REVIEW: Accidentally Yours by Susan Mallery
Dear Ms. Mallery:
Accidentally 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