“Just you wait, Rowan Mardsen, I’ll show you ‘manage.’ Just you wait!”
Does our heroine, Karin Williams, a woman who has nothing in common with Eliza Doolitle (even though the quote would suggest otherwise), actually show our hero what manage really is? The title, Taming Rowan, would indeed imply so. After reading Taming Rowan, however, I thought that the title might have better been A Spineless Woman, and the Man who Grudgingly Loves Her. Then, on second thought, due to the primitive animalness of the hero, I am thinking that maybe the title Taming Rowan is the right one after all.
Let me briefly summarize the plot, because I have a whole lot to say. Karin Williams wants the job as a structural engineer to help design an antenna-support platform that is being built in England. Rowan, the manager of the site, does not want her to have the job because she isn’t a man. Rowan is forced to accept her as the engineer, though, and proceeds to intimidate, demoralize, and sexually harass Karin. Karin, determined to follow the job through to its completion, not only puts up with all of this, but somehow finds Rowan to be irresistible.
Why does Karin find Rowan to be so irresistible? I truly tried to see what could cause such attraction, but aside from his fine physique (which Karin is always drooling over), I could see nothing appealing. Rowan behaves with an unhealthy and possessive jealously, makes suggestive innuendoes about Karin’s moral character (she works on remote sites with men after all), and is often fondling her inappropriately. Most of all, he is a 38 year old man who had his heart broken fifteen years before, and, of course, can not get over it. Don’t most people get over bad relationships? Fifteen years is an awful long time to hold a grudge, even for a man whose ex-wife ran off on him with someone else. A man grows up and moves on, don’t you think? I also found the fact that he so grudgingly decided that they should share a lifetime of bliss to be, well, hilarious – which is likely not what the author had hoped for as I read the HEA ending.
So, who is this woman who finds Rowan to be so darn irresistible? Karin, for a woman who has supposedly grown up in a man’s world, not only behaves in a manner which suggests that she is lacking a spine, she is easily the most too stupid to live heroine I have ever seen in a contemporary romance. She nearly falls off of a cliff because she is not paying attention, even though she was warned away from the edge by Rowan. She stomps off into the wilderness because Rowan tells her not to, and, you guessed it, gets lost and nearly dies of exposure. She is told to stay put during a serious storm and. . . you get the picture. Yet, when Rowan tells her to “sit down on the bed!” – she does. When he tells her to “wear something. . . feminine.” – yep, you guessed it – she does. Through the book, “she arched mindlessly”, her “thoughts tumbled”, a “frenzied longing whipped through her”, and “a blade of heat stabbed through her belly”. Best of all, when she vows to be all business, a mere four pages later she spends quite some time ogling his ass. Quite the professional engineer.
Basically, Taming Rowan is about two unlikable people who have an “I hate you…let’s go to bed” relationship developing. Of course, that is not how the author sees it: “The heart of their relationship was rich and solid. She believed in its special, unique bond between them, and she knew Rowan did also.”
If you can forgive the pun, denial is a river in Egypt. Karin, at the end, is definitely living in the land of denial. If you like tortured heroes – heroes who never say “I’m sorry I was such an ass,” if you like, as well, heroines who are attracted to the men who torture them, then hey, have I got the book for you.