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** I'm going to talk about specific spoilers in this rant.If you have a love of truly terrible books and don't want to know what happens, don't read any further.**
OK, I've done my warning.Now I can rant.
This is my first one star read of 2011.I usually find some redeeming quality in a book and can at least bump it up to two stars.But my 180th read book of the year is a real stinker.
Temple Banning wakes up one morning in a luxury suite with no memory of the night before.Well there is one memory of maybe a guy 'touching' her and telling her to remember him with opera playing in the background.There is a wedding gown and clothes that are tailored for her but none of them are hers.Oh, and before I forget, there's a marriage certificate that says that she's married to someone she's never heard of before.All in less than 12 hours from her last memory.Believe it or not, this may be the most believable part of the book.
So the heroine takes all of her designer clothes and forgets about them and goes to work.Herbest friend is doesn't know anything about the guy she was supposedly seeing, knows nothing about the wedding, and encourages her to talk to a specialist investigator to help look into the case.In fact she just happens to know a guy...
Let's throw in some back story on our heroine.10 years ago her parents were in Zaire when they contracted a virus that kills within 48 hours.By the time that the daughter heard that her parents were sick, she dropped everything and flew from Houston to Zaire, but it was too late.They were already too sick and died after she arrived.The heroine also contracted the deadly disease, but is the only person to ever survive once she contracted the virus.Let's talk logistics for one minute.Let's say the parents realized they were sick 12 hours after infection.They go to the hospital and are seen within a couple of hours and are admitted (yeah, I don't think so either).They then pick up the phone and contact their daughter.The daughter makes some phone calls, packs a bag, flies from Texas to Africa, makes all of her connecting flights, hires a car, drives to the remote village in Zaire, and gets to see her parents before they die, all in less than 30 hours.Forget confinement areas or quarantine zones. Travel Visas aren't anything to worry about either.It's just not realistically possible.Forget realistically, it's just not possible. Continuity issues like this bug the hell out of me.I'd say fine the author got confused but there are dozens of things like this.
Anyway back to the heroine and her predicament.She calls the investigator and they meet.She thinks he's pretty sexy.WTF?She thinks he's pretty sexy?This is a 30 year old virgin.She's never had these feelings before?She was engaged for several years and never got horny?And now, a couple of days after a possible date rape experience she gets the hots for a guy who acts as cold as a dead fish and tells her that he won't help her?Not likely.As she goes to leave the office they are in an elevator that is sabotaged to fall.They survive and she's taken to the hospital.A pregnancy test is administered and it turns out she's knocked up.Wow, not only was she taken and drugged, married, but also impregnated?I guess that pseudo memory of a guy with her in the missing 12 hours was more than a fantasy.
She still doesn't want to accept the protection of the goon that she was attracted to as he's a total asshole."I will rule your life.You will have no rights.You will do everything I tell you to do when I tell you."And he's surprised when she doesn't say, "Sure!Sign me up for that."
So she goes out to eat with her best friend.There two more attempts are made on her life.Her food is soaked in soy sauce and she's highly allergic to soy.She would crumple and die in a matter of seconds had she touched anything with soy.Sure.Let's say that and never mention it again.Ever.People give her food and drink.She never checks.Never asks.Just eats or drinks anything people hand her.There are several instances where something is introduced that is significant but is NEVER MENTIONED AGAIN.After her poisoning attempt her friend goes to get her car and is blown up with a car bomb.OK, fine.she finally goes with the 'hero' to have him protect her.So let me see.She was kidnapped, raped, impregnated, had an elevator fall several stories, had a poisoning attempt, and lost her best friend in a car bomb which also destroyed her car.Most people would have called the police at some point in time.But again, that would make sense.Something this book goes out of the way to avoid.
Anyway she arrives at the island.What island?The one that doesn't exist that the 'hero' owns of course.I understand when authors create cities that don't exist.'I need a small town in the middle of Nevada that nobody knows anything about.I think I shall call it Sherville.'But in this case the author sets most of this story on Peregrine Island.Peregrine Island is an island in the middle of the Chanel Islands off the coast of California.They are within a couple of miles of the mainland and are mostly a National Park.This particular island however is big enough that it takes them a half hour to drive from one end to the other in a Jeep.It has waterfalls, numerous meadows, rolling valleys, and herds of exotic wildlife.Holy crap!A private family owns this?And they have cell phone reception to boot?This is truly a magical land.Like I was trying to say, I don't mind you making up a city that doesn't exist.Change the name of a current city.Whatever.Those are just small town settings.But to make up a land mass that is roughly half the size of Rhode Island a few miles off the coast of California?Come on!
A bunch more impossibly stupid shit happens for the next hundred pages or so.(The heroine who can't swim swan dives off a 30' cliff into the churning ocean waters below because she felt empowered?She catches the hero doing video surveillance of her in her bathroom and shrugs it off?The emotionally unstable housekeeper screams at her/begs her to leave/threatens her/helps her etc.)All this time the hero and heroine exchange about 10 sentences.Page 199 they can't contain their passions and kiss for the first time.And they had a connection why again?I certainly never felt it.More stupid shit happens and we are reminded again and again that the author never bothered to research anything she wrote.The island was named Peregrine Island for the birds that were imported from China?The Peregrine is actually indigenous to North America.The heroine walks around at night hearing the fluttering of the peregrine's wings above her.Um, they are diurnal not nocturnal.The Malay lacewing butterfly is not crimson, it is brown.An island that is maybe 10-15 miles across isn't large enough to have a stream that is waist deep whitewater.Four foot deep whitewater rapids don't flow toward the center of pacific rim islands.I know that I'm being picky.But it's one thing after another after another.
Finally the plot picks up again and the last bit of the book tries to draw everything together.Unfortunately it is just a confusing muddled mess.
But the real big problem here is that the heroine finally finds our who kidnapped her, drugged her, raped her, impregnated her, and was behind all the attacks.It is the 'hero'.He staged all of the earlier attacks to get the heroine to come to his island.They faked the death of her best friend in the car bombing.Her best friend was just there for the six months prior to this for the setup.Her boss also created the job to lure the heroine to this location.It was all to fool her.He did all of this so that they could get some stem cells from her unborn child to try to get a cure for this terrible disease that killed her parents that she miraculously survived years before.So he really was behind everything.He really was the bad guy all along.Does she turn him over to the cops?NO SHE FUCKING DECIDES THAT HE WILL BE A REALLY GOOD FATHER TO HER BABY AND FORGIVES HIM AND MOVES IN WITH HIM TO HIS FUCKING FANTASY ISLAND.
I know that I've done a terrible job of stringing together enough coherent thoughts to properly express my displeasure with this book.It's because there is just so much wrong that I can't condense my thoughts.Suffice it to say that I don't give one stars very often.But this is oh so deserving.Worst book I've read this year.