Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Sarah's Surrender Book Review *Lynda Chance*

Sarah’s Surrender first caught my eye as I was looking over the bestselling books on New York Times. Many more indie and self-published authors are making this list, which means they’re selling thousands of copies in a week. As for the actual number sold in order to make the New York times, specifically the best selling ebook list, that’s a bit of a mystery. I’ve heard the minimum is 8,000 in order to be in the top 20, but then I’ve heard 15,000 must be sold in one week. Regardless of the amount, when a book hits the New York Times, it’s a big deal.

One such self published author, Lynda Chance has made the New York Times and USA Today with Sarah’s Surrender, a 165 page romance being sold at $2.99. The reviews for this one have been mixed, mainly because of the questionable actions of the hero regarding the heroine, but after reading the first chapter, I was interesting enough in buying the book.

What a mistake that was.

Sarah’s Surrender annoyed me to no end. What we have here is another stereotypical, rich, brooding cavemen alpha hero who lays claim to the innocent, almost annoyingly naïve heroine who tells the hero no with both words and her body, but the hero doesn’t care. Christine Feehan’s heroes come to mind (and I don't mean that as a compliment) when I think of John Garrett, the multi-millionaire rancher of some sorts who has a big chip on his shoulder based on the way he's written. John is peeved because he feels he has to keep giving out hand outs to every charity case in the area, including help making his town a better place. John is not a happy man and prefers to live a hermit lifestyle, but can’t because he has sexually needs that have to be taken care of. He doesn’t have a high opinion of the female race because of his spoiled and faithless hussy of an ex-wife. We know all of this because Lynda falls back on the not so successful way of allowing the reader into the character's mind to info dump and explain about the motivations of that character. She does this with John so the reader can gain sympathy for his situation. Unfortunately the more we know John’s internal musing, the more annoying he is and how unstable and almost psychotic his thoughts are that lead to disturbing actions he imparts when it comes to the heroine.

The heroine is Sarah McAlister, a school teacher from Dallas who is on vacation. She has come back to this podunk town where she spent time with her grandparents and has fond memories. She has left behind her boyfriend, a safe and kind man who wants to marry her. Sarah is thinking of marrying her safe and kind boyfriend because he’s the total opposite of her ex-husband who was over the top controlling and possessive. How do we know this? Because Sarah tells the reader from her internal thoughts. Sarah stops for gas and that’s where she meets John. Since Sarah doesn’t have any idea how to pump her own gas, John takes over and does it for her with the purpose of getting to know her and hopefully sleep with her. But all bets are off when she says she’s engaged.

John is now angry. He can’t get Sarah off his mind and it’s her fault. He goes to some bar to let off steam and release some of his unbridled sexual tension thanks to Sarah, that cocktease. He spots Sarah at the bar in very tiny shorts and he grows even angrier. How dare she be out and about in such tiny shorts, showing her cocktease legs, on the prowl to get laid when she told him she has a fiancé. He’ll show her! He grabs a woman and gives her a kiss in front of Sarah and then will use an office he’s given the okay to use by the owner of the bar, grab Sarah inside, invade her space and make her admit she wants him. He orders her to dump her fiancé at home so they can have sex, because he refuses to go after a woman who's promised to another.

John scares Sarah but she can’t help respond to him and for no reason I can think of, she gives John a chance. Their paths cross again because she needs John help because he has money and the only way he’ll give it to her is if she accepts him, basically paying her for the right for her body in the guise of giving her a job. They dance around one another until John can’t take it any longer and one thing leads to another and Sarah allows him to plunder her body and soul in typical bodice ripper type fashion.

Sarah’s Surrender is everything wrong in romance. This is a book I wouldn’t recommend to anyone and I wish I could return it for my money back. I know it became a WTFckery of a read when John plies Sarah with orange juice and vodka in the attempt to loosen her up so he can take her to bed. He thinks this, how he’ll get her drunk and seduce her, but then in the next sentence changes his mind so he’s shown that he isn’t a bad guy. This happens throughout the whole novel. John will make Sarah pay, he will seduce and have her, he will claim her, but then he’ll change his mind. This is Lynda’s way of showing the reader he’s not a bad guy and we can forgive him for his near psychotic and obsessive tendencies toward this woman who should run far, far away from this man. There's nothing engaging or appealing about John that I could find. So what if he’s virile, handsome and mega rich? His personality and outlook on life makes him unattractive and the way he treats Sarah is almost abusive. The fantasy factor can only go so far with this type of story and I really can’t see how anyone would think John is a woman’s fantasy come to life or that Sarah is a heroine we can admire.

The ending is rushed and abrupt with some lame cutesy happily ever after ending that doesn’t fit the story in anyway. The plot is one-dimensional and has no real meat to it. It’s all surface reading and the love scenes are the typical, been there, done that ones I’ve read time and again.

Sarah’s Surrender is a big fail and is promoting the dark side of love romance with John, who is the farthest from what a hero should be.

A big pass on this one. Horrible. I want a refund. (Self-Published, $2.99)

Final Grade: D

Surprisingly I couldn't find any. No review online anywhere? How did this book get so many readers and make the New York Times and USA Today list then?



KMont said...

Holy crap. Did she not know how to pump her own gas because her ex-husband would never let her? If she can't do something so basic, with instructions clearly on the gas pump, what else is she helpless to do? I can't figure out how readers are supposed to buy that a woman couldn't pump her own gas because of a controlling past relationship.

It sounds like this book embodies everything bad a relationship could potentially have. Running far away from it.

KB/KT Grant said...

It's been a while since a book pissed me off. This once made me roll my eyes and rage at the same time.