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REVIEW: Accidentally Yours by Susan Mallery

Dear Ms. Mallery:

037377205x01mzzzzzzz.jpgAccidentally Yours relies on the premise that it is okay for a mother to do anything to save her child. And by anything, I mean, extortion, bribery, and emotional blackmail. The biggest problem with this book is that it plays off the mother’s actions as cute and endearing rather than reprehensible, but morally conflicting. Because there was no recognition that the mother was engaged in something morally, ethically, and even legally wrong, the entire tone of the book was offensive.

Kerri Sullivan’s son is dying from Gilliar’s Disease, a rare disease that killed the son of billionaire Nathan King. One researcher was on the verge of making a breakthrough when a fire destroyed his workplace, rendering his scientific study nearly impossible to continue. Kerri is determined that Nathan King will pay for the continued research. She first accosts him in a restaurant with a DVD of her son and then attempts to play on his own son’s death as a way to manipulate him into funding research for her son. King refuses but Kerri will not be deterred. She sends out a press release announcing King’s million dollar monetary participation essentially forcing him to come through for her or suffer negative consequences. When King confronts her and threatens to expose her fraud, Kerri promises that she’ll lie so convincingly to the press that King will be ruined.

The entire story, though, hinges on the ability of this one researcher to find a cure. This set up is so contrived as to be a fantasy. The lack of any basis in scientific reality creates a huge gaping plot hole that is never addressed. The story lacks plausibility which further makes Kerri Sullivan look like an idiot, a cruel one at that.

Nathan King is presented as this hard nosed billionaire who not only deserves to be brought down a notch but also admires the lengths Kerri will go to manipulate him, only he doesn’t see it as manipulation. Instead he monologues about how pure and sweet she is; how she is unafraid to stand up to him; how refreshing her “honesty” is. I nearly fell off my chair when I read Kerri as characterized as honest. Kerri is portrayed by everyone, including Nathan King, as adorable and heroic and I simply failed to buy into this fantasy. I also questioned King’s ability to be a self made millionaire. He was played like a cheap school child’s recorder by Kerri. Where was his backbone? How could he not anticipate her actions 100 miles away. I had serious doubts that this guy’s ability to make any money if his instincts were as dead as they appeared to be in his dealings with Kerri. I felt embarrassed for him given how easily he was gulled.

A friend of mine enjoyed this book and after listening to my complaints responded that if you read just for the romance, it is really enjoyable. I need, however, a plausible setting, and if a moral dilemma is raised, I need for that to be dealt with. I actually thing the story could have been more poignant had Kerri actually grappled with the moral quandry of blackmailing someone versus the need to save her child.

There are two secondary plots, a mild romance between the despondent researcher and his assistant and a storyline involving Nathan’s estranged sister who had thoughts of blowing up Nathan’s twin apartment/business towers. Oy, the imagery that evoked was not good. I could barely finish this book because I disliked the characters so greatly but when I finally reached the end I was treated with an epilogue so sappy that a confectioner’s shop could not match the amount of sugar in those last few pages. D

Best regards,

Jane

This book can be purchased in mass market or ebook format.

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

12 Comments

  1. CM
    Jan 01, 2008 @ 16:25:56

    Lemme guess–they didn’t have to worry about getting FDA approval for the cure, either.

  2. Jane
    Jan 01, 2008 @ 16:38:12

    Of course not. And the doctor/scientist is the only one working on the cure AND he provides a cocktail of drugs to the mother that are not monitored in anyway.

  3. cecilia
    Jan 01, 2008 @ 18:02:23

    Great review – you’re a hardy one to endure what sounds like a really annoying book. One question just popped into my mind, though. Well, first a thought popped into my mind, which is I’m surprised no one has played the “it’s only a romance, not a medical journal article, chill” card. Then the question popped into my mind about whether this kind of inaccuracy is more or less annoying than inaccuracy in historicals. Or, would these factual discrepancies about R&D be more forgivable if the characters and everything else were engaging?

  4. Jayne
    Jan 01, 2008 @ 19:54:39

    Is this kind of a “Lorenzo’s Oil” type of cure or actual drugs that the investigator is working on? If the first, maybe I could buy that part of the story but if the second, no way.

  5. Jane
    Jan 01, 2008 @ 19:56:33

    I suppose that they call it a miracle, but the way that the disease is “cured” is through medical intervention via the ONE scientist’s studies. I really can’t get over the one scientist thing. The fact that there are no medical trials, no FDA approval. It’s not like the scientist is even using something “off label.”

  6. Jayne
    Jan 01, 2008 @ 20:11:40

    A friend of mine works for a company that conducts clinical trials for drug companies and I bet he’d fall off his chair if he even read this description.

  7. Nicole
    Jan 01, 2008 @ 20:33:08

    I usually like Susan Mallery, but I don’t think I’ll be reading this one. Even just the description doesn’t make it sound like it has appealing characters.

    And yes, I do like my premises to be at least somewhat based in reality if it’s billed as a contemporary romance.

  8. Tumperkin
    Jan 02, 2008 @ 06:25:22

    Jane – I think you’ve pointed up something quite important about plausability for me.

    I think I’m pretty tolerant about implausible events (you know, the beggar heroine turns out to be the lost daughter of a duke) but very intolerant over implausible setting/ background facts such as you’ve described. And worst of all is implausible characters (such as this eejit who has somehow become a self-made billionaire)

  9. Chantal
    Jan 02, 2008 @ 11:37:57

    I have not enjoyed the last few books this author has released. She used to be an auto buy for me…

  10. Susan/DC
    Jan 02, 2008 @ 12:47:31

    People sometimes say they don’t like historicals because of the wallpaper history/inaccuracies, but I find inaccuracies more offputting in contemporaries precisely because I recognize them more easily. Right after college I worked in the biology department of a major university, and the medical premise of this book as described in your review would have me tossing the book against the wall sooner than you could say “peer-review”. The whole “it’s only a romance” doesn’t wash either, because someone who’d lie, cheat, and steal without a qualm (she) or who is played for an idiot (he) just doesn’t strike me as romantic H/H material. But then, that’s just me.

  11. CeCe/Arizona
    Jan 05, 2008 @ 00:17:09

    I absolutely detested this book, from the start when Kerri blackmails Nathan for 15 million dollars! You lie and tell the world, and you’re a hero? And his sister says she is glad his son died so he’d feel pain? This was a totally serious, disgusting book I wanted to throw away. The romance was so secondary, and he was stupid for wanting her. And the miracle cure? Come on, how cliche even for romances of 20 years ago. I’ll think before buying another of her books.

  12. Lisa
    Jun 08, 2009 @ 00:42:26

    Was Kerri a hairdresser?

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