Monday, January 16, 2017

Rambling Rant: Forgotten Sins

Forgotten Sins

by Rebecca Zanetti
audio book narrated by Karen White
Book 1 of Sin Brothers

~ Goodreads ~

Rating:  2.0 Stars

From the moment Josie laid eyes on sexy, mysterious Shane Dean, she was in love.  Their desire ignited a passionate affair, and within weeks, Shane had slipped a ring on her finger.  It seemed her every fantasy was coming true . . . until her new husband disappeared without a trace.  Now, two years and one broken heart later, Josie is shocked when the hospital calls: Shane has been found . . . at a crime scene with no memory of how he got there.

Her Love Can Save Him
Shane can't remember the blue-eyed angel at his bedside-or who he even is-but he knows something isn't right.  His hearing is razor sharp, his physical strength incredible, and the urge to protect Josie overwhelming.  For powerful enemies are hunting him, and Josie is the key to discovering why.  As Shane struggles to unravel his past, dangerous new truths come to light.  Can he protect the only woman he's ever loved?  And can Josie trust a man she thought she knew-one who carries such a deadly secret?

This book pisses me off.  Not even the sex scenes could save the day--in fact, it was really the sex scenes that pissed me off.  Call me a bra burning feminist if you want, but relationships should NOT be like that!

I mean, I may not have any experience with relationships, but if your estranged husband of two months, shows up from being AWOL for two years, and suddenly has a whole bunch of dangerous secrets revealed about him--i.e. stalking you before, during, and after your brief marriage--I'm not sure that's sexy enough to fall right back into bed with him.  Or I guess, in Josie's case, her office desk.  Because sneaking into your office without your knowledge and lying in wait to pounce on you is super romantic...

Especially right after learning that your estranged husband is probably some sort of stalker/killer!

I don't care that Shane obviously one of the good guys, and that he probably had good intentions for stalking keeping tabs on Josie during their two year separation.  Josie doesn't know that.  And when she kneed him in the groin, kicked him in the head, and ran off, I was actually quite proud of her.  Then two chapters later, Shane is all, "I don't remember a damn thing, but I obviously had good reasons for keeping an eye on you, because I love you.  Let's fuck."  And Josie is like, "I really shouldn't because I don't really know who you are anymore.  But okay.  Here's my office desk."

This man's actions are NOT socially acceptable.  And Josie's reactions to his actions are definitely filed under a nice little TSTL package.  With ribbons on top.

This dysfunctional relationship also likes to employ the "You know you want it.  You know you need it," line from our wonderful hero when the heroine distinctly says, "Don't touch me.  I'm not having sex with you!  It's not gonna happen!"  And apparently those two sentences, "You want it.  You need it," are so freaking seductive that Josie's clothes fall off immediately.  Of course, there is a little forced groping involved that made me cringe...

Excuse me while I process that...

To be honest, this book has an extremely intriguing premise.  Unfortunately, the interesting stuff in this book constantly gets rained on by the erotica, and the romance-not-romance, and the sex, and the whole damsel-in-distress and broody alpha hero angst.  I kept asking myself why I continued to listen to this audio book (aside from the fact that I AM a fan of Karen White).  And really, the only thing that came to mind was that I was curious about the mystery surrounding Shane's memory loss, and his and his brothers' back story.

But there were some times when even the need to know how the mystery resolves itself wasn't enough for me to want to continue.

This audio book is eleven hours long.  To tell you the truth, that is maybe five hours too long.  A lot of plot could have been cut out of this book.

One of my favorite movies is The Bourne Identity, and for a moment I had been getting that vibe--what with the super soldier and memory loss thing going on.  But I feel like the entire memory loss and "Oh, where did that skill come from?  How do I know how to do that?  I must be a super killer or something!" plot went on for way too long.  The readers already know that Shane is a super soldier of some sort, even if he doesn't.  Constantly bringing up these little scenes where Shane discovers another interesting skill and awes over it does the book no favors.  Halfway through the book, I just wanted an exposition fairy or something to jump out and tell him what the readers already know so we could move on with the story.

Instead, the first half of the book dragged on with the whole romantic angst surrounding Josie and Shane, with Josie constantly going back and forth with the, "I need to move on with my life without him... oh, but I still want to sleep with him because he's so dangerous he's sexy" thing.  Even though he was stalking her... and being super pushy... and gropes her without her consent... and orders her around like she's some weakling servant... and gets rage-y with her whenever she says something he doesn't like... and kidnaps her... and pretty much manipulates her into thinking that she DOES indeed want to have sex with him...  The list could go on.

Because all Shane really has to do is breath or give her some sort of smoldering look and she drops her panties.

Goodness, have some self-respect, woman!

I could go on about how much of a neanderthal Shane is: he's pushy, he's demanding, he's commanding... he uses threats on Josie to make her do exactly what he wants almost every other chapter, and uses the whole "This is for your own good/safety" as his excuse.  Instead of confiding in her as an equal and telling her why he needs her to follow his instructions, he just barrels into her with more threats that sound very borderline like threats of forcing sex on her until she complies with what he wants her to do.  He keeps secrets from her that could affect her life, and then expects her to just follow his lead without questions.

And what does Josie do?  Nothing.  She lets him walk all over her.  And you know what pisses me off the most about Josie's doormat personality?  The fact that we get repetitive declarations in her monologue about how well she's able to handle herself, and that she's not weak or fragile, or that she's already learned how to be strong and street smart after years and years of navigating the foster care system, and needing to know how to take care of herself, all by herself.  But Josie's repertoire of actions include either crying and doing nothing, screaming and doing nothing, simmering in anger and doing nothing... it goes on a repeat cycle, each and every time she gets kidnapped.  And she gets kidnapped almost every other chapter--at least one of those times by her own husband who claims he doesn't want to hurt her!


Meanwhile...  I'm surprised to say that I'm intrigued enough with the background plot of Sin Brothers to consider continuing on with this series.  I would love to know how everything ends for our four super soldiers.  And, truth be told, I DID like Matt and Nathan and Detective Malloy.  I'm interested in the truth behind Jory's supposed death.  And then there's Nathan's history with a woman named Audrey who betrayed him, but there seems to be more to the story than that.

If ever an author knew how to hook a reader, Zanetti would probably be the one.

But I'm also not entirely sure if I want to subject myself to that kind of frustration for three more books, if the romances in each one will play along the same kind of presentation as this one.  Because I don't hate myself enough to subject myself to that kind of frustration.

(Especially with 2017 being the year of being more laid back and enjoying myself with reading.  DNF triggers to be loaded and all...)

On a side note, there were also some obvious logic holes, such as super soldier Shane letting a common layperson with a gun get the drop on him--probably so that Josie could get kidnapped for the umpteenth time in the story.  To be honest, that particular story arc seemed super redundant when all was said and done.


I will be using this book for one of my Romance Bingo 2017 squares.  I have not decided which one yet, but more than likely it will be either the Second Chances square or the Too Stupid To Live square... although I already had a book chosen for TSTL, I'm sure I can adapt.

Other squares this book may count for:
  • Insta-love -- While this book also showcases a second chance romance, the brief history we get of Josie and Shane's love story is definitely one of insta-love.  The two meet and within the time span of a couple months, they fall in love and get married and can't live without one another.  Feels pretty insta to me.
  • Love is Murder -- Romantic suspense with lots of danger and death.
  • Rogue -- I don't know if a contemporary can count for this square, but our main hero is definitely playing outside the lines of legal on so many levels.
  • Love (Free Space)

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