Last night I finished reading After the Night by Linda Howard. Though reading is a lose term in this case as I skipped the first 100 pages or so as they were boring, stupid and non-plot related in the least. In fact, I was able to follow the story even while skipping complete chapters and not miss a single beat.
I could write a book on how bad—and 90s cliché-ish—this novel was but, as always, my beloved Amazonians said it best and more concisely than I ever could:
After the Night is the story of a woman who was called ‘white trash’ as a fourteen year old whilst being thrown brutally out of her house by a young, nasty rich man. Years later she returns to the area where she is continually ridiculed, mocked and abused by the same nasty rich man who is now, of course, a little bit older but still as sexy as ever. This continues while they have raunchy sex until eventually he decides he loves her and all his (numerous) sins are forgiven by the overcome-with-happiness heroine. Are we really supposed to believe they live happily ever after? Um, I wonder...
Gray (I can’t bring myself to call him a hero so I’ll have to call him the male love interest) overstepped the line between alpha and abusive. Instead of being a dream man he was a NIGHTMARE MAN! It seemed as though at every corner he belittled Faith, the poor heroine, who was too scared and used to being treated badly to realize what a creep he was.
Now, as good as the bad reviews are, I cannot believe so many people gave this book 5 stars. Hello?! Anyone notice the verbally abusive hero that spend at least a quarter of the book manhandling the heroine, the sister that was having sex with her father’s best friend who was in love with her mother and who she pretended was her father while they got it on, and the oh-my-fuck-how-stupid-can-you-get heroine? Still, after finishing the book, I don’t get why the hell she decided to go back to that godforsaken town. Her reasons were beyond idiotic and wouldn’t make sense to anyone with a half a brain. Even the sex was horrid; the hero got hard-ons looking at the 14-year-old heroine in a nightgown (he was 22!) and kept talking about riding her. Huh? WTF? Is she a female, a mare or perhaps a donkey? I’m leaning towards the latter one as she was exceptionally dense.
My favorite scene in the book—out of many—was when the shirtless “hero” comes out of the woods riding a horse with no saddle and tells her that if he sees her in his property again he’ll give her the fucking she deserves. LOL