They can't fight forever...
No one in the tiny town of Boothill, Texas, knows the real Shaun Murphy. Heck, most of them don't even know his first name - and that's the way Murphy likes it. But he can't hide from the pretty young postmistress, Letty Madden. Letty's brother is missing, and she knows Murphy's the only one who can help her find him. But Murphy doesn't need her money. So when Letty comes to him, her begging brown eyes as dark as bittersweet chocolate, he makes her a very indecent proposal.
Letty Madden is a woman of grit and faith, a woman with a mission. She'll do anything to get her twin brother back, even if it means giving herself to Murphy. But their rendezvous is far more passionate than they ever expected...and, sooner or later, they'll have to face the fact that they've fallen wildly in love.
I have no idea why, with all the brand new books I have waiting to be read, I picked up this one yesterday. I wanted something comforting to read, something predictable yet fulfilling emotionally that I could read and not think about. I did not get what I was looking for here and I've given it a grade of C-. I'm pretty sure that that is the lowest grade I've given, maybe ever, and with good reason. This book by Debbie Macomber is a stinker.
I have read a few books from Debbie's Cedar Cove series in the past and thought they were about average. Maybe a little above, but not the best I've read. So when I got this one in the mail the other day (no, I didn't pay for it) I thought it might be promising. Um, no. I found the men in this book to be so ridiculously heinous that the only reason I finished it was to see them realize how stupid they were. I found the story to be equally awful.
Exhibit number one: Shaun Murphy. This is one piece of work, people. A complete pig, he considers women only good for one thing and one thing only. He doesn't respect them and when Letty approaches him to ask for help, he flat out tells her no. Repeatedly. Then he starts to think about it and her and how he hasn't gotten lucky in a while and so he comes back with a request in lieu of money - lose your virginity to me and you've got a deal. To be fair, he didn't want to be involved in going to an unstable country to rescue her brother and he figured this was the quickest way to get her out of his hair and to deal with the tiny bit of guilt on his conscience. After all, there was no way this twenty-something virgin was going to put her, ahem, body where her money was, right? Ha! I do love a woman who can call a bluff. And so, when she invited him over for dinner before the big moment, she spiked his food and managed (mostly) to avoid the subject. I was so proud of her. Then they go to "Zarcero," a Latin American country to get back her brother and Murphy spends the first half of the trip barking at her like a dog. By the second half, he realizes he's in love with her. Oh no! Say it's not true Murphy! Jerk.
Exhibit number two: Jack Keller. I believe this jackass gets the next book in this series as his own and I couldn't be any less interested since he may be worse than Murphy. Jack is also a mercenary who works for the same company as Murphy and he got shot in the first book apparently. Now that he has some time off, he figures he'll go visit his good time lady friend, Marcie. Marcie is one of those pretty women who thinks that if she gives men her love and her body they'll love her back. Marcie owns her own beauty shop and used to wait with bated breath for "Johnny" to come to her for their customary sex filled weekend. You see, Jack didn't give her his real name but told her to call him Johnny and doesn't think anything's wrong with flitting in and out of her life whenever he feels like it. When Jack goes to see Marcie, he discovers that she's got a boyfriend now and she's changed her attitude about him and their relationship. 'Ol Jack doesn't like that too much so he decides to come straight, tell the truth, and let their chemistry do all the talking. He even agrees to marry her. What a nice guy! I absolutely loved that Marcie picked the less interesting but forthright Clifford (I kept picturing a big red dog whenever he was there) over the jerk Jack.
The thing about these men is that they're not bad people. They can be honorable, unbelievable as it seems. That leads me to think that either Debbie Macomber missed the mark here and this is an isolated incident of story and characters gone bad, or she actually thought that they would be appealing. You want to hear the really stupid thing about this book? After Letty and Murphy travel to Zarcero they get shot at, Letty is almost raped, they find some abandoned children and travel way out of their way to get them to some family, Murphy gets arrested and beaten, and they still keep fighting their way to her brother and guess what? He dies in his sleep! Talk about getting tackled on the one yard line! That was truly ridiculous. Also ridiculous is that nine readers on B&N.com gave this book four and a half stars (amazon readers gave four).
I guess this is what I guess for picking up this mess instead of continuing Dark Road to Darjeeling. Don't worry about me - I have learned my lesson. I try not to be a book snob and I seriously dislike ripping books like this but I couldn't just let this one go and not say my piece. I am utterly disappointed.