Lead Me On by Victoria Dahl. But I just couldn't bring myself to do it. Mainly because I know that most of my problems with the novel were not the fault of the writing. Instead, they're a result of my hating the "heroine" of the story so much that I really didn't WANT her to find her happily ever after. Which, in romance, is kind of required.
Jane Morgan represents a certain type of woman that I quite frankly can't stand. Someone who is not only a big phony, but who is judgmental of others. Who is a hypocritical elitist. Who is so consumed with overcoming her "low origins" that she looks down on everyone. She overcompensates BIG TIME. And I just can't stand those type of women.
Sure, we have all of the reasons why Jane is the way she is. We even have inner psycho analysis where Jane admits she's not being a very nice person. That she's being shallow. But for me, knowing she's being shallow isn't enough. And I think that she cops out of really overcoming her attitude because her "bad boy" isn't really bad. He's a successful business owner. He's a college graduate. The only thing that doesn't fit with her mold is his outward appearance.
What really peeves me off throughout the entire book is how she practically shudders at being with someone who gets their hands dirty. Who does any kind of physical labor. And equates those types of jobs with a certain income and level of sophistication. It's a view shared by many women these days and it just fries me.
A person's ambition cannot be measured by his job. His worth should always be more than his 'net worth.' And to make any kind of assumption about education or class based on what someone does for a living is so narrow minded. Especially in a country where so many 'white collar' jobs pay so very little.
Grasping, desperate women like Jane exist in a world where they miss out on all of the people whose sophistication level does not match their job. It's sad. It's pitiable. I feel sorry for Jane and her guilt. Sorry for the way she'll likely always view the world. But I can't like her. And I can't help but think that Chase deserves someone so much better. And more genuine.
So kudos to Victoria Dahl for creating characters real enough to bother me. But I can't say I enjoyed Lead Me On. It's just too irritating to read.