Romance, Historical, Contemporary, Paranormal, Young Adult, Book reviews, industry news, and commentary from a reader's point of view

cowboy

REVIEW:  Her Magic Touch by Sable Hunter

REVIEW: Her Magic Touch by Sable Hunter

At the end of the Hell Yeah! Book 2 review, I mentioned that a few glimpses of the main characters of Book 3 made me cautiously optimistic that we would finally get a grown-up female worthy of being called a “heroine.”

I was wrong. So very, very wrong.

I also bitched and whined about the misogyny in the previous book, but Oh. Dear. God.

This was worse.

Therefore, I’m subtitling this review:

Continuing Adventures In Epic Assholery And Virgin Sacrifice: A Misogyny Manifesto

NOTE: For the purposes of this review, I’m defining “misogyny” as:

  • Infantilizing or otherwise demeaning and marginalizing women;
  • Inferring or stating outright that life without a man is not worth living;
  • Demonstrating double standards regarding male and female sexuality (e.g., manwhores rewarded with virgins);
  • Depicting assertive female characters as sluts;
  • Referring to female characters as “fresh meat”;
  • Repeatedly comparing female characters to abused or abandoned animals; AND/OR
  • Depicting a woman in premature labor serving coffee and doughnuts to lazy-ass men who are perfectly capable of getting the fucking coffee themselves.

It can be a little confusing, so here’s a handy dandy flowchart. Also available in printer-friendly PDF. It’s even color-coded for extra impressiveness! (Yes, I have a day job. Shut up and keep reading, and stop picking on me because I worked really hard on this and now you’re hurting my feelings.)

But wait, there’s more! In addition to the character inconsistencies, eye-rolling “coincidences” and inane detail we’ve come to expect, we also get a whole muddle of unnecessary paranormal nonsense – all of which completely distracted me from the Bad Sex. And of course that just sucked all the fun right out of this, officially making it the Absolute Worst Book I Have Ever Read.

(No, I have not read The Book That Shall Not Be Named, because I refuse to pay $10 for a crappy self-pubbed ebook. I only budget $5 for that sort of thing.)

Let’s get this over with – I need to cleanse my brain with… Something. Anything.

WARNING: This review/diatribe contains irrelevant analogies, bad sports metaphors, gratuitous musical interludes, self-indulgent run-on sentences (heh) and buckets of righteous indignation (it’s a manifesto, duh), with definite overtones of Mean Girl. It’s also very long, so I hope you brought snacks.

Status Updates: Read With Me Vicariously

Status: 35% (Sunday, April 15)

Oh holy crap, I was NOT expecting a paranormal. So far I’ve literally had to put this down and walk away three times. My Kindle notes consist of numerous “WTF???”s and “Huh???”s, several “OMG”s and “GAH!!!”s, countless “asshole!”s and “dickhead!”s and two or three “dumbass!”s. It’s great fun, if you have a high pain threshold.

Status: 65% (Wednesday, April 18)

Still struggling to finish this unholy mess. Instead of a Magical Orgasm Cure, we get a Catholic /Druid/Voodoo Cure. This happened much earlier than expected, so I guess the last third of the book will be locating the Random Villain via psychic readings. The suspense is killing me.

Status: 85% (Thursday, April 19)

I completely and unequivocally revoke my previous comment about this book being great fun. It wasn’t the suspense that was killing me.

Apparently there’s no end to the Epic Assholery – it’s RELENTLESS. I honestly have no clue how ANY woman could find this “hero” anything other than a complete and total DICKHEAD. I need a shortcut key on my Kindle for easier “ASSHOLE!” notations.

And the so-called “heroine” is just as bad. A Voodoo Priestess SHOULD NOT BE A DOORMAT. I mean, really – use your fucking MAGICK already and hit him with a stunning spell or something and put the rest of us out of our misery.

I don’t want either one of them to have an HEA. I want him to fall off one of the stupid cliffs he climbs and I want her to crawl back under her grandmother’s cauldron and I want them to NEVER EVER see each other or talk to anyone else EVER AGAIN.

The Random Villain has completely disappeared – but at least he POISONED THE WATERHOLE before he left, so maybe we’ll get lucky and Tebow Ranch will be like
Chernobyl and the Homeland Fuckwadery Police will cordon it off for the next 500 years.

(moment of silence to re-bury the memories….)

My Kindle took a much-needed rest at that point. I have never stopped reading at 85%. Ever.

I had to summon my Inner Goddess for the strength to continue, but I managed to finish it – without any inebriated e-mailing of the author! I know, right??? I was, however, forced to make a separate “Sable Hunter” collection on my Kindle because I don’t want her books contaminating my real books. The entire McCoy family* is now in digital quarantine.

FUN FACTS: My Kindle clippings for this book totaled 730 highlighted passages and 198 notes. I tried to do a scrolling screen capture, and my laptop almost melted.

The plot….

Misogynistic daredevil asshole, paralyzed in a motocross accident, hires ugly voodoo priestess, who doesn’t know she’s really a guardian angel, to restore his manhood. Also, celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse makes a cameo appearance.

The opening scene….

Ready, set, asshole:

Joseph McCoy’s philosophy was simple; every woman needs multiple orgasms in order to be happy. Without a doubt, he had done his part in spreading happiness to as many beautiful, deserving women as possible. The latest candidate for his benevolent attention was leaning forward, displaying her silicon enhanced chest for his viewing enjoyment.

I hope you didn’t fall out of your chair yet, because that was just the first half of the first paragraph.

As he felt his dick rise to the occasion, Joseph checked the clock on the wall. Hell! He didn’t have time to diddle with this little darlin’….

“When you played for Texas, they called you ‘The Stallion’. Would you care to elaborate on how you acquired that particular nickname?”

Stretching his long muscular legs out in front of him, Joseph crossed one custom cowboy boot over the other. “Well darlin’,” he graced her with a slow, seductive wink, “I’m not certain how I got HUNG with that handle, but I assure you that I’ve tried to live up to the image.” He couldn’t help but chuckle when her gaze slid down his body and got slowed down by the speed bump of his erection. Teasingly, he put his thumbs in his belt, one on either side of his signature Superman belt buckle –

Hang in there, almost done….

and caught her eyes as she looked back up, letting her know that he knew she was ogling his manly credentials.

Still with me?

That was just the kick-off of a scrimmage at the Real Assholes of Texas training camp. Joseph plays running back. You know, like Doak Walker, whose namesake award our hero won in college.

Ogling his manly credentials, indeed. I don’t remember learning that in journalism school.

But then again – DAMN, that was a good opening, story-wise. We’re hooked with the first sentence and by the end of the first paragraph, we know exactly who our “hero” is. Yes, he’s an asshole, but we know immediately what to expect from him and we can maybe even hope for his redemption. If Sable Hunter can write like this, WHY WHY WHY does she insist on burying her talent underneath truckloads of nonsense? Gah.

Joseph’s accident….

Texas Motocross, Marble Falls Raceway:

If he could win today, the Yamaha sponsorship would be a sure thing. Afterwards, he would call that hot little reporter and ease the ache in his dick.

Eh, he’s got the Yamaha thing locked up even if he doesn’t win – corporate sponsors love an athlete who can maintain a stiffy even while racing a motorcycle.

But then: big jump, big rock, big crash. And just as in the previous book, a really well-written dramatic scene is completely wasted to make room for the utterly ridiculous.

Cady’s mysterious dream(s)….

Sometimes things aren’t necessarily the way we think they are. Sometimes they’re not even close.

Some people think this is a good book. They’re not even close.

We meet our heroine, Acadia Renaud, as she’s pacing the marble halls of Heaven, arguing with Master Gabe. I have questions about that, but I’ll save those until later.

Acadia, known as Cady, has seen Joseph’s accident from above, but is unable to do anything to help. She’s so upset she huffs around in consternation and thinks naughty words. Until:

“You are going to earth.”

Yay!

“We are doing to send you back to the beginning. You can’t just drop into the time/space continuum fully grown. We’ve processed the paperwork; you are going to have to be born and grow up and make your way in the world just like any other human being.”

(I’ll save all my questions about the logistical stuff too.)

And then…our heroine wakes up. Alone.

Like a teenager, she grabbed her pillow and practiced kissing. She ought to be good at it by now; this pillow had seen a lot of action over the years.

Cady is lonely because she’s plain. You know, homely. How ugly is she? Our heroine is so ugly, she’s a 28-year-old virgin.

But never fear – Cady has *~*hope*~*, helpfully supplied by her Granny Fontenot, an old hoodoo woman who lives deep in the bayou country of Terrebonne Parish.

Her grandmother had pulled the cauldron close and had pushed both of their hands down into the dark water. Cady would swear on a stack of Bibles that the water had gone from stone cold to almost boiling in a few seconds.

That bit was purely for fun, but this next bit is important, so PAY ATTENTION:

“Sweet girl, one day you will be as beautiful on the outside as you are within. There is a man destined to fall in love with you, never doubt it. At first, he will be attracted to your sweet and gentle personality. Soon, he will begin to see you in a different light – and when he does, you will grow more beautiful everyday. His love will make you beautiful – not only in his eyes, but in other’s eyes as well.”

So while our heroine doesn’t know she’s actually a Guardian Angel, she does know she’s got a raging case of The Uglies and must Earn The Love Of A Man to be cured. Kinda like Nanny McPhee, but different.

You’ll notice I didn’t say “the love of a GOOD man.” Even an asshole will do.

Nope, no misogyny here….

So then Cady has ANOTHER dream, in which she wakes up in Joseph’s hospital bed and finds him sprawled on the floor. He’s shirtless, so she immediately recognizes his pecs from previous dreams and gives him a big ol’ smooch.

Acadia knew true happiness for the first time. For she had not only kissed Joseph, but he returned her kiss – and oh, it was glorious!

Jacob, despite his paralysis and sprawled-on-the-floor predicament, responds in his usual manly manner:

Her kiss was so precious; her taste was the sweetest nectar….

All that pillow practice is finally paying off, girl – woohoo!

It was nothing like the meaningless, faceless lust he had exchanged with countless women whose names he could not remember. He felt something – he could swear he did – below his waist – a twitch – hell, was he dreaming!?!?

I think that was foreshadowing, but I’m not sure for positive. I’m also not sure what narrative purpose this dream serves, other than to reinforce the already blindingly obvious fact that Joseph is a manwhore and then leave him twitching helplessly on the floor.

The voodoo/hoodoo/catholic/druid stuff explained….

In New Orleans, traditional witchcraft is a combination of the Celtic craft, voodoo, hoodoo, with a little Appalachian Granny Magic thrown in for good measure. If you asked them what their religion was, they would tell you Catholic. Their everyday life, however, was filled with mojo bags, spells, charms and a constant awareness of the supernatural.

The more you know.

Cady’s Aunt Honoria is THE Aunt Honoria. You know, the High Priestess of Santeria and administrative assistant to Her Supreme Highness Head Witch and Highest of All High Priestesses Nana Bogart. I think we’re supposed to actually know who this Bogart woman is, but we’re a little light on the voodoo up here in the Land o’ Lutherans, so I’m just going to smile and nod and pretend I recognize her because I’m pretty sure I don’t want to piss her off.

Aunt Honoria summons Cady’s presence to share a different version of the future:

“I see darkness ahead for you. I don’t know what that entails, but I am afraid for your life.”

But Cady knows – or maybe she doesn’t, it’s very confusing – that Joseph is a McCoy, so he’ll be worth the risk of Death and Darkness.

Cady had never experienced joy with a man. If there was any chance of knowing a man’s love, even for a little while – Cady was willing to step into hell for the opportunity.

Remember, kids: Life without a man isn’t worth living.

Misogyny? What misogyny?

Meanwhile, back at the hospital….

Joseph was ready to go home. He had one of the cute little nurses’ aides get all of his gear together.

Nope, no misogyny here. Move along, folks.

Was he going to have to live like this forever? Was there anyone in the world that could help him?

The soundless cry rose from his heart and reverberated out into the universe – and lo and behold – as the old fairy tales read – someone was listening. A connection was made. Help was on the way. Sometimes there are wonders in this world that will literally blow your mind.

If you need a cookie break, take one now, because that was just the end of Chapter One, and you’ll need the sugar high to keep your spirits up.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch….

Snarling, he realized he hadn’t ‘evacuated his bowels’. What a crock of shit. He couldn’t even tell when he needed to take a dump!

Luckily, Mr. Limpdick McCrankypants has his big brother Jacob for manly support:

“You will make love to a woman again, Joseph. Don’t you dare give up!”

But that inspiring pep talk isn’t enough, because Joseph’s beloved Playboy magazine comes in the mail and no matter how hard he tries…. Nothing. Nil. Nada.

I was going to copy in that whole extremely descriptive paragraph, but the important facts are that the centerfold’s name is Lisa Reinhart and we never find out if Joseph’s urine catheter survives intact.

Is this Heaven? No, it’s New Orleans. No, wait, it’s Heaven.

Master Gabe reappears in Cady’s dreams to give some final (?) advice, which she doesn’t seem to appreciate.

“I read every word of the memo you sent me,” she assured her superior. “But since I won’t have any memory of my existence here, how will any of this information be of help to me?”

That was Cady asking Master Gabe, not me asking the author.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch….

It’s now younger brother Noah’s turn to pull Poor Joseph out of the doldrums:

“Just because you’re off your feet for awhile doesn’t mean you have to be so damn cranky. You make me think of that bull we used to have – you remember Hannibal?”

If it were me, I would have named him HanniBULL. Get it, get it? I crack myself up sometimes.

But Poor Joseph is determined to prolong his pity party:

“Yea, I remember him. He was a big, grey Brahmin bull. His dick was so long when it was hard, he stepped on it.” As soon as he said the words, he sobered. Would he ever get hard again? Would he ever know what it was like to slide into a woman’s hot, wet pussy again? Shit!

Noah, however, is undiscouraged, reeling off a string of hilarious – I’m not being sarcastic this time – dick jokes. Other Brother Isaac gets in on the act and manages to get Noah yelling “MY DICK IS SO BIG…” right as the Baptist preacher walks in the door.

And yet again, a well-written – and truly funny – scene is completely ruined by an immediate plunge into a Morass of Misogyny.

(What’s my alliteration score so far? Am I close to earning my letter for my letter jacket?)

Joseph gets some good news….

You’ll recall that Joseph is understandably upset that paralysis has Taken Away His Manhood. Lucky for him, one of his friends knows somebody who knows somebody whose brother’s uncle’s step-cousin’s dogsitter had a similar type of erectile impairment:

“I’ve seen a miracle, Joseph. I can give you the name of a woman who can give you back your manhood.”

Our hero cuts off his BFF’s explanation of voodoo vs. hoodoo and empaths vs. traiteurs to get to the more important employment questions:

“What does she look like, this miracle worker?”

You’d be correct in thinking that’s not on the Equal Employment Opportunity hiring checklist. But let’s keep in mind we’re dealing with not just a McCoy, but with an impotent McCoy, and they’re bad enough when they can pop wood.

(Oh good lord, I can’t believe I just wrote that. I’m blaming certain m/m authors who may or may not read this blog but who shall remain nameless. You know who you are.)

Whoops, where were we? Oh, right – the Morass of Misogyny:

“I don’t want a beautiful woman to see me this way. If I’m going to let somebody watch my urine flow through a tube into a bag, I want her to be so ugly that I don’t care one way or the other.”

Misogyny? What misogyny?

During a brief phone interview with the Cady the Physical Therapist Voodoo Priestess Unknown Guardian Angel, Joseph initially believes that he could “put up with anything for a month, even an ugly woman’s hands on him.” But when she informs him they’ll need to (gasp) be on a first-name basis (shudder), his non-existent manhood clenches:

Now wait a minute. He didn’t need some wallflower getting any ideas about him. He might be paralyzed, but he wasn’t desperate… Joseph had never been comfortable around unattractive women. And now, he wasn’t comfortable around attractive ones.

Nope, no misogyny here, better keep looking.

Joseph decides he’s man enough (>snort<) to withstand the Onslaught of Ugliness and offers Cady the job. She, of course, accepts immediately and drives 606 miles nonstop to Meet Her Destiny.

Wait, back up, I forgot the Dream Sex!

During the phone interview with Joseph, Cady is able to voodoo-sense his concerns about her falling in love with him. But, alas, it’s already too late.

How do we know it’s too late? Because after she hangs up the phone, she immediately has Dream Sex with Joseph. And not just pillow-kissing Dream Sex:

She was going to have to change the sheets. Cady looked at the huge wet spot staining her pale pink bottom sheet. Her encounter with Joseph might have all been in her mind, but her orgasm and ejaculation were real enough to force her to strip her bed and do a load of laundry.

I know I said I was going to save all my questions about the paranormal stuff until later, but I must know: Is this type of Creamy Dream Sex typical of angel/mortal couplings?

Also: If a girl angel loses her virginity during Dream Sex, does it still count? Or will her hymen just keep growing back like Jessica’s on True Blood? Can STDs be transmitted during Dream Sex, or are angels immune like werewolves?

Meanwhile, back at the ranch….

I just love saying that. It’s now time for some spooky paranormal foreshadowing:

Acadia Renaud drove under the Tebow Ranch sign. As soon as she did, she felt it. Evil. Flashes of red obscured her vision. Something was very wrong at this place. A sense of foreboding enveloped her. Parking, she sat for a few moments; waiting to see if she could glean more information from the black cloud of ominous emotion that had crashed into her spirit.

Believe it or not, this Odor of Ominous Foreboding is NOT wafting from Joseph and His Amazingly Magnificent Misogyny. There’s a Random Villain in our midst, but he’s kind of an enigma (see below), so we’ll worry about him later.

Cady stopped at the door, an overwhelming feeling of destiny swamping her senses. She didn’t know what the future would hold for her here at Tebow Ranch, but whatever was ahead was going to be a wild, wild ride.

Oh, honey – you have NO idea. You should have just stayed right there and let yourself drown in the Swamp of Destiny.

Hmmm…. Drowning in the Swamp of Destiny: A Memoir by Cady Renaud.

Or maybe a voodoo-themed “Swamp of Destiny” restaurant chain. You know, like Planet Hollywood but with alligator gumbo on the menu and over-priced cocktails served in little miniature cauldrons and shrunken heads on the walls.

Or, better yet…. Wait for it….

Swamp of Destiny: A new HBO miniseries from the producers of Game of Thrones.

Sweet Jesus Honey Dews, the possibilities are endless. I’m claiming copyright on that RIGHT NOW: Swamp of Destiny©. Swamp of Destiny™. Swamp of Destiny®.

And don’t even THINK about plagiarizing that. I’ll out you on Dear Author and stick a Twitter hashtag (#SwampStealer) on you so fast you won’t even have time to post a whiny half-assed apology on your own blog. And don’t bother me with that “Sable Hunter used it first” crap. She used “swamp” as verb, and I’m using it as a noun, so it’s completely different.

Oh god help me, there’s another one coming….

Diddlin’ with the Darlins’: A Memoir by Joseph “The Texas Stallion” McCoy.

This, my friends, is why I write snotty book reviews instead of fiction.

The meet-cute….

One of the only good things about this book was the full-text copy/paste of “Joseph Meets Cady” from the previous book. Kinda like one of those dead-virus vaccinations you get before travelling to a developing country.

In spite of himself, his face broke into a grin. He didn’t care how many times this woman emptied his pee bag. If he had special ordered a homely woman feature by feature, he couldn’t have done better.

Misogyny? What misogyny?

Our hero is distracted from this Horror of Homeliness when his future sisters-in-law (our previous heroines) arrive:

Libby and Jessie came skipping through the living room on their way inside with big bouquets of flowers from Libby’s garden. Now, this was how women were supposed to look!

Yes, SKIPPING. Misogyny? What misogyny?

But Joseph’s attention returns to our heroine’s unattractive appearance when Libby teases Cady about their adjoining rooms.

She must realize that there was no way that she could ever be his type. Why, Joseph McCoy had dated some of the most beautiful women in the great state of Texas.

Misogyny? What misogyny?

As Libby shows Cady to her room, Joseph feels compelled to explain his rehab plan:

“If she can help you, does it matter how she looks?” Jessie was smarter than the average bear.

Misogyny? What misogyny?

“In addition to her having the right certification, I insisted that she be homely. If I’m going to let a woman see me at my worst, I don’t want it to be a good-looking woman. And Cady Renaud suits me just fine. She’s coyote ugly.”

Ohhh, THAT misogyny.

And take a WILD guess who overhears him.

Thus endeth Chapter Three. I told you you’d need that cookie.

Decision time: Should I keep reading?

Oh, HELL NO! But I did anyway.

Crappity crap crap, I completely forgot about my extended sports metaphor. The quarterfinal round of our Man-Meat Marathon kicks off with Joseph’s teeny tiny little conscience crawling out from under its rock.

Closing his eyes, he knew what he had to do. He left to go and apologize to Cady….

Out of nowhere, Joseph felt a chill down his back. He remembered that Ms. Renaud practiced a form of witchcraft. Suddenly, he couldn’t get out of the room fast enough.

I got chiiiiills, they’re multiplyin’, and I’m looooosin’ control….. Oh, sorry. You should also consider that an apology in advance for what I inflict on you later.

Just outside, Cady slid down the wall of the house until she could sit on the ground…. Desperate to just get away, she had gone out the closest exit she could find – the window.

If I ever get to be a Voodoo Priestess Guardian Angel, I’m going to make DAMN sure that I get a pair of wings that work, because there’s NO WAY IN HELL I’m crawling out of windows to avoid obnoxious assholes.

Above the sound of crickets and the occasional mooing of a cow….

That’s not particularly relevant, but it was too good to leave out.

Could she deal with this? Could she put aside her crushed hopes and take care of business? …She wanted, no she needed to protect and help him despite his rejection of her as a woman. Chewing on her lip, she decided what she would do: she would toughen up, get in his face and do everything in her power to get him back on his feet. And along the way – if they became friends – so much the better, friendship was better than nothing.

Which sign goes better with that ankle-length denim jumper she’s wearing: “Hi! I’m a Martyr!” or “Kick Me, I’m a Doormat!”?

Oh Sweet Jesus Honey Dews, writing that just made me realize that she climbed out a window while wearing an ankle-length denim jumper. I pity the poor stunt double when this gets made into a Lifetime TV Movie.

But that’s missing the important literary subtext of this passage: Cady does indeed find the inner strength to “get in his face.” Well, not his face, exactly. You know what I mean. Anyway, for Cady, “getting in his face” is a euphemism for…. Um, well, I guess it’s a euphemism for waiting around for Joseph to treat her like cow shit stuck to the bottom of his custom-made cowboy boot. Again. Which is coming up right about…now.

Those of you still rooting for Joseph will cheer as he pulls off the mother of all backhanded apologies:

“Cady, I’m so about what you heard me say. I’m not usually so stupid.”

No, but you’re always an asshole.

He tried not to look at her and judge – but could she have picked a more unbecoming outfit? He tried to decide if she were overweight. Hell, it was hard to tell. Hell, it was hard to tell. Her clothes didn’t touch her anywhere and she was wearing one of those dresses that women usually wear when they want to cover up a multitude of sins. Her hands were small and delicate and the feet that were peeking out from her floor-length skirt were narrow and sorta pretty. But a woman had to have more than cute hands and feet – what was in-between was pretty damn important. Hell! He was doing it again! What the fuck difference did it make how she looked? Wasn’t she exactly what he had hoped for? “It’s none of my business how you look or how you dress. I respect your ability and I need you. From this moment on, I promise to treat you with the respect you deserve. Okay?”

Well, since you asked so nicely…. Fuck off, douchebag.

But instead of pushing him out of his wheelchair and yelling “NUMBNUTS HAHAHAHAHA” while pointing at his perma-flaccid member, Cady leaves her last two milligrams of self-respect at the barn door and returns to fulfill her promise to Restore the Manhood.

The worst thing that could happen would be if she were foolish enough to develop a lasting crush on him. Right now, it was just wishful thinking.

A lifelong crush is the WORST she can imagine? AFTER he calls her “coyote ugly” and she climbs out a window??? The mind-boggling hypocrisy of that so-called apology must have made her forget the Portentous Shiver of Doom she experienced at the Mouth of Hell. Oops, I mean the gates of Tebow Ranch. Sorry, my bad.

Voodoo to the rescue….

To get all our ducks in a row with the series meta-timeline, we’re now in the frantic search for Jessie, our beloved Homeless Orphaned Dyslexic Pregnant Virgin heroine from Book 2.

While Joseph parks his Mercedes Z-class motorized wheelchair in the middle of the kitchen and whines about not being able to chase after Tiny Little Impotent Penis Guy like his non-paralyzed brothers, Cady quietly retrieves her Secret Stash of Voodoo Stuff:

While the family and authorities searched for Jessie, she lit candles and laid out a map of the local area. Being alone in the house (Joseph must have time-traveled somewhere), she visited Jessie’s bedroom and took a bit of hair from her brush to use as a spiritual connection. Braiding it into a heart shape, she held it tight in one hand while she let the pendulum swing over the map. After a few moments, it settled and stopped very near to the ranch. Jotting down the locale, she placed a discrete call to Kane Saucier.

Yes, the sheriff of Kerr County, Texas, is named Kane Saucier. His brother Zane is an attorney, but Zane is blind, so it’s pretty easy to remember who’s Law and who’s Order. Kane (with a K) has his own spin-off short story (!), which is free (!!), but it’s only available from the publisher’s website and there’s NO WAY IN HELL I’m entering my name and address on that order form. But someone needs to please-oh-please-oh-please download it for me, because I can’t bear to miss out on more sexy dialogue like this:

“I think I’ll mosey over that way and head my little filly off at the pass before she gets corralled by those bow-legged cowpokes.”

No, I did not make that up. Kindle location 5109.

ANYWAY, let’s not lose focus on the real mystery here. Not the spiritual connection part, that’s all cool. I’m talking about the mysterious heart-shaped pendulum made of braided hair. Exactly how much hair did Cady remove from Jessie’s hairbrush to be able to braid it into a heart shape? When was the last time Jessie cleaned her damn hairbrush?

Then again, who the hell cares, because the Magical Hair Heart leads the Joseph-less McCoy Posse directly to the correct abandoned farmhouse three miles away. Tiny Little Impotent Penis Guy gets shot (in the chest, sheesh) by Noah, who thereby redeems himself from getting Jessie kidnapped in the first place, and Jessie gets her Magical Orgasm Cure. You know, for her PTSD.

So, all’s well that ends well. Except we’re only in Chapter Four and Joseph’s manhood is still missing.

Is that a rifle, pardner?

No – it’s the starting gun for the semifinals of our Third Weekly Tournament of Assholes: The Is She Hot or Not? Lightning Round!

Uff da, I wish it was the lightning round. It’s more like the bottom of the sixth with two outs and it’s 97 degrees in the shade with 157% humidity and I’m dying to stand up and sing Take Me Out to the Ballgame just to have a chance to surreptitiously disengage the extremely sweaty undergarments from my tender openings but the batter keeps hitting foul balls and the so-called relief pitcher keeps faking throws to first to hold the runner on base and then another goddamn foul ball and then the guy on first makes an ill-timed attempt at second and gets hung up in a rundown which gives the runner on third enough distraction to steal home and now the game is tied and the face-painted asshole next to me gets so excited he Spills. My. Beer.

That’s what reading this book feels like: One big long pointless run-on sentence. With no beer.

You think I’m overreacting, but I’m not.

The entire rest of the book – we’re less than a third of the way through so far – is an endless repetition of “You’re not pretty enough, WELL MAYBE, let’s have sex with brain-melting orgasms, YEE HAW THAT WAS HAWT NO WAIT NEVER MIND, you need a makeover to be pretty enough, GOOD LORD WOMAN WHY ARE YOU CRYING?”

You think I’m exaggerating, but I’m not.

From Chapter Four – this scene has been edited for length to fit within your gag threshold:

Seeing his discomfort, she tried to make light of it at her expense, maybe that would put him at ease. “Remember, that’s why you wanted a homely therapist.” She spread her hands in concession to the point. “Well, here I am – coyote ugly – whatever that means. So, don’t think of me as a female, think of me as asexual – just a person.”

Actually, he’s probably thinking of you as a spineless doormat. Then again, maybe not:

… Her eyes were the warmest golden brown, exactly the color of an amber jewel…. And her cheekbones were high, and her lips were full and looked so soft and suckable…. He wouldn’t go so far as to say he had been wrong, but he was beginning to think she was kinda cute.

I need one of those bite-guard things to keep my teeth from grinding. Remind me to put that on my Christmas list.

“What is coyote ugly, by the way? Just for future reference.” Cady put her hands on her waist, and Joseph couldn’t help but notice how small it was. He would give a good of hunk change to see what kind of figure she was concealing so completely.

“Is it some kind of ‘dog’ reference? I’ve heard that before.”

That she would admit someone had called her a ‘dog’ brought a funny feeling to Joseph’s chest. That was a shame. But hadn’t he done the same – or worse? She folded her arms under her breasts and he could see that she did have a pair – a rather large pair. Nice.

You might think I deliberately left something out of that last bit to make it even more ridiculous. I didn’t.

“It alludes to a man being so drunk in a bar that he takes any woman home with him…. The stupid comparison comes from a coyote’s willingness to chew off his own leg in order to get out of a trap.”

“Oh…. That is a serious insult.” She could feel tears welling up behind her eyes and she called upon every magical atom in her body to quell them. It would humiliate her even more if Joseph saw her cry over something he said.

You might think this dreadful scene is finally over. It’s not.

“It’s all right. There’s no use for me to worry about something I can’t change.”

“I’m not a beauty consultant, but I am a connoisseur of women and I can see some things you could change easily enough.”

“I tell you what; I’ll let you analyze my shortcomings, if you’ll let me help you in the shower…. Since you smell like a sexy, clean male, I have to assume you are taking sink baths.”

Was she flirting with him? After everything he’d said to her? The hint of sexual tension in the air was pleasurable.

Okay, we’re done. For now. Imagine ^that^ ghastly episode multiplied by an average of five instances per chapter, times nine more chapters.

Our heroine goes back for more humiliation. Every. Single. Fucking. Time. And then she throws herself on a downed power line to save his life.

The angst! The drama!

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. We’re still in the middle of chapter four – our starting quarterbacks are still in the game, sticking close to the Hot or Not playbook, but the second- and third-stringers have been rotating in and out to keep the pseudo-plot moving:

Random Villainy, condomless sex, Emeril buys dinner, Joseph punches a Marine in the face, more condomless sex in penthouse suite of five-star hotel, non-appearance by menstrual fairy, hints of marriage proposal, boobtastic reporter from page one returns and vows Woman Scorned revenge, Random Villain returns, purchase of pregnancy test, finger-fucking in a restaurant booth, job offer instead of marriage proposal, she hides in room, she forgives him, more condomless sex, Nathan runs away, boobtastic reporter gets revenge by instigating Big Misunderstanding, Isaac apprehends Random Villain (see below), minor character disappears, Nathan is found, Big Storm, Cady FINALLY figures out she’s the World’s Worst Guardian Angel, Cady throws herself on downed power line, awakens to gasp “have them check the baby!”, ultrasound shows twins, Joseph fucks up marriage proposal, she cries, she forgives him.

The happy ending….

“Joseph, I’m not blind – I know how I look. But my grandmother used to tell me that when I met the man who would really love me I would become beautiful in his eyes and the more he grew to love me, the more beautiful I would become. That’s you, Joseph – if I’m beautiful, it is your love that made me so.”

And in heaven there was much rejoicing for one who was lost had come home.

And on earth, there was much sorrow for those who think misogyny is synonymous with romance.

The epilogue….

Ladies and gentlemen, I present another entry in the WTF Oh Dear God She Really Didn’t Write That Did She? Hall of Fame:

Dr. Angel McCoy stood up to accept the award for her work in stem cell research.

No, that’s not it, keep reading. Dr. Angel’s twin, Gabriel, was born with a severe paralysis and died shortly after birth. You know, that divine retribution thing. Anyway, her parents and four sisters are in the audience (no sons for Joseph, because God actually does have a sense of humor).

Get ready for the Hail Mary pass:

As they watched their daughter accept the Nobel Prize for advancement in medicine, Joseph held Cady’s hand.

Not just any ol’ stem cell award, mind you – the motherfucking NOBEL PRIZE. Now THAT’S an epilogue.

Game. Set. Match. And that’s the end of the sports metaphors because I’m switching to something a little more high-brow. Show tunes, baby. Show tunes.

Our heroine….

Acadia loved Joseph almost more than she loved God. And that fact could get her in serious trouble. Angels are supposed to love God above all else. Acadia tried, but Joseph owned her heart.

Remember a few paragraphs ago when I apologized in advance for what I was going to inflict on you later? This would be it. Out of all the snark I’ve written about this dreck, I’m surely going to hell (or maybe even Hell) for this one:

How do we solve a problem like Acadia?

How can we smack some sense into her brain?

How do we find a way to like Acadia?

Words like ‘ugly voodoo angel’ give me pain

Many a thing you know you’d like to tell her

Many a time you feel like being MEAN

But how can we make her heed

The clues she so badly needs

Why does she lose her shit in EVERY scene?

Oh, how do we solve a problem like Acadia?

Damn she just makes me want to stab my spleen

When I’m with her I’m confused, out of focus and bemused

And I never know exactly where I am

Vacillating like the weather, she’s as spineless as a feather

She’s a virgin, she’s an angel

She’s a lamb

She has voodoo nice and sweet, brings an asshole to his feet

She can make a throbbing cowboy lose his cool

She is horny, she is wild, she is clueless, she’s a child

She’s a doormat! She’s a martyr!

She’s a FOOL!

Maria von Trapp might have been a nun, but she had balls under that habit. Cady Renaud, not so much. There are very few one-syllable words pathetic enough to describe her.

There are, however, numerous examples of her pitiable ineptitude and general wretchedness:

Of course she knew what ‘69′ was, but that was like saying she knew what The Kentucky Derby was – it didn’t mean she had ever been there.

Oh. Dear. God.

Cady was running a tub of water and added bubble bath – a little too much bubble bath. Joseph walked in while she was leaning over the tub trying to mash the bubbles down before they floated over the top, just in time to see her fall over headfirst into the tub.

Need proof? Kindle location 4510.

“Could we not talk, please?” Joseph was a master seducer, and he was following a script that he had probably used a million times, and she couldn’t bear the thought of just being a much needed dress rehearsal for his next big performance. “I mean, you can tell me what to do. But don’t say nice things to me. Okay?”

Or maybe you could remind yourself of your “Toughen Up and Get In His Face” Declaration of Womanhood and tell him to FUCK OFF.

Cady loved him so much. With all the energy she possessed, with every bit of magick she could muster – Cady called forth the paralysis that hampered Joseph and invited it into her own body….

After a few minutes, she felt it. Her body began to tingle and not in a good way. …. Good. If she was hurting, that meant Joseph was free from pain for the first time in weeks.

…Now she needed to surround herself with blue light and try to rejuvenate her body. And if she could do it without Joseph being any the wiser, that would be perfect.

Please, by all means, let’s not make a McCoy aware he owes anything to a woman. Even if she’s literally sacrificing herself.

But before we judge our heroine too harshly, let’s recall there’s a reason she is the way she is:

After all, Cady knew what she looked like. Mud fence was a term she was too familiar with.

Other things you should know about our heroine:

  • She wears non-prescription eyeglasses, styles her curly lush butt-length hair in a bun and has caramel skin.
  • Her signature piece of apparel – the ankle-length denim jumper – is embroidered with kittens. Or maybe it was embroidered BY kittens. There is definitely embroidery involved.
  • She’s a close personal friend of celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse. They’re related through voodoo. It’s a New Orleans thing.
  • She’s only technically a virgin, because she knows her way around a tampon and a dildo.

But seriously, I think Cady’s Little Miss Martyr von Doormat routine galled me even more than Joseph’s whiny manwhore, because we knew he was going to be an idiot. Cady is supposed to be a highly educated and well-respected physical therapist, a Guardian Angel, AND a Princess Royal in the voodoo world. Talk about potential – can you imagine what a real PNR author could do with a character like that? But instead of kicking ass and brewing potions, our heroine flagellates herself at the feet of a man who treats her like dirt. Again and again and again. And then she drags herself back for more.

Because without the Love of a Man, her life is completely worthless. Even her immortal life.

Misogyny? What misogyny?

Then again, does it really count as misogyny if she’s such a spineless fucking DOORMAT? Or would that be like “she deserved it” victim-blaming? Discuss amongst yourselves.

Summing up Cady in one paragraph:

“What?” It took a moment for Cady to realize that Joseph was through with her. He pushed her – not hard – but hard enough for her to realize he wanted her gone – now. Trying to get her body to follow her mind’s directive – she hesitated. He pushed again and she became overbalanced and tumbled off the bed backwards. With a small cry, she hit the floor. Her torn gown gaped open and she rushed to pull it back together, totally mortified. “I’m sorry. I’ll go.”

Just to be clear: He pushes her out of bed and SHE apologizes. Kindle location 2260.

Our hero….

This was hard for a man who prided himself in making women dream, cream and scream on a regular basis.

I think it’s safe to say Joseph McCoy’s reign as Emperor of Assholia will forever be known as the Golden Age of Misogynistic Fuckwadery. However, I predict that Noah the Uptight Self-Righteous Accountant will stage a coup in Book 5. Let’s hope the civil war is long and painful.

Hell, he couldn’t even piss by himself. Every time a nurse came in and wanted to mess with the catheter that was stuck up his dick, he just wanted to throw a fuckin’ bedpan at ‘em.

Heart-wrenching, isn’t it? Let’s a throw a pity party for poor Joseph. Oh, wait, never mind – he’s already sent out the invitations:

None of the women who had once been at his beck and call would even answer his emails, much less their cell phones….. Maybe his current situation was a testimony to how shallow his life had become.

Maybe? MAYBE??? All I can say is quid pro quo, asshole. What goes around comes around. You reap what you sow. Too bad, so sad. Boo-fuckin’-hoo.

“Hey, my face is up here.”

Before his accident, he had enjoyed women eating him up with their eyes. Now he knew they weren’t lusting after his physique, they pitied his condition.

Awwww, poor baby.

Joseph was used to being adored – he expected it. That was one of the reasons being ignored by women after his accident had devastated him, so.

Do you need a tissue?

Long, perfect legs – gorgeous skin – he had never seen a more perfect little figure on a woman before. Granted, he couldn’t see her top – but what he could see was Grade A Number One.

Never mind. Fuck off, douchebag.

During the trip to New Orleans, Joseph gets all pissy with a slightly drunk Marine who’s flirting with Cady in a crowded restaurant. Our hero is patriotic enough to warn off the young serviceman by calling him “soldier boy” before punching him in the face.

He might be a crip, but he was covering the ground he walked on and there wasn’t a man in the bar who didn’t realize that the cowboy had claimed his woman.

Other things you should know about our hero:

  • His best friend Beau is a world-famous hunter of endangered Cuban crocodiles.
  • He can bench-press 400 pounds.
  • He set a free-fall speed record in a jump sponsored by Red Bull. (I have no clue what this actually means.)
  • He broke diving records for the longest cave passage (hahahahaha) by proving underwater springs near Tallahassee, Florida, were linked.
  • He holds the record for free-climbing El Capitan in California. Ten hours.
  • He lost his virginity in hayloft with Tiffany Robinson.

Summing up Joseph in one paragraph:

If he stopped now, it would break her heart. Shit! He was going to hurt her, either way he went. What the hell! He might as well please them both.

A summing up of the summing up….

Before we leave our lovely couple, let’s have one more example why these are the most one-dimensional and COMPLETELY FUCKING RIDICULOUS main characters I’ve ever read:

Laying her head on his shoulder she reveled in the rightness of being with Joseph. So, she endeavored to convey to him how she felt without burdening him with her love. “There is no like you. No one.” She kissed him right over his heart, feeling the strong beat beneath her lips. “Thank you for allowing me to share this precious time with you, Joseph. I’ll never forget it as long as I live.”

“Me either, baby. Let’s take a nap, and we’ll go another round.”

(moment of silence for individual contemplation and reflection….)

Intentional humor or subtle irony? You make the call. But please note that in context, there is nothing that indicates the author is anything other than completely earnest.

Our hero and heroine never change. Cady shows up a martyrific doormat and stays a martyrific doormat throughout the entire book. Joseph shows up a douchebag and does absolutely nothing to redeem himself, even to the point of fucking up his marriage proposal after the Power Line Incident.

They’re both so horrible, the Bad Sex isn’t even funny. What a waste.

Even more reasons why this is the Absolute Worst Book I have ever read:

Inane details…. Joseph likes to wear burnt orange Longhorn lounge pant sets during his physical therapy sessions. I honestly thought “Longhorn” was some kind of specialty Texas brand of flannel, but then I Googled it, and silly me. College football Longhorns. Duh.

Ridiculous character inconsistencies…. He-man Joseph compares his brother’s leather jacket to a Dooney and Burke purse. The man wears Longhorn lounge pants for god sake, how the hell is he so familiar with luxury-brand handbags? Is he a closet metrosexual?

Eye-rolling coincidences…. Cady just happens to be close personal friends with celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse – AND Emeril is a big fan of Joseph’s! I know, right???

Condomless sex…. With a MANWHORE. But it’s okay, because her period is irregular. GAH!!!

And last but not least, let me introduce you to our Stalker of the Week….

Mr. Random McVillainy is out for revenge – but not on our current hero Joseph. Mr. McVillainy is plotting against Jacob, the hero of the previous book. Mr. McVillainy has the impressive timing of invading the ranch at the exact same time as the villain of the previous book. I know, right??? Unlucky for him but lucky for us, Mr. McVillainy is quickly apprehended in a very specific location critical to the plot of the next book (see below).

No need to worry about the actual character name, as he appears only four times, in one- or two-paragraph scenes that pop up out of nowhere like prairie dogs on the open range (if prairie dogs were more like slimy little weasels and not totally adorable). Like most stalkers, Random is kind of a loner, but he is charmingly in touch with his emotions, especially while committing acts of pointless vandalism (CRASH!!! Yea, this was going to help his feelings, quite a bit.).

Random and probably stupid questions about paranormality….

In the spirit of transparency and full disclosure, I am not a fan of paranormal romance. I made it through about four Sookie Stackhouse books, but only because I was attempting to watch True Blood at the time and wanted to claim Alexander Skarsgård as my Vampire Boyfriend (>>>eye-candy link<<gross.

Anyway, that means I’ve never read any PNR with angels, demons or other such magical entities, so I’m in no way familiar with the infrastructure, architecture or etiquette of Heaven (or Hell), which means that I have some rather naive questions about paranormal-type things.

For example, naming conventions. Cady’s heavenly boss is Master Gabe, which I’m assuming is either Archangel Gabriel or one of his namesake minions. However, “Master Gabe” is also the name of a Dom in a BDSM book I read, so I kept worrying that this Master Gabe’s feathery wings would interfere with his flogging technique. Would that be blasphemy?

Also, the bureaucracy in Heaven:

He filled out his part of the form and handed it to her with instructions on where to go to arrange for her transfer.

So Heaven isn’t an earth-friendly paper-free workplace? Sheesh, even back in 1946, Clarence didn’t have to bother with paperwork when George Bailey was about to throw himself off the bridge.

Also, heavenly transportation:

“Acadia!” Master Gabe caught up to her just before she stepped onto the escalator. “I need to give you a bit more advice.”

Escalators? Are angels not allowed to use their wings while in Heaven? If you can’t have wings to escape annoying assholes and you can’t use them in heaven, then WHAT IS THE POINT OF BEING AN ANGEL?

Also, heavenly curfews:

A horn blew and a bell rang out – heralding the last call for those who were scheduled to depart the hallowed halls.

How does “last call” in Heaven work with various time zones and the International Date Line? If the angels miss their window, do they have to wait 24 hours, or can they just be transferred back to yesterday? Is that considered time-slipping or is that only for mortals?

I’m not even going >THERE< with my questions about the Voodoo/Hoodoo/Appalachian Granny Magic stuff.

For all you paranormal readers or voodoo practitioners out there: please be assured I am not making fun of you. I am, however, making fun of the author’s completely self-indulgent whim of including angels and voodoo in the book at all. None of the other books have it, it’s a confusing and possibly insulting mishmash of spiritual beliefs, it’s completely irrelevant to the actual plot (or lack thereof), and there’s absolutely no consistency in how and when it’s applied throughout the book.

Speaking of irrelevant self-indulgence:

Dear God: After I die, I would like to be an Office Worker Angel. Or maybe a Bus Driver Angel. I don’t I think would I would make a very good Guardian Angel. Thank you for your consideration. And for chocolate. Amen.

Another gratuitious musical interlude: A dream deferred….

I was totally planning on expediting my trip to Hell by bastardizing the lyrics to the Schoolhouse Rock “Interjections” song. Sweet Jesus Honey Dews!

For those of you young’uns who just went “huh?” – look it up on YouTube. I don’t have time to fill in all the gaps in your pop culture education. I have bad erotica to read, dammit.

Anyway, after a few chapters of exclamation point hunting, I realized the options for rhyming were significantly limited, so instead, I’m gifting you with a condensed version of Up the Mountain of Manhood: Joseph’s Epic Journey.

  • Hell! (no time for diddlin’)
  • O God! O God! O God! (motocross crash)
  • Shit! Damn! (dream sex with kissing and possible twitching in the nether regions)
  • Hell! Damn! Fuck! (dream sex with orgasm)
  • Shit! (Strip Truth or Dare)
  • Hell! (Cady lets her hair down)
  • Ow! (the real physical therapy begins)
  • Wow! (actual kissing with definite tingling in the nether regions)
  • Hell! (Cady gets a makeover)
  • Shit! (Cady gets a bikini wax)
  • Damn! (blood rushes south)
  • Holy Shit! (penetration)
  • Fuck Yes! (orgasm)

It’s actually quite poetic and lyrical, in a weird sort of way.

Speaking of Bad Sex…..

Example #437 why I should NEVER be allowed to write fiction

So way back up there in the rundown of Chapters 5-13, you might have noticed a reference to finger-fucking in a restaurant booth. Yes, they sat on the same side of the booth. ANYWAY, after this extremely descriptive episode, Joseph meets and greets his fellow Texans, shaking hands with half the population of Kerrville and handing out beer to the rest.

During the entire scene, which includes the Marriage-Proposal-No-Wait-Just-Kidding-It’s-A-Job-Offer, THIS is what I fixated on: “He didn’t wash his hands after finger-fucking her. Why isn’t he washing his hands? OH GROSS he just touched that poor waitress on the arm. He still hasn’t washed his hands. Oh Dear God DO NOT take that beer bottle from him. WHEN is he going to wash his hands???”

Listen up, kids: That’s what reading this dreck will do to your brain. Or maybe it’s the menopausal hot flashes. Either way, you’re fucked.

The Misogyny Manifesto

Forget it. The manifesto part, I mean – if you’ve read this far, I hope I don’t have to convince you any further about the misogyny.

I’m sorry if I got your hopes up, but I’m going to allow my lingering TANGENTY ALL CAPS TANGENTS to fester in the Swamp of Destiny for another week while I read Badass: A Memoir by Isaac “Bad Boy” McCoy.

Why? Because of this sentence right here:

With one graceful movement, Isaac tore a whip from the wall and let the long black snake slice through the air coming down with a stinging blow on the bare hands of the man who dared to breach his inner sanctum.

No, not THAT kind of inner sanctum, THIS kind of inner sanctum:

“I’m a Dom, Kane – a sexual Dominant.”

Oh, HELL YEAH! Indiana Jones + Sex Dungeon = Put that in your pipe and smoke it, George Lucas.

In addition to the Big BDSM Reveal, we also learn that Isaac sneaks food to the dog under the dinner table. My expectations for Master Isaac have increased exponentially.

My standards are still low, but my expectations are high.

The wrap party

Before we sing Happy Trails for this week, I’d like to leave you with these inspiring glimpses into the afterlife:

“What difference does it make if I am beautiful or not? I only want to help Joseph. He won’t care about how look. Will he?” Her innocent question caused Master Gave to take a deep breath and consider carefully before answering. Acadia was strong in many ways, but her little spirit was fragile. She didn’t realize how easily she could be broken.

But then the heavenly last call bell rings:

The conductor motioned for her to follow him. “Hey, cutie! If you’re going with me – it’s time.”

Yes, Virginia (>snort<), there really is Misogyny in Heaven. Can I get an Amen!?

No? Didn’t think so.


More irrelevant self-indulgence, this time in pretentious footnote format:

* I cannot believe I didn’t notice this before, but lookie what I found on the title page:

Six brothers. One dynasty.

If Nathan the Plot Moppet gets his own book about losing his virginity, I’m going to have to get my Xanax prescription refilled early, and my doctor is going to ask why, and how in the HELL YEAH! am I going to explain that?

Unless, of course, the de-virginizer is a cougar. Like a Dynasty-era (nice segue, huh?) Joan Collins kind of cougar. How totally wicked AWESOME would that be???

GUEST REVIEW:  Hot on Her Trail by Sable Hunter

GUEST REVIEW: Hot on Her Trail by Sable Hunter

Last week, we posted Kelly’s guest review of Cowboy Heat by Sable Hunter. Kelly promised to read and review the entire Hell Yeah series for us. This is the second book in the series.

You can find Kelly at http://instalove.wordpress.com/

Soooo, after laughing my way through the first book of this series, I strapped on my big-girl undies for Book 2:

Jacob McCoy wishes for a wife and a family. Tis the Season for miracles when a young woman shows up on his doorstep: homeless, in danger and expecting a child – Jacob’s child.

Their relationship is complicated by the fact that, A – they’ve never met before and B – she’s a virgin. Jessie is determined not to be a burden to the McCoy family. As far as she’s concerned, she is just passing through. Jacob has a different opinion – he wants Jessie in his life, in his bed and in his heart.

It’s a good thing I suited up in protective gear, because in between the vomit-inducing Insta-Love and some serious WTFery, this book PISSED ME OFF. Therefore, I am subtitling this review:

Hot on Her TrailA RETURN TO TEBOW RANCH: WHERE THE WOMEN ARE CHILDLIKE VIRGINS AND THE MEN ARE MISOGYNISTIC FUCKWADS.

This is going to take a while, so fasten your seatbelts – it’s going to be a long and wild ride. Like getting your bra strap caught on the fake horns of a mechanical bull and you can’t get off until someone takes pity on you and unplugs the damn thing.

Warning: If you don’t like spoilers or dirty words, go elsewhere. You know, in case that “fuckwads” thing wasn’t a big enough hint.

THE PLOT….

The short version: Homeless orphaned dyslexic pregnant virgin hides out in baby daddy’s barn to escape her bipolar stalker/serial killer. Also, she’s mistaken for a mermaid.

For the long version, I’m going need to use a lot of excerpts, and you’ll need to get your own pair of big-girl undies because I’m not sharing.

THE SET-UP….

Our spunky heroine Jessie Montgomery tracks down her unborn baby’s father (be patient, you’ll see), hitch-hikes from Austin to Kerrville (pop. 22,826 – see below), stalks him to a baseball game and….

Stowing away in the back of his truck, she left her old life behind, knowing that wherever he went was where she longed to be.

You’ll find this itinerary on page nine of the Homeless Orphaned Pregnant Dyslexic Virgins Handbook, although hitch-hiking is generally not recommended if your baby daddy doesn’t know you or your unborn child exist. Luckily, just two blocks from her Austin apartment, Jessie was able to catch a ride with an elderly couple who bought her a hamburger and gave her $30 before dropping her off at the Kerrville Little League Park. Maybe wearing a “Hi! My name is Mary Sue!” name tag helps with that sort of thing.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Jessie makes like a “lonely ghost,” hiding with the horses (second stall from the end on the left, between Sultan and Paladin) and surviving on ketchup sandwiches (made from bread and ketchup packets stolen from the concession stand). To earn her keep, she cleans tack and mucks out stalls. This goes on for two days before the call of the stock tank is too much to resist.

FUN FACT: Our author must have predicted our squickiness with the possible vaginal infections and whatnot, because this time we learn (in a rather lengthy paragraph) that this is a 20,000-gallon rainwater irrigation tank with actual pipes and pumps and stuff, not the icky livestock kind with cow slobber and green slime. As Aron the Eldest recalls fondly, “That old stock tank seems to see more action than the Playboy mansion.”

Anyway, Nathan, our resident plot moppet, spies Jessie bathing in the stock tank. Unlike our previous Hell Yeah! heroine, Jessie does not engage in full public nudity at this point in the narrative.

To a thirteen year old – long hair and glistening water on a near naked female could only mean one thing…. Wow!

…”You’ve got to see this, Jacob. It’s better than the time Isaac found that two-headed snake.”

If it were me, I would have used an exclamation point (!) instead of a period (.), because if anything is worthy of a more exclamatory form of punctuation, it’s a two-headed snake (!).

After some intense Older Brother Interrogation, Nathan reluctantly admits his eyewitness account might be more like wishful thinking:

“This girl, mermaid or not, had bosoms.” Nathan held his hands out in front of his chest, measuring for Jacob, the bountifulness of the mermaid’s blessings.

Nathan is obviously much too young and innocent to use blasphemic fruit analogies, so we’ll just have to imagine a well-timed “Sweet Jesus! Honey Dews!” interjection.

“You looked at her pretty close, didn’t you? Did you happen to see a tail?”

“Yea, she had a really nice tail.” Nathan was measuring in the air again – rounded circles – innocent in his appreciation of the female form.

I hate to interrupt the dramatic tension, but I just can’t let this one go: “rounded circles” is redundant.

“No, no – but, I meant fish tail.” This gave Nathan pause, and he put a finger to his chin in deep thought.

“Shucks! I guess she was just a regular ole’ girl, I don’t remember a tail.”

Jacob, our hero, investigates and finds Jessie full nekkid in the barn. It apparently takes her a long time to find her backup pair of Virgin Panties. Then again, maybe she couldn’t find the ladder to get out of the stock tank. Or maybe she had to use a hair dryer to get rid of her mermaid tail like Daryl Hannah in Splash.

Oh, sorry:

Humming? Did he hear humming?

…Jacob was speechless. There was an absolutely beautiful, nude girl standing in front of Paladin’s stall. He couldn’t quite hear what she was saying [“Can’t Help Falling in Love” by Elvis “The King” Presley], but he could see enough to fall deeply in lust. His eyes roved over the most curvy, gorgeous backside he had ever been privileged to ogle. Inflating with desire, his cock began to thicken and grow.

Our hero is deflated when he’s called back to the house for a minor family emergency, but he begs his Little Mermaid to stay. So she does. She finally gets dressed. She also fixes her hair and makeup because “she wanted to look as nice for Jacob as she could.” It doesn’t mention anything about brushing teeth, but we’ll hope so, because Heinz on Wonder Bread probably makes for some nasty morning breath. All of this prettying up occurs in the luxury apartment/studio above the stables.

Our hero returns to the barn and gets all forlorn and stuff when he can’t find Jessie right away, so he relieves these emotional emotions by jacking off:

Jacob needed relief in the worst way; even it was from his own hand….

If he didn’t bury himself balls deep in a woman’s hot pussy soon, his dick was going to fall off from disuse and neglect. He wanted to suck on those sweet, peach nipples that had tempted him so sweetly. Jesus! He wanted to squeeze that pair of perfect tits until he made the sweet doll beg him to love her all night long! God! Jets of cum shot up and out from his cock in a high arc, testifying to the tremendous need that had built up after months of celibacy – a drought of the worst kind.

Jessie, she of the Sweet Peach Nipples, is perving unnoticed from the stairwell. Being a Virgin, our heroine is understandably dazed by the size and power of Jacob’s manhood:

Mother Mary Full of Grace! Jessie Montgomery was more turned on than she had ever been in her life. Leaning against the stairwell wall, she peeped around the corner and fell head over heels in love. Jacob McCoy was more man than Jessie had ever seen in the flesh….

Mesmerized, she licked her lips as Jacob began to pleasure himself in long, rhythmic pumps and pulls that Jessie could feel from the tip of each nipple to deep inside her aching, empty vagina.

That last phrase confused me for a minute, but then I remembered that her *uterus* is occupied, not her vagina.

Thank the Lord, he was standing in a section of the barn where a shaft of sunlight cut down through the semi-darkness and spotlighted his more than generous assets.

Just like that one scene in The Natural where Glenn Close stands up in the bleachers and the sun hits her just right and Robert Redford sees her and hits the game-winning home run! I love that movie.

And this was the father of her unborn child? Jessie dropped her head in her hands and groaned silently. What she wouldn’t give to have been able to acquire his sperm the old fashioned way.

I KNOW, just BE PATIENT and save all your questions until the end.

The author doesn’t specify if Jacob cleans his manly essence off the stable floor, but he does take the time to carefully tuck and zip.

Jessie, our Bare-Naked Angel/Tantalizing Trespasser, removes all traces of *her* arousal before walking into town to fill out some job applications. On her meandering, sun-dappled journey, she scampers (yes, really) through a field of sunflowers conveniently located “about a block from the ranch road.”

QUESTION: Can someone help me out with the distances here? Would that be like a city block, or is that an “Everything’s Bigger in Texas” thing? I’m from Iowa, and around these here parts, we measure our homesteads by acres. In the first book of the series, it stated that the McCoy’s land holdings total about 535,000 acres (home to 20,000 mama cows; the bulls must have their own ZIP code), the equivalent of 835 square miles. It’s about 85 miles from Austin to Kerrville, which means that…. Oh, to hell with it. Never mind.

After she’s done skipping and scampering and scaring the bejesus out of flocks of birds, Jessie earns her “heroine” status by rescuing young Nathan from drowning in the Guadalupe River. Yes, REALLY. Surprisingly, this part is actually pretty good, but then the Insta-Love vomitry resumes and ruins the moment.

When the ambulance arrives, Jessie tries to hide in the woods, but alas, Jacob’s inner Nekkid-Virgin Radar works much too well:

It was their second meeting and once again she was as naked as a jaybird in whistling time.

QUESTION: I’m familiar with the “naked as a jaybird” cliché, but what does “in whistling time” mean? Is that another Texas thing? I need a glossary.

As she puts on her lemon yellow sundress and little white panties, Jacob’s manhood reinflates:

As if drawn by a giant magnet, he found himself moving toward her at a steady, predator-like pace. God! He was an absolute goner! To ease his discomfort, Jacob rubbed his swollen dick through his jeans. It wasn’t enough – not by a long shot.

No glossary needed there, but I did wonder if the “not by a long shot” thing was intentional or not.

“I can’t believe you’ve had to see me naked twice in one day. You should be getting hazard pay.”

Jessie, honey, with the number of girls the McCoy brothers have seen naked, they should be handing out haz-mat suits.

Why was she putting herself down? Didn’t she know how precious she was? “Babe, you didn’t have to get dressed on my account. I liked looking at you all unclothed and cuddly.”

Cuddly. Just what a naked pregnant woman wants to be called. Thumbs up on that one, dude!

Rubbing his nose over the silken skin of her cheek, he found it was just as soft as he imagined it would be. “You smell like a Bit-O-Honey candy bar. I bet you taste just as sweet.”

QUESTION: Jessie was just nearly drowned and hasn’t showered yet, so does that mean the Guadalupe River smells like a Bit-O-Honey? What exactly is upriver?

Her loins felt like they were on fire. She wasn’t unfamiliar with sexual urges, she read romance novels. But until now, her sex drive had been a very private and personal matter.

Did you catch the big ole’ WTF red flag in there? Clue: It’s not the use of the word “loins” (see below).

So, with loins flaming and bosoms heaving and steel rods straining (actually, it’s just one steel rod, but I wanted to maintain the plural for poetic balance and dramatic emphasis), we move on to…

CHAPTER THREE: IN WHICH THINGS ARE REVEALED AND QUESTIONS ARE ANSWERED.

You’ll be relieved to know our horny couple has finally made it to the privacy of the truck.

“God, what you do to me!” Jacob exclaimed as he placed her on the seat. We’re never going to get anywhere at this rate.” He was hard as a rock and as primed as a pile-driver. “Look at your nipples, baby. You’re as excited as I am, aren’t you?”

You’d think if her nipples were as primed as a pile driver, he wouldn’t have to ask.

Jessie looked down. The thin, yellow material did nothing to hide her breasts. Suddenly, she was past self-conscious. “I’m sorry, I had no idea,” she gasped, covering them with her hands. “I can’t go anywhere like this,” she moaned….

She must have the 12-hour extended-release type of pile-driving nipples. Better her than me.

“Move those hands, doll-face. You don’t ever have to hide from me.”

Doll-face. You’re on a roll, cowboy, keep up the good work.

But, God Almighty! Her tits were magnificent! They were high, with large areolas and prominent distended nipples.

In case you’re confused: Her nipples are distended. You know, like pile-drivers.

Reverently, he smoothed his hands in a circle around her breasts, cupping and lifting them, relishing their perfection….

“I’ve got to get them in my mouth. Is that okay with you?” He didn’t think that he needed to ask permission, but he was going to take every precaution with this treasure. He had found her, she was his, and he didn’t intend to give her up anytime soon….

Jacob now takes off his hat, so you *know* things are gonna get romantic.

“Are they sensitive, baby?” He was hungry to know everything about her.

Jessie didn’t really understand the question. She was past thinking. “I don’t know,” she gasped. “Help me find out. Okay?”

Well, if you’re really not sure *and* you insist….

…he opened his lips and enveloped one velvety morsel in the wet heat of his mouth. Sucking deeply, he pulled at her breast with strong draws, letting his tongue lave the tip-end as he fed his ravenous hunger.

Blasts of heat and pleasure swamped Jessie. “Yes!” she keened. They were sensitive.

Oh, good. I was worried that the ravenous laving wouldn’t create enough friction for her velvety morsels.

Tingles of electric rapture assaulted her senses. “Jacob! That’s so good, love.” She cradled his head and held him close, reveling in the magic he was creating at her breast.

The other one. Jacob wanted the other one. He had to pull himself away from one nipple to suck its lonely twin.

Now that the twins have had equal lovin’, Jessie feels comfortable enough to actively participate in the ravenous laving:

She consumed him – devoured him – ate at his lips like she was starving to death. At the same time, he was rubbing and pulling at her nipples. Then it happened. Jacob felt it. Jessie shimmered under his hands…. It was the first time that he could remember holding a piece of heaven in his arms.

Sparkles of electric heat radiated out from Jessie’s womanhood.

I felt quite shimmery and sparkly after reading that. Like one of those really nice July 4th sparklers sold only in big tents across the Missouri state line, not just the cheap kind in the checkout aisle at Walgreen’s.

She could feel her pussy grasping desperately around nothing. Unspeakable pleasure flowed out from her breasts and up from her clitoris. She felt like she had been thrown off a cliff and the only hope of salvation was the anchor that she clung to – Jacob McCoy.

Did anyone else envision Wile E. Coyote plummeting to earth clinging to an Acme-brand anchor? Maybe it’s just me.

“Thank you, Jacob. Thank you. That’s never happened to me before.” Holding him to her, she marveled as aftershocks shot through her system.

“You’re one special treasure, darling. Not every woman can come just from having her breasts petted and kissed. You are so responsive, so good for my ego.”

To demonstrate *his* thanks, Jacob proves he’s not just a manwhore:

Reaching in the back seat, he found a spare shirt of his that he kept with him for emergencies. Wrapping it around her shoulders, he cupped her cheek. “Now, we’ve covered you up. I don’t want anyone else staring at those succulent little nipples.”

QUESTIONS: Do they teach that preparedness skill in Boy Scouts, or is that another Texas thing? Are nipple-protrusion emergencies more common in Texas? Because these McCoy brothers sure are handy with the nipple-covering shirts.

Jacob and his Angel of the Morning somehow manage to keep their hands to themselves long enough to drive back to the ranch, where he introduces Jessie to one of his younger brothers:

“The pleasure’s all mine, beautiful.” It was easy to see that the sweet talk and silver tongue was a family trait.

Jacob bristled, even though he knew his brother didn’t mean anything by the endearment. “Do I need to say ‘Tag’?” Jacob growled, irritably. “Tag” had always been the code word that the McCoy brothers used to alert the others that a particular female had been honed in on and weeded out of the herd for his own personal delectation.

Weeded out of the herd. Three for three, bro. Awesome. Way to go.

When she arrived in the living room, she hung back and just watched – amazed at the level of testosterone in the room.

I can smell it from here.

During her brief stay at Testosterone Hall (aka Beefcake Heaven), Jessie learns that eldest brother Aron’s fiancee has nicknamed his manhood “Krull the Warrior King.” We’re not told explicitly if Jacob’s own manhood is threatened by this, but it’s soon apparent that Jessie’s nipples-only climax provided enough ego-stroking for him to drag her into bed.

All it took was being near to her and his dick was like a stick of dynamite.

Again with the Wile E. Coyote/Acme product mental picture. I clearly need to get out more.

THE BACKSTORY….

So now (still Chapter 3), despite the danger of explosion (although an *implosion* would be great right about now), Jessie takes the opportunity to tell Jacob her Homeless Orphaned Dyslexic Pregnant Virgin sob story.

This is good, but it’s too complicated to explain more than once, so PAY ATTENTION:

  • Jessie’s mean parents, who called her fat and stupid, conveniently died years ago (hence the “orphan” part).
  • Because she’s severely dyslexic (that part speaks for itself) and functionally illiterate, she had to drop out of school and work nights cleaning offices.
  • One of the offices belonged to a doctor, who convinced her to become a surrogate for his infertile wife.
  • She accepted the offer, did her duty with the catheter and the sperm at the Austin Cryobank (see, I *told* you your “pregnant virgin WTH?” questions would be answered), and moved in with the good doctor and his wife.
  • All was sunshine and roses until the doctor started putting the moves on her. No, really, he was almost creepy about it, what with the hovering and the staring and the webcams and the nighttime bedroom visits and all.
  • As if Dr. Creep wasn’t bad enough, a letter from the cryobank arrived, informing Jessie and her benefactors that <gasp> THE SPERM WAS MIXED UP <shudder>. I know, right??? Dr. Creep *McCay* isn’t the father of Jessie’s baby – Jacob *McCoy,* Studly Young Millionaire Philanthropist Cowboy, is. (Again, please save all your questions until the end.) The cryobank was – and still is – very sorry for their “whopper of an error.”
  • Dr. and Mrs. Creep tried to force Jessie to have an abortion, so she fled (hence the “homeless” part). Of course she gave back the money they gave her, because she’s a good girl, she is.
  • She asked a friend to Google “Jacob McCoy,” and voila, pages and pages of detailed personal information about our Studly Young Millionaire Philanthropist Cowboy magically appeared, pointing her directly to the McCoy’s Tebow Ranch in Kerrville, Texas.

So after that dramatic Lifetime Movie flashback, Jacob says “Yeah, whatever, I read the letter from the sperm bank.” Or the equivalent thereof.

Jacob’s world would never be the same. In less than twenty-four hours, it had become a place of wonder and hope. And it all centered on this beautiful, sweet woman that made every fiber of his being vibrate with need.

The vibrating leads to rubbing, which leads to penetrating (God Bless Texas! This was amazing!), fisting (yes, really) and catapulting (Acme catalog, Medieval Weaponry section), and Jessie is no longer a Pregnant Virgin. She’s just Pregnant. Although, she’s still a Homeless Dyslexic Orphan, so she’s got that going for her.

DECISION TIME: SHOULD I KEEP READING?

Oh, Hell Yeah! (See what I did there?)

THE ANGST! THE DRAMA!

We’ll fast-forward through the incessant “I’m not good enough for him” whining, neonatal paternity testing, baby belt buckle buying (alliteration, yay!), wine making and hayride planning to get to the much-anticipated appearance of the stalker/serial killer – none other than (surprise!) Dr. Creep McCay.

After killing his infertile wife (she was a nagging bitch, dammit), stuffing her into a jumbo garbage bag and throwing her body in the Colorado River (he weighted it down with cement blocks just in case), the good doctor follows Jessie to the McCoy ranch, kidnaps her (a cattle prod is involved), and drags her off to a conveniently abandoned farmhouse just a few miles from the McCoy ranch.

It turns out that Dr. Creep’s serial killer-ness is caused not only by his bipolar disorder (I *know,* we’ll cover that later), but also by his TINY LITTLE IMPOTENT PENIS.

No, really – as God as my witness, I am *not* making this shit up. Nor would I ever want to, because it’s even worse than it sounds (see below).

THE HAPPY ENDING…

Sorry to leave you hanging like that – but never fear! Thanks to the private investigator the McCoys have on retainer (Roscoe, P.I.), and the convenient arrival of a Voodoo Priestess (see below), our hero and various brothers are able to come to the rescue just in the nick of time. Tada!

Jessie, our former Homeless Virgin but still Pregnant Dyslexic Orphan, takes advantage of Jacob’s offer of a Magical Orgasm Cure to relieve her mild post-hostage icky feelings. All is now sunshine and roses again, and we even get an epilogue titled “A Glimpse Into The Future.”

OUR HEROINE….

She could see it now, “Hello, Jacob. You don’t know me, but I’m pregnant with your child.” Good grief! He was going to think that she was a crazy woman.

All righty. We’ve already established that Jessie is a Homeless Orphaned Dyslexic Pregnant Virgin. And as you’ve probably already guessed, this means Jessie is an eye-rollingly naïve and childlike Mary Sue.

But, to her credit, we can’t say Jessie isn’t a planner:

Jessie had devised a plan. She would introduce herself to Jacob and explain the situation, making sure that he understood that she wasn’t asking or expecting any type of support for their child. What Jessie truly wanted from Jacob was his assurance that he wouldn’t challenge Jessie for custody….

Tentatively, her plans were to find a job and stay in Kerrville, close to Jacob. That way he would know she was willing to let him be as much, or as little a part of their baby’s life as he wanted to be. And if, for some reason, they made him uncomfortable – she could move on – knowing that she had done right by Jacob McCoy.

Poor, poor Jessie – not only is she homeless and orphaned and dyslexic and pregnant and blindly optimistic, she’s also <shakes head sadly> *fat*:

Oh, why couldn’t she be willowy and graceful? She had way too many curves to ever be considered attractive. Foot! And there was no hope for her to get any thinner, not anytime soon. After all, she was four and a half months pregnant. And the sad thing was, she couldn’t blame her overabundant figure on her pregnancy. She had been chunky to start with; and as the baby grew, so would she. Hopefully once her bundle of joy was born, he would keep her hopping and she could shed a few pounds.

This self-assessment is proven true when Jacob checks her clothes and finds she’s <gasp> a size 12 and <shudder> a D cup.

GAH!

(Excuse me a moment while I attempt to unclench my fingers so I can type again.)

Jessie must have used up all her Lucky Charms on her hitch-hiking adventure and pain-free deflowering, because the shit really starts hitting the fan during the 374th Annual Tebow Ranch Harvest Hayride:

“Do I know you? You look awfully familiar to me.”

Jessie shook her head. “No, I don’t think we’ve met.”

The woman continued to stare. “I know! You’re the woman who cleans my office building! Why you’re on staff here aren’t you? What are you doing sitting over here with the guests? Shouldn’t you be passing our drinks or something? Do the McCoy’s know the help is mingling with the guests?”

Actually, that bit of random time travel to Regency England (via the Portal of Very Convenient Coincidences) was just a mere speed bump on the road to rock bottom. The very next person she meets is a big fan of hers:

“Hey, cutie. Come here!” A man grabbed her arm and pulled her onto the dance floor. “I’ve been watching you. I knew you looked familiar, and it just hit me. You’re that girl from the website.”

Jessie was trying to pull away. The man had bad breath and his hand was sliding down her waist, perilously close to her butt. “I don’t know what you’re talking about. I don’t have a website.” She was just about to cry, all she could think about was how bad she wished Jacob would find her.

“Stop trying to pull away. I know why you’re here. You’re part of the entertainment, aren’t you? Those pictures of you sure did make me hot. I used them as lighter fluid, if you know what I mean.”

That is like the worst party *ever,* and she still has abduction by the serial killer with the Tiny Little Impotent Penis to look forward to.

SUMMING UP JESSIE IN ONE PARAGRAPH:

“Do you think I could have a glass of milk when we get there?” Jessie looked at him hopefully.

Not. Making. This. Shit. Up.

OUR HERO….

Jacob had a soft heart for children, old people and animals.

Also, naked pregnant virgins.

Jacob McCoy is our Studly Young Millionaire Philanthropist Cowboy. We know he’s a successful businessman because he has his own office with a real Rolodex and his own personal Bunn coffeemaker.

He’s not just your typical “inherited some cows” kind of Texas millionaire – he made his fortune using his very own smarts (like Wile E. Coyote Super Genius kind of smarts) by purchasing land containing vast deposits of methane gas. I would have assumed that the McCoys’ eight kajillion head of cattle could have provided the world with enough methane, but what do I know?

Anyway, Jacob’s charitable endeavors cancel out his environmental crimes. (Methane is a greenhouse gas, you know. I looked it up.) He coaches Little League and raises money for cancer victims and serves as a volunteer firefighter and rescues naked pregnant virgins. He’s just your typical Texas good ole’ boy.

Although Jacob is a Studly Young Millionaire Philanthropist Cowboy, he’s bored with fucking random girls. His newest greatest burning desire is to marry and have lots of babies. Lucky for him, he doesn’t even need to fuck another boring female to achieve his goal!

Here’s where your lingering “sperm bank mix-up WTH?” question gets answered: Because he’s a volunteer firefighter, Jacob took the precaution of banking his sperm in case of fire hose injury or chemical exposure or unauthorized use of Acme products or something.

I have no idea if this is plausible, but whatever, we’ve got more important things to worry about. Trust me.

For example, the Cryobank must have had to special-order an XXL sperm catcher, because Jacob’s cock is – get ready – nine (9) inches long and six (6) inches around.

(Excuse me a moment while I unclench other things.)

We know these precise dimensions because Jessie is able to accurately mentally measure Jacob’s pulsating manhood while he’s jerking off in the barn – even though she’s never actually seen a real live penis before! That important life skill must be in the advanced section of the Homeless Orphaned Dyslexic Pregnant Virgin Handbook.

And get this: Jacob’s Rod of Steel is named Johnson – just like his older brother Aron’s penis! I know, right???

Some men were adequate lovers and some were exceptional; Jacob had been told by reliable sources that he ranked in the top one percentile.

QUESTION: What’s our sample size here? The entire state of Texas or just the Hill Country? I need some kind of reference point before I trust these so-called “reliable sources.”

Amongst the family, Jacob is sometimes known as “Deuce,” but he doesn’t really mind, because:

Being the number two son wasn’t so bad, but as far as nicknames go, he much preferred the one that the Texas Cowgirl Sorority over in Austin had penned on him after they had seen him wrestle down a thirteen hundred pound steer during a bulldogging exhibition. They called him Texas Torque because of his massive chest and arm muscles.

QUESTIONS: (1) Is a Texas Cowgirl Sorority a real organization? (2) If so, is there just one, or is there a whole system with chapter names like Pretty Little Fillies and Bare-Nekkid Virgins? (3) Did the Sorority Cowgirls PEN him up in a stall after the rodeo and PEN the nickname on him like a temporary tattoo?

SUMMING UP JACOB IN ONE PARAGRAPH:

Knowing that Jessie was going to need clothes for the dance, he had gone crazy and went to Sarah Jane’s boutique and bought ten different outfits for his Angel-baby. And before he left the town square, he had stopped at the florist and bought a dozen peach colored roses. The color reminded him of her nipples.

To reiterate: I am *not* making this shit up.

OK, ONE MORE JACOB FACTOID:

He was an avid hunter and enjoyed bagging big game.

“Shhhhh, be vewwy, vewwy quiet. I’m hunting virgins.” Elmer Fudd this time. Sorry.

MOVING ON TO THE *SERIOUS* WTFery….

Oh, so much WTFery, so little time. At this point, I’ll just ignore Nathan, the “innocent” 13-year-old who says “bosoms” instead of “boobs” even though he’s being raised by *five* he-man older brothers. I’d show some of Nathan’s dialogue to my 13-year-old nephew to get his expert opinion, but I don’t want to scar him for life and I need my sister to babysit next weekend.

I will also withhold my questions about where and when Jessie, the never-before-set-foot-out-of-Austin city girl, acquired her expertise in stall mucking, tack cleaning and horse whispering. It could be just a natural progression from cleaning offices.

So let’s start with the next-most obvious:

Dear Mr. Jacob McCoy

We regret to inform you that an unfortunate error has occurred in the management of your sperm deposit. Due to a lab error, our records indicate that your sperm was released by mistake [kinda like premature ejaculation, but different] and used in a surrogate pregnancy. Due to the possibility of an unauthorized use of your deposit [<snort>], we regret to inform you that a Ms. Jessie Montgomery may be eighteen weeks pregnant…. Ms. Montgomery disappeared before we could do additional tests to confirm parentage….

To protect you, no information other than your name was given to Ms. Montgomery. If she chooses to get in contact with you, it will be at her own volition. We apologize for any embarrassment or inconvenience this will cause you….

Our administrator and legal counsel are awaiting your call. To you, again, we owe our sincerest apologies. Mistakes like this are truly unfortunate, but due to the human factor – correcting them is not always an easy task.

Sincerely

Horace Brown, Director of Austin Cryobank

What. The. Ever-Loving. Fuck.

Let’s revisit a key sentence: “To protect you, no information other than your name was given to Ms. Montgomery.”

How, exactly, would purposefully releasing identifiable personal information without consent be considered protection? Is Texas exempt from all those HIPAA regulations and endless Thou Shalt Not Divulge Anything Even Remotely Personal privacy forms?

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg, my friends. Our skillful author somehow manages to schedule all these revelations so that Jacob read this letter *after* he’s seen his Bared-Naked Angel but *before” he learns her name. Naturally, he’s so overcome at the prospect of impending parenthood that he doesn’t make the Naked Girl in Barn <===> Missing Pregnant Virgin connection.

Luckily, his older brother Aron is available to reacquaint him with reality:

“If they can’t keep up with their man juice any better than that over at the Cryobank, you can’t trust anything those people say. That baby might not even be yours.”

Sadly, Aron’s suspicions are correct, because (SPOILER!) the neonatal paternity test proves that Jacob is *not* the father of Jessie’s baby. I know, right???

Jacob is understandably upset, so he calls up our good friend Horace Brown to get the low-down:

There was a scandal at the sperm bank. It seems that Jacob’s problem was not the only problem. The Cryobank had been sued for negligence. It seems their records were lacking in clarity, quality and quantity. They had declared bankruptcy just that morning. Accusations had come from several avenues. They had kept no record of any diseases, genetic disorders or any problems that could be handed down from their donors.

You’ll be happy to know that Jacob ignores all the hem-hawin’ and apologizin’ and reams Horace a new one over the phone.

You’ll also be happy to learn that the actual for-real-this-time bio daddy, a gentleman named David Bell, is (to paraphrase Horace’s legalese) conveniently dead, eliminating any further recriminations from this continuing fiasco.

Also: Horace’s original letter about the mishandled man juice was printed on the letterhead of the Austin Cryobank’s OFFICE OF CRITICAL ISSUES.

HAHAHAHAHAHA<deepbreath>HAHAHAHAHAHA

Of all the WTFery in this entire book, those four words *still* make me laugh the most. I’m dedicating that one to all my public relations colleagues, and to Jane and all the other attorneys out there.

MOVING ON….

This next one made me grind my teeth so hard I think I scared small children and neighborhood dogs:

“Keith McCay is quite a character. He was diagnosed as being bipolar as a child. There are three documented cases of animal abuse in his past, which is not an uncommon side effect of manic depression.”

Wow. Just… Un-fucking-believable. Ms. Hunter, you just stepped over “clueless” and landed in a big steaming pile of “lazy and offensive BULLSHIT.”

This lovely bit of pseudo-psychology comes from Roscoe, the McCoy’s private investigator who was called in to figure out who was *mutilating cattle* on the ranch. Because that’s the kind of thing private investigators named Roscoe do.

Let’s get a few things straight – all found easily using this nifty new invention call the World Wide Web:

  • Animal abuse would be a SYMPTOM, not a SIDE EFFECT.
  • Animal abuse is NOT associated with bipolar disorder.
  • Bipolar disorder and psychosis are NOT synonymous.

There, see how easy that was? Remember: Watching CSI does *not* qualify you to invent spurious mental illnesses to justify your serial killer’s serial-killerness. DO YOUR FUCKING HOMEWORK.

BUT WAIT – THERE’S MORE!

Remember back in the plot set-up where I mentioned the big ole’ WTF red flag? @Lisa J, this one is for you:

From chapter three:

…she knew from sad experience that what she saw and what was really there on that sign were two different things. Her severe dyslexia had colored every facet of her life – holding her back and making her worthless in her mother and stepfather’s eyes.

From chapter four:

“I have been reading a lot of these erotic romance novels and I have a whole list of things that I’d like to try. Do you think you’d be interested in trying them with me?”

His eyes widened, and his lips slid into the sexiest, most confident smile that she had ever seen. “You have a list?”

She nodded, realizing that the wicked gleam in his eye might seriously get her into trouble.

“Can I see it?”

Oh, Lord! How embarrassing. “I guess,” she winced, as she remembered some of the things she had written down. Now he would know all of her deepest, darkest desires.

What a sweet moment. And what luck that Jessie managed to find so much dyslexia-proof erotica!

Our heroine is so severely dyslexic, she’s functionally illiterate. She had to drop out of high school, works at menial jobs, can’t read a recipe and can’t even sign her name legibly. And yet, SHE’S READING EROTIC ROMANCE NOVELS AND WRITING LISTS OF SEXUAL POSITIONS SHE WANTS TO TRY.

Lazy and offensive, strike two. It’s BAD ENOUGH to use dyslexia to make your heroine naïve and childlike, but conveniently forgetting about it during the sex scenes is just FUCKING RIDICULOUS.

(Unclenching again.)

Let’s all take a deep cleansing breath before we continue, because we need to address…

THE TINY LITTLE IMPOTENT PENIS.

Don’t say I didn’t warn you. And seriously, if you have any type of triggers regarding abuse, do NOT read this excerpt.

Keith didn’t talk to her very much. He hit her, and pinched her, and slapped her – but he did not talk to her. And, he wasn’t giving her much to eat. For most of the day, he left her bound and gagged on the floor. When he did show up, he didn’t stay long. Only long enough to attempt another rape.

He was really pathetic. If he weren’t a monster, Jessie would have felt sorry for him. Because, Keith McCay definitely had a problem. Now, she knew why it had been necessary for a doctor to extract the sperm for insemination. He hadn’t even been able to get it up for a cup.

When he mauled Jessie, sometimes he would get an erection, of sorts. His little penis was so short that as far as weapons goes (sic), his was a penknife in a world of swords and sabers. Once, she had made the mistake of laughing and he had kicked her in the stomach. She wouldn’t make that mistake again. Her baby was still okay, it was still moving. So, she didn’t laugh. Everyday, they went through the same ritual. Thank God for small favors and small dicks.

Just to be clear on this: Even after being bound, gagged, starved and repeatedly beaten over several days, our spunky heroine is able to LAUGH AT HER ABDUCTOR BECAUSE HE CAN’T GET IT UP.

It’s not every Mary Sue, or erotica author, who can appreciate the ironic humor of attempted rape.

(I’m taking a break to unclench again.)

(Still unclenching.)

(Almost done.)

KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON….

Thanks to the Power of Kindle, we can do some scholarly textual analysis on the recurrence of significant words and phrases:

  • “Naked” = 29 times.
  • “Cream” = 11 times, both as a noun and a verb, and only one of those is referring to ice cream.
  • “Lave” or “laving” = five times. Four for her, one for him. Or maybe I should say four by him, one by her.
  • “Nipple” or “nipples” = 63 times. SIXTY. THREE.
  • “Doll” = 26 times, none of which are referring to toys.
  • “Pussy” = 27 times, none of which refer to felines.
  • “Little” = 205 times. TWO HUNDRED AND FIVE. (Making for a HELL YEAH! of a drinking game. We’d be praying to the porcelain god by page three, passed out by chapter two and dead before any virgins get penetrated.)

The use of various euphemisms for male genitalia also provides some interesting linguistic observations. Common slang terms are prevalent, with “cock” outgunning “dick” 36-32. Quite surprisingly, Fabio-esque descriptors such as “manhood” and “rod” are used relatively infrequently (seven and two, respectively). The anatomically correct “penis” appears seven times, while the proper noun “Johnson” is used only once.

BUT WAIT – THERE’S MORE!

We’ve pretty much covered the “women are childlike virgins” portion of the review. You might have thought we’d already covered the “misogynistic fuckwads” part as well, but you’d be so very, very wrong. WE HAVEN’T EVEN GOTTEN STARTED.

In addition to the assholery of our manwhore hero Jacob, we also get to know his equally dickheaded siblings. I hope you kept your big-girl undies on, because it’s time to meet the Extraneous McCoy Brothers.

INTRODUCING ISAAC, THE TATTOOED MOTORCYCLE-RIDING BADASS BROTHER….

I was initially inclined to believe Isaac would be my favorite McCoy brother:

“Bummer,” Isaac sighed. “Misplacing a good looking, naked woman is never a good thing.”

I changed my mind. Help me, Nathan McCoy, you’re my only hope.

Like all Tattooed Motorcycle-Riding Badasses, Isaac is secretly in love with a Good Girl. We don’t yet know for sure if this Good Girl is a Virgin, but considering she’s a preacher’s daughter, it’s probably a safe bet.

Like all Good Girls, Avery Rose is certain she has the Power to Tame the Badass, so Isaac has to use all his rakish charm to dissuade her:

“Don’t do that, Avery! Have a little pride!” Isaac was about to do something that he swore he’d never do. He was going to hurt a sweet and innocent little thing. It was Isaac that picked up the kittens and puppies that people threw away on the side of the road. It was Isaac that climbed trees and put little birds back in the nests and fed baby squirrels when hunters would kill their mamas and leave them to starve. But, sometimes you had to hurt somebody in order to help them. “Go home, Avery. I don’t want you.”

…Now for the killing blow. Isaac braced himself. It was going to hurt him a hell of a lot more than it would her. “You aren’t my type, Avery. In fact, I don’t think you’re anybody’s type.” At her wounded expression, he knew that he was almost there. He pulled back the knife and prepared it for the final thrust. “You’re not woman enough to interest me, Avery. I like my dates to excite me. Face it, baby – you’re not woman enough to interest me. Go home.”

And *this* is supposed to make me want to read Isaac’s sequel, mysteriously titled Badass? Yay! I can hardly wait!

Oh, on second thought, never mind.

Asshole. Dickhead. Fuckwad.

(NOTE: I’m saving the scene with the telephone operator (yes, really) trying to talk Avery out of calling a Nevada brothel (yes, really) for Isaac’s Badass review. Just to give you something to look forward to.)

INTRODUCING NOAH, THE UPTIGHT SELF-RIGHTEOUS ACCOUNTANT BROTHER…

Being an Uptight Self-Righteous Accountant, Noah deems it his privilege to open other people’s mail, so naturally he finds the letter from the Cryobank’s Office of Critical Issues. (hahahaha) And naturally he believes it his duty to Protect the Family by ordering a secret background investigation (Roscoe, P.I., is a *very* busy guy).

The bitchy office worker (Cassandra Tarpley) and lighter fluid guy (Tom Riley) at the hayride must have been invited by Noah, because close observation of both incidents affirms his belief that Jessie is an Embarrassment to the Family.

After seeing how Cassandra had reacted to her and hearing that old Tom Riley recognized her from those nudie shots on the internet, Noah knew it was time to lay his cards on the table.

The winning hand is a legal contract absolving his big brother of any and all parental rights and responsibilities. As he bullies Jessie into signing the contract, Noah mocks her admission of dyslexia:

“You can’t read any of it?” He asked in amazement.

“Very little,” she confessed.

“How did you finish school?” At her silence, he surmised. “You didn’t even graduate high school did you?”

The nudie pictures must have distracted him from that part of Roscoe, P.I.’s background report.

“No,” she said in a small voice.

With a broad, sweeping motion, Noah pulled the paper to him and began to read.

When he’s done reading the legalese word for fucking word, Jessie asks:

“Is this some sort of prenuptial agreement?”

Because dyslexic = totally fucking clueless. No wonder he’s treating her like dirt.

With shaking hand, Jessie picked up the pen and wrote her name. Noah looked at her signature. “You had better just make an X, these signatures are like hen scratch.”

Jessie has irked him so much he doesn’t seem to remember that HIS OWN YOUNGEST BROTHER HAS DYSLEXIA.

You might think that would be enough to satisfy Noah’s Assholierthanthou Shame Quota, but you’d be wrong.

“…you have to realize that it was never you that he was attracted to-“ Noah raked his eyes up and down Jessie’s body. He didn’t say it out loud, he didn’t have to. Noah told her with his eyes that she wasn’t pretty enough to attract Jacob under normal circumstances. “It was the baby.”

“Oh.”

Jessie’s one word response struck a sympathetic chord in Noah. Pushing it aside, he put what was best for the family in the forefront. “You know it’s true, Jessie. You should see the women that Jacob is used to dating.” Sometimes you had to be cruel to be kind.

He’s not done yet…. He waits until a suitably dramatic moment for the Big Reveal of the Nudie Photos to finish squashing her like cow shit under a cowboy boot.

And *then* he scrapes our Homeless Orphaned Dyslexic Pregnant Mary Sue off the bottom of his boot by kicking her off the ranch with no clothes, no money and no transportation – straight into the waiting arms and Tiny Little Impotent Penis of her stalker/serial killer.

Asshole. Dickhead. Fuckwad.

(Don’t worry, both Jacob and Jessie forgive him because he was just doing it to Protect the Family.)

Noah’s sequel, mysteriously titled Skye Blue, is coming soon. I hope it’s released before October 1, because that’s my birthday. (Hint, hint.)

INTRODUCING JOSEPH, THE PARALYZED RECKLESS DAREDEVIL BROTHER….

In Book 1, Reckless Daredevil Joseph was paralyzed after a motocross crash. Fortunately, his filthy rich family was able to immediately build him an on-site rehab center at the ranch, so he was able to go home after only two days in the hospital. No, really.

Anyway, Joseph is understandably upset that being paralyzed has Taken Away His Manhood, and the Acme Triple Strength Fortified Leg Muscle Vitamins aren’t working for him. Luckily, one of his friends knows of a Voodoo Priestess from New Orleans who has the power to Restore His Manhood.

I am NOT MAKING THIS SHIT UP. Except for the part about the Acme vitamins.

Being both a McCoy and Reckless Daredevil, Joseph is also a Ladies’ Man, so naturally one of his first employment reference questions is:

“What does she look like, this miracle worker?”

You see, Joseph doesn’t want a beautiful woman to watch him piss into a bag.

Joseph’s sequel, mysteriously titled Her Magic Touch, is up next, so I won’t spoil it with any more excerpts. But just so you don’t underestimate *his* misogynistic fuckwadery, you should be aware that Joseph’s nickname (used in newspaper headlines and magazine covers and Guinness Books of World’s Records and farmers’ almanacs) is “The Texas Stallion” and his signature piece of apparel is a Superman belt buckle.

Asshole. Dickhead. Fuckwad.

AND JUST WHEN YOU THOUGHT JACOB LOOKED GOOD BY COMPARISON….

When Noah accuses Jessie of being a hussy, Jacob valiantly defends her honor:

“She was a virgin, you asshole. I ought to know, it was my hand that prepared her, and my dick that tore through the barrier.”

Holy crap, is that romantic or what? Things are clenching again, and not in a good way.

This last one is going to be painful (metaphorically, not “rip your hymen apart” painful), so be grateful I saved this until the end:

“My last doctor told me that I would probably have to have a cesarean. Even though my hips are huge, my pelvic bone is narrow.”

…Kissing her hard on the mouth, he chuckled. “And I hate you are going to have to have surgery, but I’m kinda thrilled that you’ll stay tight for my pleasure. My cock is fast getting addicted to that snug little pussy of yours.”

Just so we’re clear here: Our “hero” looks forward to his baby mama’s C-section so his 9x6er can stay tightly sheathed.

Oh. My. Fucking. Holy. Sweet. Sister. Frances.

(NOTE: My Kindle’s name is Frances, so that’s not just an idle epithet.)

ASS. HOLE. DICK. HEAD. FUCK. WAD.

What kind of woman writes shit like that? What kind of woman *reads* shit like that and thinks “oooh, how *sexy,* I’m going to give this book five stars!”??? I really don’t understand, and I really hope I’m not the only one who finds that disturbing.

I’m so assholed-out right now, I’m just going to ignore the “my hips are huge but my pelvis is narrow” bullshit and spare you the details of Jacob’s lactation fetish. Usually I’m all “yeah, fetish, safe, sane, consensual, it’s all good.” But lactation fetish + keeping the pussy snug? NO *FUCKING* WAY.

NOW LET ME TELL YOU WHAT I *REALLY* THINK…..

I think someone needs to invent a male episiotomy so we can volunteer Jacob as a human test subject. I think Joseph needs to get a penile catheter infection. I think the heroine of Noah’s sequel needs to run far and run fast. I think the Texas Department of Social Services needs to stage a raid on Tebow Ranch and rescue poor Nathan.

I’m still a little sweet on Isaac, so we’ll give him a bye this round.

I think Sable Hunter needs to take a look around and determine what planet she’s living on – and what century she’s living in. In her hands, Kerrville, Texas, is a creepy cowboy version of Stepford, filled with testosterone-steaming Alpha Males and the helpless damsels in distress who fall at their feet.

The county line must have flashing signs that say “All Females Must Check Brains and Self-Respect at Gate. Infantilizing Pet Names Required.” NOT ONCE is a female character depicted as an intelligent, independent *adult* woman. Jacob calls Jessie his “doll” and his “angel-baby” so often it’s beyond nauseating, it’s downright *disturbing.* And let’s not forget the numerous comparisons of our heroines to puppies and kittens and baby birds and motherless squirrels.

So far, only Joseph’s Voodoo Priestess is showing signs of being a grown-up worthy of being called a “heroine” – but then, she’s got witchcraft and powerful dead ancestors to back her up. I’m hoping she’ll use her bat guano incense to stun Joseph into a coma in the next book, but I have a feeling I’m going to be *really* disappointed.

Grade: F

AmazonBNSonyKobo