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REVIEW: Home to Laura by Mary Sullivan

Home to Laura MARY SULLIVAN

Dear Ms. Sullivan:

Let’s file this under “setups matter” or at least they do to me.  Nick was an absent husband and absent father, doing all he can to make more and more money. His ex father in law and owner of the business that Nick runs comes to him and tells him that Emily, his daughter needs him. Either Nick fixes his daughter or Mort will pull the funding for Nick’s dream resort.

Nick has to leave to return to his hometown because there is a dispute over the land on which he wants to develop a resort. Native Americans have claimed that there are ancient burial grounds on the land and his Catholic foreperson won’t go ahead until Nick resolves this.

Laura Cameron runs the bakery in town. She was once engaged to Nick’s brother but apparently had enough feelings for Nick that she allowed herself to be seduced and Nick arranged for Nick’s brother to find them en flagrante delicto.

Laura believes that this event has robbed her of a family.  She wants a baby and she must have a man too.

Stupid, foolish thought. She didn’t want single mother-hood. She wanted strings attached, heavenly binding for-ever strings. She wanted her life tied up with a man’s, not because she felt incomplete without one—lord, no, she was independent—but because she loved families. Babies did well in families.

Laura is so desperate for a family, she is sizing up every single male that comes into her shop.  When Nick walks in after years of absence, she is angry and hurt and then demands that they “make love” so that he will impregnate her. When Nick protests that he barely has time for one kid, let another another, she says the following:

“I barely have time for my own daughter, let alone hav-ing another child.”

“I don’t want you involved. The baby would be mine.”

“No.”

“Why not? All I need is a little sperm.”

A) the two aforementioned quotes by Laura occur within the same chapter (Chapter Two) and directly contradict each other.  B) if all she needs is sperm, then do in vitro.  C) if she really wants a child so desperately, then adopt.  Stop lamenting that life is over because you didn’t get a baby out of the fiance you cheated on with his own brother!! Worse, look at who you are inviting into your bed. A guy whom arranged for you to be found screwing by your fiance.

Granted, neither of these two are prizes.  The one good thing about this book is that Nick is an asshole and Laura is a nitwit and at least they won’t be inflicting themselves on any other fictional characters.

Laura is often portrayed as selfish and not in a good way, but in a “no one’s problems but mine are really important” way.  She wants her mother to talk about Laura’ dead sister. She wants her ex-boyfriend to grieve as much as she over a miscarriage. She is distraught her mother is distracted by something and can’t comfort Laura in the manner in which she needs.

I didn’t understand anyone in the book. Not Laura, not Nick.  Nor even the young kid who wants to preserve the oral history of his Native American tribe but won’t work at the resort that Nick has set up to earn money to go to school.

The redeeming part of this book could have been May December romance between Laura’s mother, aged 58, and the handsome sculptor, aged 43. But instead of showing a courtship and falling in love, Olivia goes to sit for a sculpture and Aiden takes off her clothes and starts “loving” her immediately. It came out of nowhere. I guess Aiden’s excuse is that he sees things others do not.

“I thought I was here to model, not to be mauled.” Her voice shook, because his mauling had been so delicious.

“Is that how it felt?” he asked, staring down at her in both puzzlement and understanding. “Like I was pawing you?”

No!

“Answer my question. Did you ask me here to model?”

“Yes.”

“Then what was all that about?”

“You’re an attractive woman, Olivia. I’m crazy about you. I want to make love to you.”

How about expressing to Olivia that she is physically desirable instead of just attacking her under false pretenses. Gah.  I didn’t understand how I was supposed to find anything about that even remotely sexy.

Finally, there was a third romance between Nick’s older brother Ty and his pregnant but estranged girlfriend, Tammy, involving more pregnancies and more babies and more badly parented children.

Back to Nick and Laura, when they do  sex, Nick forgets the condom and this is his response:

His condom sat on the bedside table. Unopened. Unused. He’d lost control. He never lost control with a woman, had never once in his life. Before tonight. Before Laura and her tempting body. She’d made him lose control. You owe me. Was she really that driven, that selfish and underhanded? Today is the perfect day. She was ovulating. The look he turned on her could freeze hell. “You did this to get your baby.”

She made him forget to use the condom. It was her fault for being SO. DAMNED. SEXY.  Then, like this is a comedy, she is in the bathroom showering trying to “get rid of his semen.” Oh biology, if only it worked that way. What is she 14? (But, surprise, she takes the morning after pill so that’s probably the first I’ve ever read of a character doing that in a romance).

In summary, I didn’t like nor understand the characters and sometimes I wanted to reach through the screen and slap them around a few times.  D

Best regards,

Jane

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Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com

22 Comments

  1. cleo
    Mar 11, 2013 @ 09:22:24

    The one good thing about this book is that Nick is an asshole and Laura is a nitwit and at least they won’t be inflicting themselves on any other fictional characters.

    This is why I read DA. Because you can make me laugh out loud on a rainy Monday morning.

    ReplyReply

  2. MrsJoseph
    Mar 11, 2013 @ 09:43:22

    @cleo: Agreed!

    ReplyReply

  3. mari
    Mar 11, 2013 @ 09:47:40

    “cathoic foreperson?” Is the character actually refered to as such, in this book? This makes no sense. Did you mean “Catholic foreman?” Why would you mislabel in such a silly way? To whom is it insulting to refer to a “Catholic Foreman” as a “Catholic foreman?”

    Never mind, this is Dear Author and we all hate the Catholic Church here. Point made, but did you really want readers to get stuck on such a silly and deliberatly obfuscating phrase? Can’t you please refrain from such irrelavent, knee- jerk anti-religousness in a romance review, particularily when it is comepletely beside the point?

    To put it in terms you would understand, if the “foreperson” (still laughing over that phrase, keep thinking “foreskin”) was gay, would you refer to him as “fag foreperson?”No? Then why is it ok to insult a religion with over a billion followers?

    Just asking, love the site, but I hate the politics.

    ReplyReply

  4. Jane
    Mar 11, 2013 @ 09:50:44

    @mari: Well, this was totally unintentional. The foreperson (crew chief?) of Nick’s construction crew won’t move forward with the project because of religious reasons.

    “It was one thing with your brother not wanting to leave, but this is spiritual. I’m Catholic. I wouldn’t want anyone tear ing up my cemeteries. You gotta have respect for the dead.”

    I thought the Catholic reference was meaningful here. I guess I don’t see the offensiveness. Perhaps you could help me out.

    ReplyReply

  5. Lana
    Mar 11, 2013 @ 10:09:20

    @Cleo, I agree too! Especially on a Monday after daylight savings where there is still way too much snow on the ground.

    ReplyReply

  6. MrsJoseph
    Mar 11, 2013 @ 10:09:31

    As a Catholic…I was not insulted. I think that you may have just wanted to be insulted.

    ReplyReply

  7. Emily A.
    Mar 11, 2013 @ 10:20:57

    As another Catholic, I was not offended.
    ” The one good thing about this book is that Nick is an asshole and Laura is a nitwit and at least they won’t be inflicting themselves on any other fictional characters.”
    Except for the stupid kids they plan to have. Is Nick’s daughter even in the book or just mentioned? Is she part of the heroine’s stupid family plans? Or does she just want a family with Nick a

    ReplyReply

  8. tangodiva
    Mar 11, 2013 @ 10:24:28

    This book is like one of Stefon’s clubs, it has everything:
    Catholic forepersons, Rodin-inspired older lady sculpting sex, sperm donation, Poltergeist the movie-insprired Indian burial grounds and a Lunch Gun, which is that thing, where you want to have a family but a turkey baster will work just as well.

    I think I’ll pass

    ReplyReply

  9. Lori
    Mar 11, 2013 @ 10:30:57

    @mari:

    “To put it in terms you would understand, if the “foreperson” (still laughing over that phrase, keep thinking “foreskin”) was gay, would you refer to him as “fag foreperson?””

    So you’re equating “Catholic” as a comparable slur to “fag?” o_O Wow.

    FWIW, Jane, I don’t see how referencing someone as a “Catholic foreperson” is a slur, and my family has deep Catholic roots.

    ReplyReply

  10. Patricia
    Mar 11, 2013 @ 10:54:45

    The character works as a foreman (that’s a job title; where’s the controversy?) and is Catholic. Both his job and his faith are relevant to the actions he takes, so I don’t see a problem with mentioning either. It is hardly insulting to Catholics to portray someone inspired by his beliefs to respect the beliefs and traditions of others, even when they differ from his own.

    ReplyReply

  11. Rosa E.
    Mar 11, 2013 @ 11:15:14

    Another Catholic here, and no, I wasn’t insulted either–although I was slightly confused by the heroine’s name. The book is called “Home to Laura,” but she’s referred to as Lauren in the first half of the review and then Laura in the second half. Did I miss something?

    Also . . . WTF? From the review’s description, the heroine comes off as kind of a bunny-boiler. Pass.

    ReplyReply

  12. CG
    Mar 11, 2013 @ 11:24:06

    Nick has to leave to return to his hometown because there is a dispute over the land on which he wants to develop a resort. Native Americans have claimed that there are ancient burial grounds on the land and his Catholic foreperson won’t go ahead until Nick resolves this.

    WTF. The only thing holding back the development is the foreperson’s religious beliefs? What about state and federal law preserving Native American burial grounds? Did the author do any research at all?

    ReplyReply

  13. Darlynne
    Mar 11, 2013 @ 11:34:10

    As one of the billion followers, I don’t see the insult and I certainly have never seen “… this is Dear Author and we all hate the Catholic Church here.” YMMV. Sorry you’re having a bad Monday, but don’t take it out on anyone at DA.

    ReplyReply

  14. Jane
    Mar 11, 2013 @ 11:37:41

    @Rosa -sorry it is Laura.

    ReplyReply

  15. Jane
    Mar 11, 2013 @ 11:40:55

    @CG – well, it is actually even stranger.

    “They weren’t formal burials. This was part of a migratory route. Our ancestors were buried where they fell, either from injury or old age.”

    “So you don’t know exactly where they are?”

    “Nope. Just on the land somewhere.”

    So they trace the migratory route and then enlist college archeology students to come and study the grounds and dig. Resort guests are eventually allowed to participate if they are very, very careful.

    ReplyReply

  16. Sunny
    Mar 11, 2013 @ 11:51:40

    Wow, misogyny (not allowed to be a foreperson, must be a foreman!), homophobia and accusations of hating religion in a single comment. I don’t think I’ve seen such a trifecta hit here in a long time over two words, well done Jane!

    ReplyReply

  17. Ridley
    Mar 11, 2013 @ 13:03:55

    @mari: I’m the troll here. Find your own damn site.

    ReplyReply

  18. Jill Sorenson
    Mar 11, 2013 @ 13:38:21

    @Ridley: Ha!

    Strong Catholic roots here. Not offended in the least. “When they do sex…” Is this a Jersey Shore joke? I love it!

    ReplyReply

  19. CG
    Mar 11, 2013 @ 15:11:14

    @Jane

    Resort guests are eventually allowed to participate if they are very, very careful.

    *Head desk*

    ReplyReply

  20. Mary
    Mar 11, 2013 @ 20:57:20

    @Jane:
    Resort guests are eventually allowed to participate if they are very, very careful.

    And…that’s not disrespectful in any way shape or form! Nope!
    Ahh…the best subgenre of romance. The one with psycho crazy people who never behave like normal human beings!

    ReplyReply

  21. Ann Somerville
    Mar 11, 2013 @ 22:16:05

    @Mary:

    “that’s not disrespectful in any way shape or form! ”

    I think I must be missing something crucial about this, because untrained amateur participation in archeological digs in the UK is positively encouraged (under supervision, of course.) Time Team regularly enlist neighbourhoods full of people, school groups etc to help them with exploratory digs, and if you watch History Cold Case, you will know how important amateurs are in the finds they research. Spouse and I could have participated in Reading University’s ongoing excavation of the Roman remains at Silchester if we hadn’t turned up at the end of the season, and they’re not exactly a minor player in the archeological field.

    I’m not saying the thing should be set up like an attraction but the mere fact it’s tourists? Not seeing the problem.

    This book does sound offensive from yo to whoa though.

    ReplyReply

  22. HellyBelly
    Mar 12, 2013 @ 03:05:54

    …involving more pregnancies and more babies and more badly parented children

    Eh. No thank you.

    ReplyReply

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