Stereotype Much?: Every Breath You Take by Judith McNaught

Unforgettable characters, sizzling romance, and riveting suspense: these are the trademarks of McNaught. Returning to the lavish Chicago setting of her novel Paradise, and revisiting some of that book’s characters as well, this story will captivate readers.

Source: GoodReads

I really think McNaught was doomed with this book from the moment she titled it. She did realize the song is about stalking, right?

giphy

Honestly, she probably didn’t care. But just saying…the creepy element of the song though really doesn’t fit with the disappointing nature of the book.

If you haven’t read my other reviews about McNaught’s work all you should know is she’s one of the founding members of the modern historical and contemporary romance and when she’s on—she’s on. But when she’s not on, the reader feels like pulling out the various fictional characters’ hair, dunking their heads into a dirty toilet and then flushing it hoping that somehow the toilet will pull these pieces of shit down the drain.

Wow, after reading that line it sounds a lot more graphic than I mean it too—oh, well.

To be fair to McNaught, this isn’t the worst book I read for her. That would be Tender Triumph, a book you really never want me reading and reviewing because it would be a mega sized rant. However, Every Breath You Take is pretty bad and isn’t the sort of book you’d expect from a seasoned best selling author.

The general plot description of the book is promising, it looks like there will be some sort of mystery, a romance, and there’s glimpse of past favorites from Paradise and Perfect (though Julie Mathison’s head could spend some time in a stinky water closet too, come to think of it). However, the book fell flat.   While there were some elements that made me nostalgic for McNaught’s 90’s contemporaries this book felt half bake. The mystery that I described really wasn’t investigated and the resolution was told to us with very little fanfare.

Worse than the mystery, are the characters. Kate and Mitchell are both stereotypes at best.

Kate is especially offensive. She is what you think of what an Irish American Catholic might’ve been back in the 1950’s—complete with the stereotypical name (Mary Kate), Maureen O’Hara red hair, an Irish temper, a Catholic priest uncle, a father named “Danny”, a rendition of “Oh Danny Boy”, and the cherry on top is the pub she owns.

Yeah, get out the Guinness and me Lucky Charms out for that one.

Mitchell isn’t much better since he’s deemed the international business man. Though to be fair, he has no national identity—not really—so his culture and beliefs can’t be trashed that much. Though, he does have a stereotypical Italian sidekick…so

Yeah.

In addition to the murder mystery, there is a secret baby and the fallout and resolution of that is ridiculously smooth. I just…yeah, I missed the god damn angst from the previous McNaught books. I know McNaught released a revise version with an extremely creepy (from the dead dad’s POV) epilogue a few years after the original book was released but quite honestly other than sneaking a peak at that epilogue in Barnes and Noble I have no desire to buy another copy of a bad book. Especially after seeing that creepy epilogue. Really, you think I want to read the Dead Dad’s POV that’s like watching Ghost Dad—no bueno. Though to be fair, that epilogue was slightly less creepy than that bad movie since it didn’t have Bill Cosby in it.

I know that McNaught hasn’t realeased a title since this book—and I think it’s been almost ten years—and while a part of me wanted that book which was supposed to feature a modern day Westmoreland hero, but if it’s going to be the same qualitiy as this book I frankly don’t want it.

Either McNaught really had a phenomenal editor in the earlier part of her career, or she was just using this book as a tax write off to go to Antigua. Either way, I feel slightly cheated.

Overall Rating: A C

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