And just like that we’re back in the silly unromantic world of Doug Wilson’s romance novel ‘The Man in the Dark’ You can catch last week’s review here at NLQ.
Let me warn you that this gets no better. I’ve read the entire book now and all I can say is that there is a sick twisted twist at the end that Doug thinks is romantic instead of inappropriately bizarre in a almost incestual manner. I need several gallons of tequila to wash that mental image away!
I am sorry I am so over the top sarcastic but Doug broke my brain with this one.
On to the book:
Chapter 3 – The Catch
Here we get introduced to another random admirer of the wonderful Mary Sue-ness of Samantha Westmoreland – Sheriff Barnes. Lawman and convenient vehicle to praise Sammy-girl.
“He just knew that there was a ‘pretty lady’ teaching high school now”
He watches the heroine dealing with some drunken louts before intervening and giving them the bums rush. Barnes discovers that Samantha had a loaded tiny lady’s gun right behind her purse trained on the horny drunken miscreants.
Samantha becomes bend out of shape because she discovers that Pastor Goforth knows how to carry a tune without a paper bag. This leads her to puzzle and rant that she is one of the only people in town who can sing on key and play an instrument. She rants about trying to start a choir unsuccessfully before the other piano player hosting a hymn sing that is more successful than her .
This is all more griping, complaining and sniping done by this ‘perfect’ character that seems consumed with petty stupidity. Eventually Pastor Goforth walks her home. Everyone in town assumes she’ll marry him. Still no romance, just nasty snippy answers.
Chapter 4 – Night at the Davenport
Wish I was on my davenport, not reading this book. Why is Idaho’s answer to the Ritz in Paris named an old name for a sofa?
It should be called ‘Busybody Meddling’. Samantha’s landlord, a lady named Mrs. Fuller who serves the purpose of eavesdropping at the right moments and pushing the romance that is not romantic overhears something. It’s Pastor Goforth and potato salad pushing Alan Lambeth arguing over why Goforth will not punish Sam for the potato flinging. Belabored dialogue ahoy!
“He (Lambeth) said something like, ‘It is apparently too much to expect a bachelor pastor to deal appropriately with a beautiful parishioner that he is sweet on. Everyone sees that, you know.”
Here we are again, a do-se-do around the pulpit over Samantha! I know she’s not the only woman in town? Are they going to duel? Compare penises? What?
What does Alan expect the pastor to do? Turn her over his knee and spank her?
Yeah, yeah, we get it. Purtiest thing in three counties. Note to Doug: Good novels do not write perfect people. Perfect people are boring and don’t really exist. Plus she’s not perfect, perfectly nasty snippy.
“Then Pastor Thomas said, ‘Everyone sees that she is beautiful. I think even you see that.'”
On Friday Samantha and Thomas go with the Mayor and a traveling salesman named Todd Martin to some community event to promote the town of Paradise. Seriously, is this the best of the citizenry that that Mayor could scare up? Doug is a little vague about the event, it makes no real sense, but it takes place at a super swanky hotel towns away called the Davenport.
All the men start chasing Samantha. She dances with the pastor. He saves her from a crashing bore.
Todd Martin is sure he’s seen her in Milwaukee, but cannot be sure since when he’s not working he hangs out in bars and brothels. Not the same joints as high school teachers. Sadly Doug missed the opportunity to make tacky jokes about traveling salesmen and farmers daughters.
Sam falls asleep with her head on Goforth’s shoulder and not a tiny bit of romance
Anddddd we’re done. Next week Alan Lambeth figures out there is something suspiciously hinky about Samantha and a possible sighting in Milwaukee.
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