The morning after her twenty-first birthday, Evelyn Thomas is shocked to find herself married to rock god David Ferris. David is also shocked – that Evelyn doesn’t remember a thing. He quickly agrees to a divorce, and Evelyn flies down to Los Angeles to sort out the paperwork. Yet when she declines a settlement from his lawyers, they take a detour to spend some time together and try to decide whether or not their instincts back in Vegas led them astray. Oh, and have a lot of sex. I’m not into alcohol as the new forced-marriage matchmaker, but after that opening scene, the story becomes an ok read. But that’s the best I can say for it.
I was extremely frustrated with the opening sequence. Allow me to re-enact it for you.
Him: She’s nice. I know I have piles of money and other assets to protect, and I’ve only known her for a few hours, and she’s been drunk for all of them, but what the hell. Let’s get married.
Her: I’m toasted. Marriage sounds fun. Wheeeeee!
Her: HOLY CRAP I’M ON A BATHROOM FLOOR THERE’S A MAN HERE I DON’T KNOW HIM I DON’T REMEMBER ANYTHING OMIGOD RAPE PREGNANCY AIDS WHAT HAPPENED??!!
Her: “The pertinent parts of [her] anatomy felt fine…. The condom [she carried in her dress] remained whole and hearty. How disappointing.”
What? You realize things don’t always have to make you sore, right? And a used condom would have been better?
What do you mean, you have no memories? If it was True Wuv, you’d have been immune to the biological effects of alcohol. I hate you for betraying me this way.
Her: You didn’t notice that you were marrying someone too sloshed to stand, and this is my fault for some reason? You’re a dick for taking advantage of me. And I’m getting a rape kit done.
Her: He sure has a temper. “Not that I hadn’t given him provocation.”
Once you get past the premise, the story improves from F to average. Evelyn is a bland audience surrogate, but she’s not too offensive. She’s only twenty-one. It’s realistic that she struggles to stand up to her parents, that she isn’t sure about continuing her education, and that she doesn’t know what she wants out of life. “Aimless hipster barista” isn’t my go-to heroine, but that’s my taste. I can see her being a sympathetic character to a lot of people.
I did not like David Ferris, the hero. So much of him and Evelyn together is based on her lustful attraction to him despite his bad behavior, which I didn’t care for, and it works even less when his described hotness (tattoos, long hair) isn’t my type at all. I’m trying to think what it would take for me to like a jerk hero. I want better justifications than the classic “bad mommy, bad ex.” In one scene, the band’s drummer (David is the guitarist) has been supporting Evelyn while David treats her like crap. When Evelyn prepares to leave, the drummer says, “Sure you wanna go with him, child bride? Fucktard here made you cry. I made you laugh.” For a fleeting moment, I hoped for a fantastic original plot twist in which the Vegas quickie marriage really was a terrible disaster, but accidentally connected the character to a good man. Alas.
The writing isn’t great, but it’s plausible, since the story’s told in the first person by an immature twenty-one-year old. The author’s Australian, though, and occasionally uses Aussie slang for American characters. Americans do not “ring” people, we call them; we do not “rabbit,” we babble. And we call them Christmas lights, not fairy lights, regardless of the time of year.
The conflicts are generally caused by the characters’ immaturity; however, it’s always in character. David alternates between rash over-trusting (marrying Evelyn) and immature secret-keeping (an ex). Evelyn is right to be skeptical of him, and I liked how she stood up for herself when David appeared to be unfaithful. I appreciated that this wasn’t a typical Big Mis; although David didn’t physically cheat on her, Evelyn was right to think he hadn’t fully moved on.
To sum up, these characters are not wallpaper New Adults. They are immature, making mistakes because of their immaturity (and having lots of lusty sex along the way.) If you’re okay with that, go ahead and try Lick. Personally, though, even by the end I struggled to see them as grown-up enough to have an HEA.