How To Date A Douchebag by Sara Ney

Major parts of this book drove my crazy. Cute banter and an adorable heroine salvaged it overall though.

This is a typical jock/nerd romance. Those are frequently a cute fun read. I read this one in one sitting. James was wonderful. Sassy and funny. Focused without being weird and over the top. Some of her dialogue with Oz had me grinning big.

The issue i had with this story was one that i frequently have with contemporary romance – the hero’s relationship with women before he meets the heroine. There’s this thing that authors like to do where the hero is sort of a bumblefuck. What i mean is that the author creates a male character who just sort of stands there and allows women to use him sexually. We’re to believe that he doesn’t go looking for these encounters, but that he’s so irresistible that women offer themselves to him or attack him when he’s in most social settings. Of course, if the hero pursued these women and then dumped them he’d be a cad – the reader would hate him. So the author employs this idea of our hero as a sort of human vibrator with social cachet. He’s so gorgeous and prestigious that women are desperate to use him or please him simply for the celebrity that comes with having such a well-known penis inside of them.

At one point early in this book our hero has an encounter with a young lady at a party. I don’t remember his exact words – but something along the lines of “i’ll let you fuck me if you shut up.” This is after she has come up to him and rubbed herself all over him – so desperate, in a world full of dicks, for this one magic dick that she’s willing to be mocked, silenced, and then fucked up against a wall by a man that doesn’t know her name. At this point the hero, and to some degree the author, have lost most credibility with me. What am i supposed to do with this information? With this view of the hero as a cat scratching post? He’s just a place to go when your pussy is itchy. He’s not a person.

This line of thinking ruins a lot of books for me. I’m not blaming the authors. It’s who i am leaking into my reading. But i think there has to be a more subtle, less dehumanizing, way to show that the main character was a commitmentphobe. Unless the author wants me to think that he’s a gross non-person to be fucked and discarded? Maybe i missed the point of the story.

Eventually Oz sort of developed into a character. Not a particularly deep or interesting one – but he moved past a living BoB. And the story was cute. The only drama in the book was created by a cheap trick – and it was annoying, but not the end of the world. I enjoyed the choppy writing style – it was easier for me to get into than the trend of over-explaining and verbosity. Not a bad little book – i think my issues with the hero’s treatment of women is build-up from dozens of books like this. This may have been the proverbial straw – or possibly it was because i liked other aspects of the book enough that i was truly disappointed.

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