Saturday, August 23, 2008

To Hell with Love; Sherri Erwin

Like her voice, like the premise. Like mythology based romances. Skimmed through a lot of it, unfortunately. The plot goes like this: lonely interior designer wants to have a baby, but she’s single; Hades (Owen Glendower) is lonely too and he’s stuck in the Underworld with the shades & various others unsuitable for friends with benefits type relationships. The minions find the designer, set the stage & voila.

Spoilers ahead

Problem number one: Hades comes off as selfish, cold, unfeeling & out of touch with how humans operate on an emotional level. A user. I know, I know- not all that unusual for heroes in Romanceland (or real life for that matter). The God of the Underworld spends millennia with human beings, this characterization is unbelievable to me. Owen is portrayed as caring about the children in the Underworld, yet his feelings for Kate aren’t fleshed out. Also- Kate's desperation to have a child is offputting. Very.

Problem number two: Owen gives her an ultimatum about their future in the middle of a huge family crisis. This circles back in with number one, but also shows that her love is unrequited & his motivation is lust alone. It’s about forcing her to choose him- power. Not love.

Problem three: the hospital scenes don’t ring true in terms of actual medical practice or in terms of emotional truth. My hubby’s a CCU nurse, so my reactions to the hospital scenes may not be those of an ordinary reader. I was already having serious issues with the book by now, but the hospital parts dropped me right out of the story.

Problem four: Owen and Kate don’t end up together. Literally. Hades is in the Underworld and Kate and their child are alive on earth. Problem four is the biggest one for me. As far as I’m concerned the entire premise of a romance is that the central couple will be together at the end. Maybe not married. Committed. Deeply in love. Able to work on their relationship because they're together. Owen reigning in the Underworld watching Kate and his child on earth while Kate raises the child without him? Doesn’t fit in any way fit my definition of an HEA. Actually, Owen bargains with Zeus without Kate’s knowledge, a huge deal breaker for me, then leaves her to raise the baby she so desperately wanted. See also problems one and two.

Wallbanger. DNF.


CindyS said...

Yikes!! Was this in the romance section? Cause you are right, that ending is just wrong, wrong, wrong!!


Bookwormom said...

CindyS- Yup, it was in the romance section. Believe it or not. Soon to be traded. :(