Before I start today's dish, I'd like to send my deepest sympathies to dee and her family who lost a dear friend today. If you have time, please head over to her blog and give her some love. And then when your done, please grab up your love ones and give them all the hugs and kisses you can. And now, without further ado...
KISSES TO GO by Irene Peterson
She's Always Losing Her Heart...
If the way to a man's heart is through his stomach, why is chef Abby Porter still sleeping alone? Yes, she likes getting paid to whip up goodies in a well-equipped kitchen, but she would love to get into a good relationship with a well-equipped guy who won't break her heart. Hang on...who's the tall, sexy man with the accent?
He's Never Misplaced His...
A newly minted earl like Ian Wincott has more important things to do than get overly acquainted with a mere cook. And Abby Porter is from...New Jersey. That alone make his blue blood run cold, although he will admit that Abby is pretty. And amusing. Which must be why she attracts so much attention. How terribly American of her to enjoy it. Could it be that he is jealous? Or in love?
You know I have an obsession with BCC's right? Well, what you probably don't know is it all started with this authors first book, GLORY DAYS, exactly one year ago this month. I really liked the book. Then read the BCC and couldn't believe how far from the actual book the BCC was. I couldn't believe I had actually read the same book they were touting on the back. Unfortunately, this second book by Peterson is no different. That BCC up there? So far from the book it's stupid. I'm not sure if whoever wrote it even read the book. It is not the fun, feel-good book promised with that BCC. In fact, KTG had me saying WTH most of the way through.
Abby Porter catches her live-in boyfriend, Lance, doing the deed with another woman on her prep table in their loft. Getting out before he even knows she caught him, Abby heads straight to the airport to take off for the England vacation that was going to be a surprise romantic get-a-way with Lance. Since all of her belongings are in the loft with Lance and the harpie, Abby hits the airport with only the clothes on her back and a plastic grocery bag containing one little black dress and a pair of dress sandals. When the airline informs her they cannot refund the cost of her extra ticket, Abby accepts the upgrade to First Class much to the annoyance of the man she will be sitting next to.
Earl of Bowness, Ian Wincott, is less than pleased when the attendant tells him he'll have to move his papers to accommodate a last minute passenger. He is, after all, very important and always has an empty seat next to him. To make it even worse, Ian's new neighbor is a crass American with a penchant for crying.
Once in England, Abby is too exhausted to do much more than appreciate the chauffeured ride to her destination, Bowness Hall. Once there Abby does her best to remember the rules she read on proper etiquette, and enjoy the time she has to vacation before heading home in two weeks to start a new job. Although she enjoys her hostess (Tish the earl's sister), and the Duxbury's (the butler and his wife the cook), it soon becomes clear that things are not going to go like they are supposed to. Mrs. Duxbury soon takes a fall that puts her out of commission and Abby finds herself cooking not only for herself but the owners of Bowness. What's worse, when the Lord of the Manor, the earl himself comes home, it's clear he had no idea what his sister and the help had done by renting a room to Abby, and what's worse, he's the same stodgy man that sat next to her on the plane.
Ian Wincott is not the least bit happy to see he has an American house guest, or should he say renter. He has enough problems without adding to them. What's worse, Abby wants half her fee back ($5,000) since her companion did not make the trip with her, and Ian does not have it to give her. He's having money problems already as he tries to get funding for a new project (he's an architect), and no one seems to be willing to loan it to him. With relatives that hate Americans, and possible investors that seem to feel strongly that a man should have a wife, Ian's troubles seem to be growing by the second. At least Abby can cook, and even though they don't even like each other, perhaps she could pretend to be his fiance, just long enough for the American investor to hand over some money so he can complete his project and pay Abby the money he owes her. But while the charade seems like a good idea, will Abby and Ian be able to remember that they don't really love each other, and it's all just play?
I really was looking forward to this book. Like I said, I had really enjoyed Peterson's debut novel Glory Days, and just knew I would like whatever she put out next. I'm not sure if I'm just learning more about craft, or what, but KTG has got to be the most disappointing book I've read in a long time.
There are numerous problems with head-hopping, the author switches from Third Limited to Third Om only to go back to Limited. There are scene breaks where there shouldn't be, and no scene break where there should be.
The pacing of the book is snail. Numerous pages are spent on irrelevant information, with many plot points being introduced and then dropped until much later. There was mention of Abby feeling weird around some of the old structures, but the idea that it was magic didn't come about until later, and it seemed so forced, I found myself laughing at the absurdity of it all. There is even a King Arthur sub-plot that was so ridiculous even I almost put down the book unread.
Ian and Abby are just flat out unlikable. Ian is quite frankly a jerk, and Abby seems too much of flake half the time. Going from anger to compliance far too easily - Abby isn't the strong female I like to see in my Romances, she was a push-over with no spine. The Romance isn't shown to us, simply implied, with Ian and Abby having hardly any civil conversations until the end when they decide the love each other. I found myself rolling my eyes at the fact they didn't even like each other five pages ago and now they are in love.
While the book had promise, and character development could have been stellar, Peterson disappointed me, and I'm sad to say I won't be looking for her books again. In truth though, I had first read GD before I really started learning craft and if I read it again, could quite possibly find myself wondering what I ever saw in it. With slow to crawling pacing, loose POV's, and unlikable characters, KISSES TO GO is one I most definitely have to advise you to stay away from.