Playing by the Greek's Rules, by Sarah Morgan

>> Thursday, October 18, 2018

TITLE: Playing by the Greek's Rules
AUTHOR: Sarah Morgan

PAGES: 192
PUBLISHER: Harlequin Presents

SETTING: Contemporary Greece (Crete)
TYPE: Category romance
SERIES: Starts the Puffin Island series

It's time to throw away the rule book…

Idealistic archaeologist Lily Rose craves a fairy-tale love, but in her experience it always ends in heartbreak. So now Lily's trying a different approach—a fling with her boss, infamous Greek playboy Nik Zervakis!

Anti-love and anti-family, Nik lives by his own set of rules. There's no one better to teach Lily how to separate sizzling sex from deep emotions! But while Nik has the world at his feet, he also has dark shadows in his heart…

It starts as a sensual game, but can Lily stick to Nik's rules? And what's more, can he?
While sitting by the pool in Chania, in lovely Crete, it occurred to me to do a search for those words in my kindle. From the depths of it, Playing by the Greek's Rules popped up.

The hero is standard Harlequin Presents: Nik Zervakis is a Greek tycoon and playboy, doesn't believe in love or marriage, only goes out with the most sophisticated, elegant women. The heroine is also nothing too new: Lily Rose may be an archaeologist, but she's also the sweet and idealistic type. She's just had a disappointment in love, and has decided that it would be a good idea to have a torrid affair with a man she's in no danger of falling in love with. Her ideal man is supposed to be affectionate, honest and have "strong family values". So she'll have her affair with someone who checks none of those boxes.

The meet cute was where I checked out. Lily has a second job cleaning houses (at her level, archaeology really doesn't pay well), and she's been assigned to clean Nik's. After painstakingly making everything spotless, the last bit before she finishes is the shower. Unfortunately, it's one of those high-tech ones that are more complicated to operate than the space shuttle, and she gets a jet of water in the face after pressing the wrong button by mistake. More panicked button-pressing leaves her completely soaked. No way she's going to drip all over the bathroom floor she's just spent so long making shiny and perfect, so she strips inside the shower, intending to wring out her clothes and dry off as much as she can. The owner of the house is not meant to be there for quite a while, so no harm done, right? Well, wrong, because Nik arrives with his date just then. She catches the naked Lily in the shower, draws some wrong (but pretty well-justified) conclusions, and basically goes "fuck this, I'm off".

I didn't really have a problem with the scenario. It's the kind of situation which may be preposterous, but is arrived at by people behaving understandably and actually quite logically. Fine. What I really did have a problem with was Lily's reaction.

"There must be some way I can fix this. I've ruined your date, although for the record I don't think she's a very kind person so she might not be good for you in the long term [fair enough, the date did (understandably) say a couple of unkind things before leaving] and with a body that bony she won't be very cuddly for your children." [emphasis mine].
Oh, fuck you, Lily. From the policing of another woman's body, to the assumptions that a) body type determines whether a woman can be a loving mother, and b) that OF COURSE Nik wants children, this is all kinds of wrong. Another author might have got a raised eyebrow and a conditional pass, with me continuing on as long as nothing else heinous happened, but I DNF'd another Sarah Morgan a few years back for exactly the same of mindless assumptions that the traditional values way of doing things is the only right way. I don't have time for this. Morgan goes firmly into the "not for me" category.



Darlynne 19 October 2018 at 20:35  

Yeah, no. I'm of the same opinion. Those kinds of comments from characters just won't fly.

Rosario 20 October 2018 at 06:53  

I think all that's going on in the real world is making me a lot more intolerant of this sort of thing. Some years ago it would have annoyed me, but I probably would have continued reading. Not anymore.

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