Can't Stop Loving You
I’m going to suggest that we add a category to the yearly poll in order to accommodate the heroine, Laura Murdock, of Can’t Stop Loving You. Perhaps we can call it Most Insufferable Heroine, or maybe Most Schizophrenic. Actually, the latter may be more fitting, since the book is pretty schizophrenic, too.
Lordy, what a chore this book was to read.
Laura is a social worker at a women’s crisis center in Detroit. She sees daily what poverty does to families, so decided long ago that when she finally marries it’ll have to be to a wealthy man. A child of the foster care system herself, Laura has severe issues with trust and abandonment which help her justify her rationale. During a much needed vacation to St. John, Virgin Islands, Laura finds her beliefs tested by a wild attraction to a landscape painter, Sebastian.
The painter, Sebastian, is actually Wilham Sebastian Kramer, brother to an extremely wealthy hotel magnate. As his brother’s partner in the business, Wilham works hard most of the year, escaping occasionally to his home on St. John, where he can indulge in his art for a short time. Wilham is sick to death of the superficiality of the women he normally associates with, so when he sees the natural beauty of Laura he’s so taken that he quickly asks her to pose for him. Laura, being a huge fan of Wilham’s art (and his hot bod), agrees, but is somewhat reluctant – those trust issues, you know. Proximity + attraction + beautiful couple on a gorgeous tropical island = luscious vacation affair that deepens before either expects it to.
And luscious is the exact right word to describe their affair. The loves scenes are plentiful, beautifully written, and tender.
That’s it. Everything else I have to say is negative. I hated the rest of the writing. When you wonder repeatedly if the author even re-read or remembered what was written a few pages earlier you know that something has gone wrong. Descriptions were repeated ad nauseum. Dialogue was either repetetive or just plain boring and internal dialogue was extremely contradictory, especially in Laura’s case.
I hated the main characters. I really hated Laura. I couldn’t decide if she was crazy or just plain stupid. She decides Wilham is poor even though he lives in a zillion dollar home and the first night she meets him he sells paintings for charity that garner 200k. She tells Wilham right up front that she’s looking to marry a rich man that she can learn to love, but freaks at any hint of an accusation of gold-digging. When she learns that he’s rich, she decides he’s not the “right kind of rich” in that he didn’t claw his way up from nothing but was handed his fortune by his hard-working brother. She even says that Wilham was born with a silver spoon in his mouth just a couple of pages after he tells her how his parents died when he was very young, leaving his eighteen year old brother to rear him on his own. Laura makes assumptions, throws up roadblocks to love, insists she hates sex because of two past experiences, and insults Wilham repeatedly. When Wilham shares the fact that he built the hotel business from the ground up with his brother, scrubbing toilets after school, etc, she insists he’s still all wrong for her for some dumbass reason I can’t even remember now.
Wilham, though, was wonderful. He was so wonderful that I hated his guts for not telling Laura to fuck off any time after the first couple of chapters. But no, he kept smiling and taking what she kept dishing out, even complimenting her on being contrary and stubborn. Ew.
I hated the plot. When there was finally a light at the end of the horrible romance tunnel, the author threw in a last minute suspense element to justify further angst. Believe me, further angst was completely unnecessary.
Do yourself a favor and leave this one where you find it.