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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

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A Selection of December Harlequin Presents

A Selection of December Harlequin Presents

I haven’t had much luck with Harlequin Presents subscriptions of late. In December, I enjoyed three of my eight books. The problem is that I’m never sure what books I’m going to enjoy and thus the subscription seems worth it. I guess I’ll reevaluate mid year 2012.

The Trophy Wife  by Janette KennyThe Trophy Wife by Janette Kenny is the next to last addition in the Notorious Wolfe series (or Bad Blood series as it was originally labeled by Mills & Boon). It featured a model with an eating disorder and computer billionaire. While I appreciated that the story attempted to tackle the issue of anorexia and societal concepts of beauty which prizes thinness over everything, I felt that the story was overloaded with sex and dealt very little with the conflict between the characters. I wasn’t even convinced that they knew each other by the end of the book. They had been married for nearly two years but spent so little time together, wrapped up in their own jobs, that they hadn’t even seen their partner’s homes which may have been okay if the first time that they actually went to the other’s homes wasn’t by the 70% mark of the book. C-

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The Power and the Glory  by Kimberly LangThe Power and The Glory by Kimberly Lang. I bailed on this one after the second chapter. The hero is the campaign manager for his father, a Senator, who sounds like a dickwad and the heroine is a protestor for some environmental lobbying group. I am so sick of politics and politicians that I could not stomach reading more than about 20 pages of this book. Maybe in another era I would find this more palatable but, alas, could not. DNF

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The Man Every Woman Wants  by Miranda LeeThe Man Every Woman Wants by Miranda Lee. The heroine is a lawyer who does contract work for a sports agent. She confesses that she has been weaving a tale about their faux engagement to her dying grandmother and now her dyying grandmother wants to meet him. The hero agrees to do this favor for her and has a bit of fun with it. The heroine’s family is sports mad and the heroine showing up with a former star athlete and current sports agent increases her cachet. B-

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A Christmas Night to Remember  by Helen BrooksA Christmas Night to Remember by Helen Brooks. My main complaint about this story is that it takes place over two days and the couple has serious issues. The heroine is involved in a terrible car wreck. She’s maimed and scarred and has never felt secure in her husband’s love. He’s so beautiful and so rich and there are always dozens of women casting lures for him, all of which he has steadfastly ignored. The heroine was beautiful prior to the car wreck and she prided herself in being able to fit in with the fast and fashionable but now that her legs are less than perfect, she doesn’t know what will become of her and she’s sure that her husband will leave her. In order to prevent him from leaving her, she’ll leave him. He refuses to leave and in the space of two days (right before Christmas) convinces her anew of his steadfast devotion. I should love this story. It is the kind of Brooks’ story I usually enjoy but I wasn’t convinced that the heroine’s deepseated emotional fear could be assauged in just a couple of days. C

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On the First Night of Christmas…  by Heidi RiceOn the First Night of Christmas by Heidi Rice. Cassie gets splashed by a car careening around the corner while she is looking at holiday windows at Selfridges in London. Rather than be a doormat, she marches over to the vehicle, stopped at a signal and bangs on the window. She tells him off and when he fails to provide an appropriate response to her, she jumps in the car only to realize that the driver is a former high school classmate of hers, one she’s always had a crush on. Just off a broken engagement, Cassie’s confidence is at an all time low and when Jace Ryan comes on to her, it’s like a balm to her wounded ego. They embark on an affair, destined to only last until the New Year when Jace returns to New York. In that time period, Cassie falls hard for Jace but Jace is confused by his feelings. He doesn’t really believe in love and just wants to enjoy the moments as they come. I really enjoyed the ending because I felt like it didn’t force the issue. It does have a traditional HEA (provided by the epilogue). B

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Once Touched, Never Forgotten  by Natasha TateOn the First Night of Christmas actually had a similar conflict to Once Touched, Never Forgotten by Natasha Tate, a book that I didn’t like much. Once Touched, Never Forgotten is a secret baby story. The heroine decides that the hero won’t be a good father and more importantly, doesn’t want to be a father so when she finds out she is pregnant she leaves him. Five years later he rediscovers her and her secret baby. She had a terrible childhood and was abandoned by her own father. She projects her fears onto the hero that he too will abandon their child. Of course, she never gives him the opportunity to choose. The hero isn’t sure he knows how to love but he promises that he will be a good father. The heroine is relentless in her accusations that he will be a terrible father based on nothing more than her own fears. She was a bitch but then he later uses sexual blackmail to get her to marry him so I figure that they belonged together. And unlike the Rice book, the hero in this one belabored his inability to love over and over again. I got it. She was abandoned. He had crappy relatives. The melodrama was over the top. D

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