Saturday, February 25, 2012
Addicted to Love by CJ West
This was a freebie from Amazon. My first real dud of the year. I gave it a generous 1.5/5 stars on Goodreads, since I don't grade books here.
The original premise intrigued me - a town full of Stepfordy-type couples, so in love that the flower shop and chocolate shop are inundated at 5 every night with all the men getting stuff to take home to their wives. If I hadn't been intrigued, my 1.5 stars would have been even less. While the premise had potential, the execution left something to be desired.
Wes is a summer visitor whose rich dad spent a ton in the town. When it seems he is the smartest one to take over for the murdered sheriff, he is puzzled (he just sold his landscaping company - not exactly the best qualifications for a sheriff). Especially when his best buddy works for the sheriff and is standing right next to him.
I got the creeps early on, and not the good kind, when Wes' girlfriend was irritated that he was solving a murder rather than boinking her. And that it was more important for him to schtup her nonstop than to get any rest when he was obviously exhausted.
It was quickly obvious that the town was being drugged. The book then became predictable, as a 'mad scientist' was trying out his evil-building drug at the same time as his love-building one. I was even more squicked out at the thought of all the old men drugging these young women to fall in love with them than I was at the thought that he deliberately turned the wives into murdering machines against their own husbands. At least that idea had a little promise.
The end is so awful. Once the murders are solved and the suspense resolved, Wes keeps a ton of the drug so that he can ensure his honey stays in love with him for evah. And she knows all about it. So the main couple doesn't have enough faith in their love to survive that they keep the drug and continue using it for their *cough* HEA.
I became confused often, as there was almost no transition between scenes in many places. The writing felt stilted to me, and the characters very one-dimensional.
So many bad messages in this book. The town council knew all about the scheme, and decided to play along because they all wanted to hang on to their young wives. And gee, since we can't be sure we'll stay in love, it's ok to take drugs to be able to boink like bunnies and stay in love. And gee, if you can't catch a lady the real way, why not just drug her so she'll do you over & over and act like you're a god? Perfectly acceptable, right?