If Contract with Consequences were a paper book, I would have tossed it against the wall. Or maybe torn it in half and then shredded it. Then buried it not in the recycling bin but the garbage under the smelliest of kitchen debris. That’s how much it irritated me. And I didn’t even get that far.
Miranda Lee used to be an auto-buy HP author for me, but as I moved away from categories, I lost track of her work. So when I saw this one while browsing online, I downloaded it tout suite. But I should have read the blurb first.
I’m ambivalent about the heroine. On one hand, it’s brave (and other things) to set out intentionally to be a single parent. On the other hand, the way she’s painted, as changing her entire life — career that she doesn’t like as much, etc. — in order to catch a man and get pregnant smacks of desperation to me.
I feel no ambivalence about the “hero”: he’s an arrogant prat (who I am sure will remain patronizing and holier-than-thou). He describes himself as a “selfish, self-centred commitment-phobe”. Meanwhile, he too thinks the heroine emits a perfume of desperation and would be so much better off if she could lighten up and have casual sex. With him, of course.
Oh, his expertise also apparently runs to fertility. He knows best how to get the heroine pregnant — forget about ovulation, etc., all the things that fertility specialists have women track as they attempt to get pregnant. His magic penis will relax her and solve the mystery of her uterus better than any IVF specialist!
At that point, I was finished. Done. Stick a damn fork in me.
Afterthought: the hero’s patronizing know-better attitude about fertility obviously rubbed me wrong. It reminded me of those television commercials in which male actors intrude into predominantly female realms and school them on better products. Because men (who do less housework and childcare) would still know which household cleaners are best, which diapers are most absorbent, etc. Please, Every Man, tell me how to do my women’s work better; you don’t do it but even so you must know best by virtue of having a penis.