It appears that 2017 is the year that I feel contrary to everyone and everything. For the most part I have enjoyed Ms. Bowen’s books. She’s written some real keepers. She has also written some garbage (side-eyeing you The Fifteenth Minute). I’ve only read one of Ms. Kennedy’s, and it was okay but not memorable. Together they have written Him, Us, and now Good Boy. Him was excellent, Us was okay, and I’m about to release some ire on Good Boy.
Good Boy is the story of plot moppet Blake from Us and Jamie’s sister Jess. Blake plays hockey for the Toronto Maple Leafs and Jess met him in Us when she came to take care of Jamie when he was very sick. They hooked up in that book. And that was the end of it. Or so we all thought…
Okay, a bit of a rant time: I’m going to go in order from least rage-y to most rage-y. By the way, spoilers abound, but it’s a romance, so most of this should not be surprising. Also I usually read romance for happy escapism, but I kept thinking about this one in the context of real life, hence the IT MAKES ME WANT TO SMASH LIKE HULK.
Least rage-y was after hooking up I guess a total of twice Jess has told Blake in no uncertain terms that she does not want to date and/or sleep with him. He offers her a friendly ride home from her brother’s place. He proceeds to break hard at a light in order to reach over and cop a feel. 1) Are you effing kidding me!? If any guy did this, including my spouse, I would reach over and smack him. How is that cute or charming? Or whatever these authors think that is? It’s harassment, and I am not here for it.
Mid rage-y is before this story starts, but after they hook up Blake proceeds to text things to Jess for months. She almost never responds, and when she does it’s curt and direct, and no thank you. So he sends her a dick pic. 2) Again: are you effing kidding me!? How is this not harassment of any kind. Yes, she ends up liking him, but at the time she was saying no thank you. In that situation you do not send any lady a picture of your junk. It is not cute, and it is not funny.
Most rage-y is for the weekend of Wes’ and Jamie’s wedding Blake ends up weaseling his way into sleeping at Jess’ place. He asks if he can sleep in her bed, and she answers by walking away and slamming her bedroom door. That is a clear answer, no? Later she wakes up to find him naked in her bed wrapped around her. He later says that he asked again, but she was so sleepy she doesn’t remember saying yes. 3) ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?!?!?!!? This sent me into a rage spiral that knows no bounds. It’s a boilerplate consent issue in every way. “She totally said it was cool. Oh, she was asleep? How is that my fault?” It was beyond unacceptable, and this book is getting nowhere near anyone I know if I can help it.
There are more things that made me cranky with this one, but I’m going to leave it here. If you find harassment and consent issues fun and sexy do I have a book for you! Otherwise, walk away, it’s not worth visiting Wes and Jamie. Ms. Bowen and Ms. Kennedy? I’m out. It’s going to take a lot to bring me back, especially you Ms. Bowen for this and The Fifteenth Minute. I think we need to sit down with you and talk about some prevalent issues here in the US involving rape culture and consent, because you clearly don’t understand.