Laced With Magic - Barbara Bretton
Was not intended for me.
It's the second book in a series but it's the one the library got to me first, so I picked it up yesterday. I thought, yarn, knitting, the supernatural and it's supposedly also 'cozy mystery'.
I reached page 2 of chapter 2 and that was pushing it. I utterly hated it. And I sat there at the bus stop and I started wondering about the whole 'black & brown children don't read' and I realized if I got as agitated, depressed, angry etc as a small child at so constantly not seeing myself in books or anything like my experience WITHOUT it being pain porn, poor porn, ghetto glam porn and the like? I probably would have ended up not being a reader. If books hold no promise, why spend time?
Anyway, the book lost me (pg 2, chpt 2) when the male pov said something along the lines of 'I never expected to fall for a tall skinny blonde'. At which point I started laughing right there in the bus stop, like someone who's a little unhinged. Cause statistically given all the supernatural mysteries and wanna be thrillers out there? I'd say his expectations should have been damn high. Heck, given what's on tv, it's actively PROMOTED that what a white man should want is a skinny tall blonde. So wtf is with the surprise? What? Cause she knits? That's oooh so subculture, exotic, avant garde, different?
But that was just the straw that broke the camel's back. The rest of the haypile was an entire chapter where this pov female character talks about how her ENTIRE TOWN thought she was hopeless because she was in her thirties, unmarried and without a child. And apparently in the first book, finding a man, or having some sexin' activates her magical powers. And I really couldn't stand that whole blatant 'life doesn't begin until Prince Charming Shows Up'. But it got worse, it was all this telling about magical love and yes, I suppose if one read the first book there might have been showing there. But there wasn't any showing here. There was a whole lot of lackluster lust - apparently if you say the word kinky and use blindfolds for any reasons, as a reader (female reader?) the underwear should already be moist.
The real weight of my displeasure came from the first chapter having the supposed protagonist with the point of view of now she'd caught the man, she wanted to trap him, overwhelm him, manipulate him into staying in her little town with her for a while longer. But she wasn't going to TALK to him about it. She was going to sex him, and make woo eyes, and try to let the environment and surroundings seduce him, but NOT talk to him. The entire town has a vested interest in this man, because of a position in the town he's currenly holding and could continue to hold if things work out right, if he decides he wants to stay - but SHE isn't TALKING TO HIM, because she doesn't want the bubble to pop and everything is so perfect the way it is.
How the hell is everything so PERFECT if you can't talk to the man, because then things might be RUINED. Perfect doesn't come with IMPENDING RUIN. It just doesn't.
So we have 'life doesn't begin until the man' and 'important things are happening but we won't discuss it - he should just know' and then there was the fetishizing. And ok, I admit it is novel that someone's getting all rubber knees over a human male, but fetishizing is STILL fetishizing; his human warmth, his mortal blood... geeze. And it gets creepier when she's thinking about his normal mortal family who have normal mortal expectations for him, and how if he stays with her, he won't have any of that.
I'm not certain how he won't have happiness they could appreciate for him just because he moves from a big city to a small town. After all they don't know anything about the supernatural or what dangers he might face. But moving away from family is this huge traumatic thing? In America? When in this case his family isn't more than a 4-6 hour drive, 1 hour plane ride away? Really? So that's creating a problem that doesn't really exist for sake of drama. And I just...
That's too much for me to have to accept AND nothing but white people.
I'd be happier if there hadn't been invasion of the non-scary vampires in YA. Cause sticking to YA for the past year has meant crisper storytelling and less reliance on blanket tropes.