Jun 28, 2008

Showdown by Tilly Bagshawe

by Tilly Bagshawe

Look, I feel a little shitty when I have to begin a post here with an outright statement such as: "This book sucks. So hard." It's just that the fact of the matter is fairly simple. This book does suck. Hard. So much so that Monique took the time to inform me that, you know, I don't have to keep reading this drivel. I can put the book down and move on and no one will judge me because this book is bad. So bad. So bad that I'm going to share it with you.

Bobby Cameron is a cowboy through and through. One of America's most skilled horse trainers, he has inherited his father's magnificent ranch in California's Santa Ynez Valley. Now, land rich but cash poor, Bobby travels the world trying to raise money to support his beloved ranch by taking jobs breaking horses for their wealthy owners. Milly Lockwood Groves, daughter of a millionaire breeder in Newmarket, England, is determined to become a world-class jockey--but her family has other plans for her, and are forcing her to take her place in British society. But Milly's life is about to be changed forever by the arrival of the gorgeous, enigmatic cowboy Bobby Cameron. Following him to America to realize her dreams, she risks losing her innocence and her heart in the process.
To start off, I am reminded of an exchange I had about this book, here in its entirety thanks to GMail:

monique: how is the romance going? you still readin it?
mara: i am. i just got done with some weird part in Florida involving a polo party and argentine women with big breasts and no moral compass sticking their hands down the asshole hero's pants.

Glorious. However, let's start at the beginning. Because while I only read a quarter of this book, that was really too much. We open up in France, where our dashing hero, Bobby, is working with this flighty filly for some asshole French trainer who'd really just prefer it if Bobby whipped the hell out of the filly and kicked her into submission. Because that's easier, and this training thing takes too much time. Bobby is appropriately disgusted with the other trainer's behavior, but unfortunately for us he's got other things to do. Like take a shower and mull over how his father sucks. Bobby, you see, is the product of his hippie mom having had inadvisable sex with his magnate dad, resulting in all sorts of wacky behavior. His dad was old when all of this happened and now he's ancient, but the old man has some attitude left and has never once informed Bobby that he loves him. And he probably doesn't. After Bobby's mom drops him off with his dad and never returns...going to live in more communes or whatever the hell she was up to...his dad just informs little Bobby that he will be his heir and that's pretty much it. Their relationship goes only so far as to be written into the will. Bobby, I guess, is scarred by this and proceeds to act out by being a complete jackass.

Now, while he's in France and fresh from his shower up at the owner's mansion, suddenly the owner's wife -- who is all young and eager to please -- magically appears in the bathroom also and starts to pull on Bobby's conveniently placed towel like a petulant six-year-old. A petulant six-year-old that Bobby decides he'd really like to not have sex with because that would be bad before deciding to hell with that and has sex with her anyway.

For some reason we are informed that Bobby really doesn't care about the needs of others, not that this matters to this woman because I guess she was only in it for the seduction. I don't get this, because it appears she put in a lot of effort for little return, especially when her husband shows up also to tell Bobby that his father died. Not wanting to get caught, he shoves the wife into a wardrobe and locks her inside, where I suppose he leaves her to fend for herself while he packs and leaves in the helicopter right outside. He's a winner, that Bobby. They're all winners.

So then we have Milly, who is a seventeen-year-old rich girl in England. Her parents own a horse farm and she's been forbidden to ride anymore after she took a nasty fall some time ago. Milly, of course, has her antagonist close by for always convenient drama. Since I forgot her name I will call her Jessica Rabbit, because that's apparently what she looks like. Jessica Rabbit, despite having breasts that probably weigh more than her head, is a jockey. For some reason. To make matters even more irritatingly stupid, Milly's brother is also a jockey and, of course, Milly wants to be a jockey too! It's like every English elite's dream in this book, which makes absolutely no sense. So Jessica Rabbit decides to have sex repeatedly with Milly's brother in order to annoy Milly. Thus we discover that all the women in this book are whores and all the men in this book are pricks. Once thought of like that it's remarkably easy to desensitize yourself from anything else even mildly offensive.

Enter Bobby into Milly's stunningly screwed up world. Bobby is now fresh from Florida, having wanted, but was forced to avoid, buxom women trying to get into his pants. It's hard for Bobby, but when the buxom women in this book have husbands armed with mallets he's really got to think about keeping his astonishingly empty head on his shoulders, you know? He's working hard, trying to keep his father's farm from falling into bankruptcy so he can turn it into a horse farm (his dad was all cattle focused and thought people who liked horses were pussies, much to poor Bobby's irritation). So his next job is with Jessica Rabbit's father's farm, but for some reason he's staying with Milly.

Milly falls in love in about two seconds flat. Unfortunately she acts like she's her age and in love, which means she's clumsy and makes poor fashion choices. Bobby, being a guest in Milly's father's home, continues on with his I-only-think-with-my-dick ways and starts bringing home as many ditsy women to his guest room as he can. Milly is upset by this...really, any host should be...but says nothing, preferring to pine away as she suffers not being able to ride (Bobby and/or horses). Until Bobby decides to help her out in that category (with the horses, I mean) and discovers that he'd really like her too, only she's seventeen. What is our hero to do? How can he get over his self-admitted urge to commit an act of pedophilia? (His words, not mine.)

Well, apparently he gets over it. Or he gets over it in California, where the legal age is eighteen. Anyway, either she has a birthday, or even Playboy starts breaking some laws because eventually she poses for Playboy, having learned to appreciate her large breasts somewhere between where I stopped reading and the end of this book.

I guess she becomes some wonder jockey in the Quarter Horse racing world and she and Bobby have sex and fall in love, only in the most despicable way possible because she has to go act like Jessica Rabbit for a while before discovering that she's an idiot and that Bobby will probably go off and have sex with some other underage girl that's not her if she doesn't stop posing for Playboy and gets her mind back to making her man happy. Thus we come to the end.

I don't know what's more frightening. That this book exists, or that it's actually the author's second novel.

1 comment:

RiiverHeightsFangirl said...

Sounds...awful. Like the author was thinking "ok, let me write this like a Harlequin super romance and dress it up as a hot new book"..from your review it sounds like a recipe of sex, boobies, bitchy women, sex, angst lover(s), horses. FYI the Amazon reviews have an average of 3out of 5 . BUt there is one FIVE STAR review that sounds an awful lot like a publisher's promotion. HMM