Sunday, September 30, 2007

On halfwits and abusive fucks

For some time now I’ve had the slight suspicion that Harlot likes to send me books to torture me. True, most are wonderful, but I think she mixes some god-awful ones in there to keep things interesting. *snort*

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


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18 comment(s):

Anonymous Gabrielle said...

=O! Is that supposed to be sexy? "The fucking she deserves"? That's not right.

I normally like Linda Howard's stuff but this sounds crap. Especially since the 'hero' is a snob who uses the term white trash to the heroin.

9/30/2007 08:39:00 AM  

Anonymous malicious strumpet said...

*whispering* I remember really liking this book...

I guess maybe it's very out-dated. The older romances tend to have some very abusive themes. It had to do with a man 'establishing his dominance' or whatever. It used to be very acceptable, but now reads as barbaric and gross.

Now I'm tempted to re-read this one because I don't rememeber the details (must have been more than 10 years ago that I read it).

I do love how you speak your mind, Trollop! ;)


9/30/2007 10:39:00 PM  

Anonymous Mikal said...

I read this one and thought it was blah. Grossed me out that he had so many sex partners because he seems to be the type who would usually have some sort of an STD.

10/01/2007 12:46:00 AM  

Blogger Isabella said...

I really liked this book. I agree with Malicious that old romance books have abusive themes. Look at Clayton of Whitney My Love, one of my favorite romances. When I first read it, I thought it was the perfect romance. It wasn't until years later that I realized Clay was what you may call too alpha. I can't hate him, though, and I can't dislike the book because it is well written and the love story is awesome.

After the Night is the same. It is intense with flawed characters. Some readers may complain why Faith still loved Gray after what he did but I think it made it all more real. Unlike many mediocre romances, the characters here have a wonderful chemistry, the story was well told and I was drawn to the mystery (albeit some of its disgusting aspects).

10/01/2007 08:05:00 AM  

Anonymous Kirstin said...

I love Linda Howard and like most of her books, I remember loving After the Night. Over the years as romance novels evolve, my preference has changed as well. I used to like alpha heroes but now I do not care for books in which the woman is spoken to in a crude manner. Perhaps I should reread this book.

10/01/2007 10:02:00 AM  

Blogger Vanessa said...

Lol! I loved this book. I didn't realized it was that bad.

10/01/2007 10:39:00 AM  

Blogger Danielle De Barbarac said...

Yes, yes, yes! I thought the sister's case was really disgusting. Still, LH is a very gifted writer. She has written some of the best romances on paper.

10/01/2007 10:57:00 AM  

Blogger Petra said...

Trollop LOL. I really liked this book, I thought it was different. Maybe I should re-read, huh. Though, I do remember why anyone didn't take care of Gray's sister.

10/01/2007 11:37:00 AM  

Blogger Jordis Juice said...

Thank you! I don't care if Gray was fuckin hot, he was such an asshole. I don't understand how Faith could have forgotten what Grey did to her but she did. And Grey was not even redeemed in the end! Well he wasn't if you ask me.

10/01/2007 12:08:00 PM  

Blogger QB said...

Not LH's most shining moment. I remember thinking what a complete doormat Faith was, which made the whole "I've bettered myself" concept lose credibilty. It was hard to believe she had the balls to become a succesful businesswoman.

I thought Gray was hot as hell, but he completely pissed me off anyway.

I thought the father's best friend/sister as a substitute for her mother storyline served to illustrate just how fucked up the family was, so from that standpoint it worked well.

This is just one of those books that made me feel dirty, yet I liked it anyway. *shrugs*

10/01/2007 09:04:00 PM  

Blogger Lorelei said...

Linda Howard doesn't write 'safe' romances. She writes about incests, too domineering men one step away from being abusive.

After the Night is not my favorite LH but I still enjoyed reading it. Oh, and did I mention the sex was hot? ;)

10/01/2007 09:14:00 PM  

Anonymous Ollenska said...

Trollop, loved your little review. I think LH's old romances are very different from her newer novels. Not only the suspense part but the writing itself. I guess it is the same with most authors as they tend to grow with each book they produce. With that said, I think After the Night is not the best LH but still worth the read if you are a fan of hers.


10/01/2007 09:50:00 PM  

Anonymous Ollenska said...

Oh. And I have to agree with Loralie on the sensuality of the book: hot sex scenes. (tee-hee)


10/01/2007 09:52:00 PM  

Blogger Midas said...

Trollop, sometimes, it's not about what an abusive fuck the person is, but how the book was written. I enjoyed this story even though I'd never be anywhere near a man like that...I don't care how big a cock he has...I think it's one of those bookwith well-endowed hero..yeah?

So, this is a good story with a really bad hero.

10/02/2007 01:25:00 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not Linda Howard's best but Gray is hot! I think that is one of LH's best weapons, she makes the best alpha heroes. o.o

10/03/2007 08:25:00 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I always liked LH books for her trade mark humour ... but it was missing in this. I hate abusive male heros. I'm glad to say I have read much better LH's. Another writer whose writes awful male heros is Sandra Brown. I detest the STD action in her books. Absolutely YUK!

10/04/2007 03:38:00 AM  

Blogger Chez said...

This is where I'm scared to say ... this was my favourite Linda Howard book. I loved it.

10/09/2007 05:29:00 AM  

Anonymous Liz said...

I'm with chez, this IS my favorite Linda Howard!

10/11/2007 10:30:00 PM