Friday, September 13, 2013

Review: Texas! Lucky by Sandra Brown

Texas! Lucky (Texas! The Tyler Family Saga #1) by Sandra Brown

Release Date: January 1, 1991
Genre: Adult, Romance
Pages: 323 of guaranteed hell
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased for Reviewer
Goodreads • Amazon

New York Times bestselling author Sandra Brown’s beloved Texas! trilogy introduces readers to a close-knit family struggling to go on without its patriarch—and to a man in pursuit of an elusive woman who may hold his future in her hands.

Charismatic and easy on the eyes, Lucky Tyler is a born rebel. His romantic conquests have earned him his nickname, while his temper gives him his reputation as the family hothead. One night, he gets in a fight over a woman in distress, followed by a night of passion neither of them will soon forget. But the lady in question has a knack for disappearing. When news breaks of a suspicious fire at Tyler Drilling, Lucky is the prime suspect. Now the mystery woman is more than just the object of his obsession. She’s his alibi.

Devon Haines has tried her best to escape Lucky. Yet his bold pursuit and self-assurance are irresistible. In order to clear him of criminal charges, she must reveal her darkest secret; withholding her help could cost him everything he holds dear. Either way, she risks losing him forever.

Okay guys, I’m sorry, I couldn’t even get halfway through this book before I had to set it down out of sheer disgust. And not disgust in the way that you would think. No—the characters were terrible! I don’t think I have ever been more infuriated by a book in my life!

The book, as even an infant would be able to tell, is set in Texas.  More specifically, it’s set in some Podunk town outside of Dallas. As a proud Texan, who has an intimate knowledge of the aforementioned city, I was floored by all the stereotypes Brown incorporates into her novel. Let me just take a moment to dispel some stereotypes that this fellow Texan of mine has taken upon herself to perpetuate.
·      We do not all live on a ranch.
·      We do not all own livestock.
·      We do not have to honk at our livestock in order to enter our driveways
·      We do not all go cow-tipping in our teenage years (so they didn’t exactly do this, but it is something equivalent in my mind)
·      We do not say, “hell,” every other word.
·      We do not spend all our extra time (when we’re not on the oil rig) at a bar.
·      For God’s sake! We don’t all have accents, as it is so evidently apparent to read into this novel.
·      And UT in Austin is not every Texans’ dream school. (I have nothing against UT—it’s a great school—but it lacks a certain, “Spirit that can ne’er be told”)
There’s more, but I thought these were the most pressing.

With the gross misrepresentation of Texas aside, there is even more wrong with the book for my tastes. Our protagonist of the first book in the Texas! The Tyler Family Saga, Lucky, has to be the most chauvinistic, sexist, infuriating man I have ever had to deal with virtually. I cannot believe that I am supposed to be rooting for this man—or find him, in any way, “charming.”

Sure, he’s a man-whore, but that’s not why I hate him; it’s the way he treats women. He takes being a macho, roughrider guy to a completely unacceptable level. I hope to God, no woman I know ever demeans herself enough to find this guy sexy. Here is a play-by-play of everything I’ve read, and hopefully you’ll understand why I simply cannot continue. I respect myself too much as a woman to even read this novel as a joke.

We are introduced to our supposed protagonist, Lucky Tyler, in a bar. He’s had a rough day managing his dearly-departed-dad’s oil drilling company, when he spots this girl—city folk, by the looks o’ her—being harassed by the town bully and his gang. So what does Lucky do? He swoops in to save her, only she yells at him to back off. He doesn’t listen and goes on fighting the guys. The cops show up, break up the fight and chastise him. He swears he was just protecting the woman’s honor (with his life, as he so exaggerates), but the woman refuses to support him. She honestly, and quite rightly, states that she was fine and asked Lucky not to fight them or interfere in any way. Lucky gets mad and demands that she apologize to him for not being grateful.

Okay, first red flag! I don’t know about any of you ladies reading this blog, but if I ask a guy not to interfere on my behalf, I mean it. If he goes ahead and does so and gets in trouble with the cops, I would not bail him out. I appreciate chivalrous gestures as much as the next girl, but going against my wishes and then demanding me to thank you is just being a dick. Let’s continue…

She refuses and leaves almost immediately. Lucky, proceeding with a form that would make even the most seasoned of stalkers proud, follows her to the motel she’s staying at. He waits a little while, letting her get into her room, before getting out of his car and knocking on her door. She quite stupidly answers it without checking to see who it was, and he barges in. (Somewhere in this sequence he becomes aroused too). He claims he stalked her (so he doesn’t use the word stalk) to get his apology and thank you, and plops down on her bed. He emotionally manipulates her into nursing his injuries and proceeds to fall asleep on her bed.

Creepy enough? Oh, I’m not done yet!

He wakes up in the middle of the night, only aware of there being a woman in the bed next to him. So what does he do? He literally rolls on top of her and proceeds to have sex with her. The only reason it can count as sex and not rape is because, for reasons that elude me, she doesn’t freak out about it. And that’s the problem I have with this girl Devon.

If a man stalked me to my hotel room, barged in, plopped on my bed and fell asleep, I would hightail it out of there and call the cops. But she stays?! I’m sorry; she calls herself a city girl? I’m from a suburb and I have more street smarts than this doe-eyed dumbass! The only smart thing she does afterwards is sneak out before he wakes up in the morning.

And this all occurred in the first 46 pages.

So there has to be a plot device for him to reunite with this girl he starts obsessing over (serial killer, much?). Well, he’s accused of arson, and this woman is his only alibi. Only, he doesn’t know her name (I’m sorry, what?!). Long story short, he stalks her all the way back to Dallas. There he sexually harasses her (backs her into a stairwell, kisses her until she stops protesting and presses his erection against her) and forces her to go and have lunch with him. At least he doesn’t order for her—oh wait! He does.

Somewhere in this lunch date, this gem crops up: “’You don’t take no for an answer, do you?’ Devon asked, after the waitress had withdrawn. ‘Rarely from a woman,’ he admitted” (108).

Excuse me? Does her rapist alarm not go off? Mine sure as hell would!

He then proceeds to make her uncomfortable, she tries to leave, and he blocks her exit. And that is where I stopped reading.

If you want to continue reading to see how much you can handle, be my guest. But I am washing my hands of this filth.

Good. Day.

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