This book is my punishment because I read an amazing book this week (the day I started it, I went straight home from work and read all night until I finished, it was that good) (it’s called The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender and it was wonderful and when I finished I sat on the couch and tried not to weep into my hands) (SO GOOD) and now the universe is like, fuck you Cate! Stop having such a great time reading books and shit! Stop having such good taste! Ughhhhhh. I’ve really done it now. I’ve read one too many excellent novels and now I’m being punished with THIS drivel, which by the way I found at my parents’ house so thanks a lot, Mom, this all your fault!
The book is called A Precious Jewel (MORE LIKE A PRECIOUS DOG TURD) and it’s by Mary Balogh, who has written her fair share of romance novels but I don’t remember any of them being so horrible. Our heroine, Priscilla aka Prissy, is a whore. Yes, a prostitute. But not, like, one of those sad sack boo hoo prostitutes. She has such a good attitude! She used to have money and a family, but they all died, so now she just really loves whoring! It’s the best! The john…I mean, hero…is Sir Gerald who’s unique tastes involve telling his women to just lay back and not move and not do anything. NOTHING! No touching! No noise! Just lay there! Basically all he wants is a warm hole. IT IS FUCKING GROSS AND I HATE HIM. But it gets worse, because Prissy all “oh, sir, I just love pleasing you, sir, thank you for letting me be your warm hole, sir, gosh you’re the greatest, sir.” I ALSO HATE HER TOO. After two months of this nonsense (three times a week! and of course she’s in love with him already!), another dude roughs Prissy up a little (sad) so instead of dropping her like a hot rock as he planned to (WHAT A CATCH THIS GUY), Sir Gerald makes her his mistress and sets her up in a little house and lets her buy her own furniture. “Oh, sir! Oh, thank you, sir! Buying furniture is ever so lovely! I do so enjoy it, sir! Oh, what a blessing to have this little house and be your full-time whore, sir! In this house that you bought me! That I decorated! Yes, sir, I would love to lay flat on my back while you mount me! Oh, life is GRAND!” BARF BARF BARF!!!!!!! Did Mary Balogh get hijacked? Is this actually written by Martin Balogh, who has the not-so-secret Stepford-ish fantasy in which the ladiez lay back and take it and then thank him for the not-pleasure? Because it’s gross. It is fucking gross and I hope there’s a freak London landslide and they both get crushed by boulders. I can’t even talk about the part where Sir Gerald is all, “I hate women! Women be bitchezzzzz!” and his earl buddy (BLESS YOU SWEET SIDE-CHARACTER) is like, “ummmmmm maybe you shouldn’t generalize all women like that?” and Sir Gerald is like “SHUT UP THEY’RE AWFUL AND I HATE THEM. Now where’s that whore I bought, I’m gonna stick it in her…”
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That’s me slamming my face on my keyboard. I’m going to slam my face until I forget about this terrible, awful, absolutely no good book and you, Keyboard, are going to lay there and take it! THAT SENTENCE WAS A JOKE BUT I STILL HATE MYSELF FOR WRITING IT.
Anyway, whatever, things continue to go great for our two not-in-lovebirds. And by “great” of course I mean “Prissy went for a walk without a chaperone and got hit on by two douchecanoes, which of course Sir Gerald saw go down, so he said lots of horrible and hurtful things to her the next time they saw each other BECAUSE SHE’S A WHORE and she almost immediately got over it and asked him if she could please, pretty please, give him pleasure again.” THIS BOOK IS HORRIBLE. I’m disgusted all the way down to the cellular level. My white blood cells are all like, “omg gross” and my stomach bacteria is like, “I know right!” We all agree that Sir Gerald is THE WORST and Prissy needs an immediate intervention/extraction/re-education because GIRL! This is bad news! In real life this story ends with Prissy getting murdered and stuffed into a suitcase. In romance-world…ughhhh. Things continue in this vein, with Sir Gerald at one point have a weird sort of monologue/fantasy where Prissy and his mom are, like, the same person (SO MANY ISSUES HERE) and then he shows up drunk and barfy and Prissy is all, ohhh poor babyyyyy let me take care of youuuuu, and then another time he shows up all sick and fevery and Prissy is all, ohhhh my darlinggggg I’ll make you souuuup, and then she in turn gets sick but, haha, she’s all alone for HER sickness, haha, WHO CARES, no big deal! NURSE YOURSELF, WHORE!!! Oh, and another time Sir Gerald thinks to himself, “I wonder if Prissy likes it when we have the sex? Because she never seems to move or make any noise? Aren’t women supposed to do that?” EXCEPT HE TOLD HER TO LIE PERFECTLY STILL AND SILENT! THAT’S WHAT HE WANTS!!!! HE’S HORRIBLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Oh! And another time! He’s going to go to his country home and he’s like, oh man should I take her? And at first he’s like, nahhhh, bitchez only cramp my style, but then IN THE MIDDLE OF HAVING CREEPY GROSS SEX he’s like “I’m taking you to the country and that’s final!” and she’s like “ummmm…? But…I didn’t say I wanted to do that?” and he has a huge tantrum BECAUSE SHE’S JUST A WHORE AND HE’S A MAN AND DOESN’T SHE KNOW THAT SHE HAS TO LISTEN TO HIM. In any other book, Sir Gerald would be the BAD GUY who’s made of PURE EVIL and then DIES VIOLENTLY at the hands of the REAL hero because he treated Prissy so badly! But no. Not here. It’s disgusting and I hate it. Mary Balogh, if this continues I’m going to relegate you to the DO NOT READ EVER EVER EVER list with Judith McNaught!
Some more gems: Sir Gerald has mommy issues! I know! HUGE SHOCKER! And he has SUCH a hate-on for his mother, wow. Also, he freely admits that he has no idea how to pleasure a woman. OH NO REALLY I CAN’T EVEN FUCKING BELIEVE THAT. And this other time, he catches Prissy reading a book and he’s like, “whoa! YOU can READ?!?!?!?!” and then she lights him on fire with her mind. Sorry, that last part didn’t really happen. But that would be amazing if she did!
They hang out in the country for a little while and then Sir Gerald’s buddy (remember? the one who cautioned Gerry against pigeon-holing all women into the “bitches” category?) shows up and the three of them have a merry fucking time. I mean, not a merry FUCKING time, there’s none of that. Just a nice, innocent, friendly time. And here’s the problem with that: the friend, the Earl, is a SUPER SUPER NICE GUY. Like, an actually good human being. And Prissy’s like, oh he’s handsome and whatever but I’m already in love with Sir Gerald so it
doesn’t matter. GIRL GET YOUR HEAD ON STRAIGHT AND PURSUE THAT EARL ASAP! Instead she continues having a boring, abusive time with that asshole. And then some more guys show up, and one dude is like “oh hey it’s Priss! Haha! Hey, Priss, did Gerald tell you that after he throws you aside, I can have you? Because we totally talked about it!” and then Priss gets upset and runs off, and Gerald goes after her (and meanwhile, the Earl is throwing some punches and chasing that riffraff off the property) and she’s like, “did you really say that?!” and he’s like, “oh Priss how could you even ask me that?!” which is a) CLASSIC ABUSIVE PRICK SIDE-STEPPING and b) YES YOU DID YOU TOTALLY SAID THAT YOU ARE HORRIBLE. And then they kiss, and it’s his FIRST KISS, and of course magically it’s awesome. And then they have sex, and it’s the first time he’s ALLOWED her to engage, and again of course he just
instinctively knows exactly what she needs. Whatever, dude. This continues on for awhile and they’re happy and whatever and then suddenly Sir Gerald is like, we are TOO happy! Also she reminds me of my stepmom who wanted to have sex with me!, so he ruins it and shuts down and turns back into a monster. UUUGGGGGGHHHHHH HE’S TERRIBLE. Then they go back to London and he’s a monster and he abandons her for awhile (GOOD RIDDANCE) and then comes back and is terrible and of course by now she’s pregnant
(UUUUUUUUUUUUUUGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHH) so she figures she needs to think up a way to get him to let her out of the contract before she starts to show, so she says that her family wants her to come home and he’s like ABSOLUTELY NOT YOU BELONG TO ME AND YOU BELONG WITH ME AND I REFUSE TO LET YOU LEAVE ME EVER EVER EVER and then he rapes her. Except, haha, of course it’s not really rape because she’s a
prostitute! She’s a mistress! She’s 100% ready to go all the time and is unrapeable. Fucking gag me with this bullshit. Then later they make up, of course, and he’s like, I’m such a nice guy that I’m going to let you take some time off from being my sex slave and go see your family! And she’s like oh awesome thanks great, but meanwhile…still pregnant.
Look, we’ve read books before. We know how this ends. She DOES NOT run away from him and raise her baby in a loving, nurturing environment. Actually, this is maybe the most telling part of this book, like maybe Mary Balogh recognizes that this guy is horrible? And it’s not a romance novel so much as a warning to her readers? Please let this be true? So Priss runs away but he finds her, of course, and he promises her that things will be different, of course, and she forgives him for everything, of course, and they agree to get married ASAP, of course, and they promise to life happily every after with their kiddos, of course. But here’s the thing! In any other self-respecting romance novel, there would be an epilogue showcasing the happy family and their happy life together and assuring us of their happy future. But here? THERE IS NO EPILOGUE! And you know why? Because there IS no happy ending. Because Sir Gerald is a damn monster. Because he is a horrible, awful character. Because as soon as that kid popped out he probably started throwing tantrums and getting jealous OF HIS OWN BABY BECAUSE HE IS AN EVEN HUGER BABY THAN AN ACTUAL BABY. Because this book is disgusting and everything about it is terrible (except maybe for the cover…I mean, I really appreciate the soothing lavender color scheme and the total lack of an image of Sir Gerald Jackhole). See what I mean? Maybe Mary Balogh didn’t forget to include an epilogue. Maybe she refused to include an epilogue because a) there can’t possibly be a good resolution to this story and b) she was so sick of spending time with Sir Gerald that she just needed to end it right away. I’m just saying…