Golden Goddess, by Jayne Ann Krentz (as Stephanie James)

>> Friday, January 09, 2004

Earlier this week I read Golden Goddess, an old category written by Jayne Ann Krentz as Stephanie James.


Hannah Prescott had indulged in an innocent fantasy about Jarrett Blade, the handsome stranger books on the same plane with her on her vacation to Hawaii. But when this same man forced his way into her life by breaking into her hotel room to retrieve a golden fertility goddess found with her luggage, fantasy and reality seemed to close for comfort.

Smuggler or legitimate art dealer, Jarrett was an outrage! What right did he have to demand her love? He was the wrong kind of man, with his fanatical interest in primitive art and antiquated ideas about women. But could Hannah be wrong, and Jarrett be Mr. Right?
I love JAK. I've enjoyed many, many of her books (just take a look at my Index of Reads!). So, it really pains me to say that this book was crap. Very definitely the worst I've read by this author: a D. Disgusting, sexist, overbearing creep meets Miss Doormat. Ugh!

I hated everything about this book (well, almost everything. I liked the setting, but it was completely wasted on this story). Jarrett acted as if he had the right to order Hannah around from the moment he met her. I could take a guy like that if paired up with a heroine who doesn't let herself be pushed around, but not with someone like Hannah. Little Miss Doormat just let him run roughshod all over her. Sometimes she made a little show of defiance, but this never lasted long, and she immediately acquiesced to whatever it was he wanted.

Jarrett is also one of those dim-witted types who take inductive reasoning to dizzying levels. He was once burnt by a woman, so he's now convinced that all women are evil manipulators, whose only objective in life is to use men. He doesn't seem to notice that he himself is exactly what he's accusing Hannah of being: manipulative and a user.

I almost threw this book into the swimming pool every 10 pages or so. Some "interesting" moments...
Jarrett: "If anyone's going to take advantage of you, it's going to be me". Lovely.
Hannah (later in the book): "If he loved her at least a little, she'd be able to tolerate anything from him" (paraphrasing). Very smart. Page 1 from "How to be a punching bag in 10 easy steps".

All through the book I was hoping against hope that the ending would somewhat redeem this stupid story... maybe a good grovel? Jarrett realizing he'd been a jerk? Hannah standing up to him? Unfortunately, I was disappointed. Someone points a gun at them and suddenly they are confessing their love and that's it. Jarrett's entire softening is thinking that maybe, possibly, he might consider allowing Hannah to work after they are married. These two creeps deserve each other, as far as I'm concerned.

As for me, after forcibly prying my jaw apart, after gritting my teeth almost to dust while reading this, I just grabbed the most feminist book I could think of: a Barbara Michaels!


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