Fancy Pants (Wynette, Texas, #1) by Susan Elizabeth PhillipsSo, SEP can write. Her books are funny and quite readable. Yet, Ive only enjoyed one that Ive ever read, and it wasnt this one.
This was a 1989 publication, and its becoming painfully clear to me I dont have that 80s lovin feeling. There were major and minor issues in this, just as with Perfect. I havent read too much in the recent years from Phillips, but I will say that I DNFed It Had to Be You because I hated the hero. The hero, Dallie, in this one...I didnt like him that much better. i appreciated the characters for what they were (imperfect) and the story for what it was (covering a long timespan from decades ago) and the couples chemistry was really top-notch.
When a book is written in 1989 things happen. There is jarring language that wasnt acceptable then, though it was popularly used, and its not acceptable now. In other words, these books dont age. The number of derogatory remarks toward people of the gay community pulled me out of the story so many times. Things like if youre soft on him hell be queer. Things like the f word that I dont say. You all know thats not fuck. What this means is you could write a great story with great characters and it didnt age well at all. My hope is that SEP has grown as an author and no longer has hurtful language like this aimed at a community. In that case, I can forgive the author (as we say around here when you know better, you do better.) If not, shes going on my no-go list. That said, I dont know if Ill touch a book prior to the 2000s by her again.
And if it were just that, it might be one thing. My other issue is this didnt feel like a romance. I want to like my characters in a romance-and thats about the only place thats necessary, and this golfer and spoiled British immigrant were really unlikeable, awful people. They werent charismatically horrible people (looking at you, Val of Duke of Sin, or legitimately manipulative but understandably so (Annabelle from Wallflowers)). They were awful. Awful to each other, awful to others, awful as a couple. And there was actually precious little of them as a couple. Some coupling ~1/4 in and some coupling 80% - I dont recall too much between there. Awful in their language. At one point...(view spoiler)[ Dallie kidnapped Francescas son. Thats a hard line for me...so was hitting his prior wife and slapping Francesca, but to pile on kidnapping was incredibly egregious and unreasonable. (hide spoiler)]
This two separate stories (though it may have been like 3-4) may have worked for me before(looking at you, Wild at Whiskey Creek but this couple didnt have the requisite shared experiences for that.
Anyway, unless you have a strong stomach for old school homophobia, along side misogyny, Id give this one a pass.
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