Thursday, July 15, 2010

Patience by Lisa Valdez ***

Patience was a book a lot of people didn't have patience for - the author had some... issue? and the book wasn't released for several years after the original release date. Or something like that. There was so much controversy - her first book, Passion, had so much buzz that readers were anxiously anticipating the next in the series. Readers posted all over the romance forums how tired they were of waiting. They swore they wouldn't read it. I'm trying to figure out why it mattered when the book was released, but couldn't get into the fray.

I liked Passion very much, in spite of its near-erotica content that seemed pretty fantastical. Valdez managed to surround the frequent-sex-with-an-incredibly-well-endowed-stranger-in-a-public-place with a touching and human love story that touched my heart. I wasn't put off by the length of time it took for the book to be available. But I was put off by her inability to touch my heart again. The bones of the story were ok - after I made it through the eye-rolling opening scenes where there was so much throbbing pulses and pulsing throbs and hardening and thickening and dripping I felt like I needed a shower - I thought the characters had fairly believable stories. We already knew about Matthew's story: he learned his biological father was not his mother's husband and therefore he was literally a bastard in Passion. His former-future-father-in-law was so upset he went way out of his way to ruin Matthew financially after refusing to let his daughter marry him.

Patience's story was more hidden, both from us the readers and from Patience herself. She had sublimated her feelings of being abandoned as a child when her mother died, and channeled them through playing the cello. She took her music teacher's advice too literally, and decided she could never marry.

That didn't keep her from playing bondage and submission sex games with Matthew - as long as he left her maidenhead intact, she was ok with it. (?)

Yeah, there we go: back to a concept similar to stranger-sex-in-public. I tried to keep an open mind. I tried to go with the flow. But I never got to the point where I understood and let it happen and make sense. It was just a lot of hardening cocks and dripping sexes (only she liked to use grittier terminology) filling the nights while he tried to figure out why she resisted marriage by spanking her and punishing her for not obeying him. I think after it was over, I sorta saw the connection: the games fulfilled her need for boundaries and her need to feel wanted. Or something.

It isn't clear to me what the problem was that postponed the release of Valdez's book. I read that she had writer's block; I read that she was so overwhelmed by reader feedback and trying to deal with it (by changing the book?) that she couldn't finish the story. And I haven't yet read any reviews, so I don't actually know how well this one was received.

I went with a 3 star rating because it wasn't really awful, but it wasn't anything special either. It could have used some editorial oversight - really, the repetitive use of throbbing and pulsing and such was not good writing in my opinion.

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