Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Brief Rant: Rescue My Heart

Rescue My Heart

by Jill Shalvis
audio book narrated by Karen White
Book 3 of Animal Magnetism

~ Goodreads ~

Rating:  2.0 Stars

After a tragic stint in the National Guards, Adam Connelly returns to Idaho and to Belle Haven, the animal shelter he owns with his brothers. All Adam wants is to be alone. Then he opens the door to the past and to the woman whose heart he once broke. Still gorgeous, still tough-as-nails, but this time, unusually vulnerable.

Holly learned the hard way to never depend on a man for anything. Now, of all men, Adam is the last one she wants to see, and the only one she needs. Her father has gone missing in the Bitterroot Mountains and she could use someone with tracking skills to help find him.

For Holly and Adam, each with their ghosts, a trek this desperate, this unpredictable, and this intimate will have its share of risks - including opening their hearts one more time.

... And sometimes there's a Jill Shalvis book out there that just doesn't work out for you...

To be honest, Rescue My Heart is probably the Animal Magnetism weak-link.  It's not like the previous two books were incredibly wonderful, but at least I enjoyed them, and they didn't really frustrate me too much.  But between having a set of jackass men in our main character, Holly's life, dictating everything they think is best for her, and then having Holly get angry, do nothing about it except fume, then silently comply that maybe those two men were right...  I just couldn't, with this one.

Both Adam and Holly's father, Donald Reid were kind of assholes.  And Holly let them continue to push her around, all the while agreeing that everything they did was for her own good and that she was in the wrong.

When her father goes missing and Holly genuinely feels she should be worried for him, he all but scolds her and belittles her about how foolish it was for her to think she needed to go searching for him.  Is it wrong to be worried about the well-being of your own father?

The relationship between Holly and her father wasn't so much a "that's how Reids are" as much as it was just frustrating.  I get that some people show tough love to one another, but father and daughter just kind of acted like jerks to each other.

Then there was the romance, which was just so bland and unlikable and unbalanced: Holly acted like a doormat and a petulant child; Adam was a jerk of a neanderthal who was always right.  Holly chased after Adam like her life depended on it; Adam kept pushing her away like his life depended on it.  The entire relationship hinges on what Adam is willing to allow.  A stable, trusting, functioning relationship this couple will NOT make.

You know, at some point in time when Adam shoves Holly to the side one too many times, maybe she should just pick up the rest of her dignity and walk away.  Adam was simply acting the jackass, then he'd turn around and tell Holly it was for her own good.  He made decisions for her without consulting her, broke her heart when they were younger, and then expected her to thank him for it.  Then he'd come back around and act all intimate with her, all the while knowing that Holly will want more in their relationship.  Then afterwards, he would throw the "Morning After Speech" at her with the classic "I've got nothing to offer you" line as if she hadn't already heard it a hundred times.

If you have to beg for the relationship, throw yourself at the man, and he's still not willing to give an inch, maybe it's not worth it.  Maybe it's time to take a step back and really think about what you want and what he wants, and move on.

But what does Holly do?  In one breath, she laments why Adam isn't willing to at least take a chance on a relationship with her since he obviously DOES have some sort of feelings for her.  And then she turns around and blames herself for trying too hard to force Adam to change and want to be with her.

I don't even know what to say to this.

Either he wants to be with you or he doesn't.  And if he truly wanted to be with you enough, he will find a way to make it happen.  Relationships are hard work and compromise--it's not forcing him to change, it's asking for a compromise.  But Adam wasn't even trying, and Holly was continuing to pine and push.

Once again, a lasting, functioning relationship doesn't seem to be in the works for these two... though this is a Contemporary Romance, so I get to eat my words with the HEA.

Milo the SAR dog as well as the two retrievers, Thing One and Thing Two (those are awesome pet names, BTW!) are pretty awesome, though!  Probably the best part of the entire book.

Side note:  I DO wish more of the Search and Rescue aspect would have been touched upon, because it merely hung in the background as something that Adam does, but you only really get to see Adam being Mr. Perfect At Everything He Does, rather than the process of a Search taking place.

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