I was delighted
to discover a romance where the "desert prince" lusts after a black woman. I waited till Sunday morning, so I could have a free afternoon of vicarious romancing.
Imagine my surprise when in the very first chapter the heroine is described as "sassy." Really? Of all the words to describe a black woman. Sassy? But that was a minor thing. I was willing to forget it, no one's perfect.
But then in the same chapter, the african-american heroine tells the love-interest that he doesn't "look american." WTF does American look like?
She then tells him "You speak our language quite well for a foreigner." Is that supposed to be a compliment? Especially since the English language, by all rights, belongs to... ya know... the English.
Still, relatively minor issues. It would have been ok if the sex scenes had been on point. They weren't.
I understand that Delaney is a virgin and as such is incapable of referring to a penis as a penis or a vagina as a vagina (because virgins are like that.. right? right?) But the wordly Prince Oddly-Sexually-Unaware-For-A-Guy-With-A-Full-Time-Mistress refers to his junk as "the area between his thighs."
Seriously, there are dozens of terms for penis if you're feeling shy. Manhood. Turgid length. Love stick. Just to name a few. But between Delaney and Prince My-Ding-A-Ling, the phrase "area between his/her thighs" was used four times.
There's a lot to dislike about this book. It hits all the "badly written romance" tropes. The virgin who apparently decided to bring multiple sets of see-thru lingerie on what was going to be a solo vacation to a remote cabin. The master of seduction has mastered a form of seduction so powerful that it can make a woman blackout just from kissing! The heroine falls in love with the hero in a single week. Hero intends to use condoms but, whoops! the sex is so powerful that it doesn't occur to him til too late. Hero and heroine are separated by worldly forces, afterwhich heroine discovers that she's pregnant. Hero has a feeling that heroine might be carrying (in most instances where I've seen this, the hero's feeling is the result of loving the heroine sooooo much that it forms an almost psychic connection. In this case, Allah, God of Islam, makes his first and only appearance just to tell Prince Forgot-To-Use-A-Condom that Delaney was preggo. Bravo.)
Also, for some weird reason, the hero kept mentioning Delaney's scent. Her feminine
scent. He kept sniffing at her. Literally inhaling her scent. At one point he says "your scent gave you away." It came off as creepy and gross. Stop that. Don't do that anymore.
I'm trying to remember if I rated Shades of Gray one star or two, because this was about as bad as that. Maybe slightly less bad.