all onto an island together.
Lucy is one of the most insanely unrelatable characters I have ever seen on a page. And I read fantasy lit - you can literally create completely foreign entities in cultures that make no sense to a normal person and have them be more relatable than Lucy. She is a selfish brat, with the maturity of a houseplant. We're supposed to believe she's this brilliant social worker/lobbyist First Daughter, and I just don't. The first misstep was not having the slightest idea that Panda (again - PANDA??) was a goddamn bodyguard. Biker dude comes to your rescue, the President's daughter, a woman who has had protection most of her life, after you run out on your wedding and is willing to take you away, Chasing Liberty style, and you don't for a *moment* think he might be a hired guard? EVER? And I can't even with the Viper, arrested development, Goth styled bullshit. YOU ARE THIRTY ONE YEARS OLD. This is insanity.
Ugh I can't even get into all the things that are wrong with this. I thought the book was about to end when Panda (GODDAMN PANDA) dropped her off at the airport and she finally realized he was paid to watch her. I assumed she'd go after him, they'd have a big moment, and it would be done. And then realized that I was only on part 2 of TWELVE in my audiobook. I suffered through to the end of part 7, and then my recording stopped. Apparently the rest didn't upload to my iPod. Since that was more than halfway, which makes it CBR eligible for me to review, I took this as a sign from God that I should stop and move on to something that didn't suck.
Seriously, skip this.