Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Megan's Mark, pt. 1

Megan’s Mark
By Lora Leigh

I’m three quarters of the way through this book and I’ve yet to find anything new or exciting here despite its jazzy cover and its odd claim to be the first in a series that’s already at least eight stories deep (see Unfortunately or fortunately, depending on how I feel at the moment, Megan’s Mark is turning out to be typical Lora Leigh fare: gorgeous alpha male, inexplicably bitchy and irrational female, action bordering on the absurd, and sex that really does singe the fingers when you turn the page.

As always, I approached this book with more than a little hope that this time I would actually like the heroine and not be annoyed every time she opened her mouth. No such luck. Why – someone please tell me why virtually every female character Leigh creates is an all-out, no hold’s-barred bitch? Since when did being strong and independent mean that you had to be a bitch in the process? Since when did being horny turn out to be a good excuse for being snappy, sarcastic, and plain-old mean? I don’t know. Maybe I missed the memo for that one.

And another thing: on top of being bitchy, do the women always have to be so stupid and stubborn? I have nothing against stubborn people. Hell, I can be stubborn too when it suits me. But even I know that there’s a fine line between being stubborn and stupidity. What right-minded woman denies even the possibility of danger and refuses the help that she knows she needs, a day after she is baited, trapped, and almost killed by highly-trained, stronger than human soldiers?

Apparently, we’re supposed to believe that she doesn’t want Braden on her couch because she’s attracted to the half lion/half man Breed. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I didn’t think that being attracted to sexy, single, exciting man was necessarily a bad thing. Neither did she, it seems, until she realized that he was a Breed. Alright, one might say, maybe she has something against Breeds. But no wait. We’re quickly told that she’s not prejudiced against Breeds which becomes hard to believe at times considering the snide “Puss in Boots” and having him “neutered” remarks. But if we take her at her word and believe that she’s not prejudiced then what the hell is her problem? I couldn’t figure it out and trying to follow Megan’s ever-changing “reasoning” for why she didn’t want to sleep with Braden is like trying to plot Bush’s reasons for going into Iraq.

I’m so tired of push-and-pull heroines being presented as strong independent women who, at the end of the day, don’t know their own minds or hearts. How many times do I have read a scene that boils down to: Kiss me. – Don’t kiss me. Hold me. – Don’t hold me. I love you. – I don’t love you. No wonder there’s always some great, macho male ready to take these women on. Who else would put up with such bullshit?