Holy shit storm, Batman...
You might recall in my very ranty review of Tru Burn that Sandra absolutely killed my enjoyment of the story. Well, at the end of that book, she made an innocent sounding, but foreboding, comment that just had me going "please, no...anything but that".
And after reading the blurb for this book, I readjusted my hopes and instead, hoped that Sandra would at least go about her plan in the right way. Talk to Tru and Jones about what she wanted and at least give them time to think about their options. But, no, she did this very important, life changing thing in the worst possible way, and even used emotional blackmail to make sure that Tru complied with her wishes. All of that happened in the first chapter.
And even being warned about it by my friends that read Tru Flame before me, it still pissed me off enough that I wrote several ragey paragraphs dedicated to Sandra. Some of that rage is below (and above). I've edited it down a bit (you're welcome), but seriously, folks, I'm not happy with where this story went.
Sandra knew months ago that she didn't want to be a parent and that the baby would be going up for adoption. She could have talked to Tru and Jones about it, then, but no, she took the cowards way out, just like she always has. And they let her do it. Now, I get why they didn't fight her on it when all this happened, but it's inexcusable to me that they would even have to. But, also, I don't agree with just letting her walk all over them, especially for something this monumental.
Sandra's fucking with their lives doesn't even stop with the "guess what, guys, you're going to be parents because I can't be bothered" BS, either. Oh, no. Tru and Jones aren't even married yet. They're planning their wedding and have set the time frame for summer. But with the news of them adopting the kid, or else, they're having to change those plans, too. Talk about Drama Llama!
So this is the tone of the entire book. Have plans, guys? Too bad! You've got to deal with someone else's bad planning and cowardly actions, instead. Want to sleep or get sexy? Too bad, you've got a newborn, now, and he isn't on your schedule! Thankfully, they do manage some sexy-times, but let me tell ya, reading about trying to schedule sex and sleep around an infant's schedule is not why I read romance.
Sandra didn't want children. That's fair, and I get it. I never wanted children, either (and I don't have any). But it never once occurred to her to even ask Tru and Jones if they did? She just decided to drop parenthood on them, like it was some sort of gift basket. Who does this? I'm sure that parenthood can be very rewarding. It's also a major responsibility. You don't just hand someone a baby and say "you're the parent now -- surprise!!".
That isn't cool. At. All.
It's a given that Tru and Jones wouldn't want the baby to go to an anonymous family - I would totally expect that if Sandra had talked to them to begin with, they would have decided to adopt the baby and they would have planned for it. But here's the thing -- Tru never wanted to be a father and now he has little choice in the matter and no time to even get used to the idea. Does he seem to change his mind by the end of the story? Yeah, but again, he didn't really have much choice. Personally, I think he just resigned himself to fatherhood and decided to make the best of it.
I love this author, I do. But I absolutely hate where she took she took this story. It's full of family drama and it didn't have to be. And, all the way through Tru Burn and for a fair portion of Tru Flame, I just wanted it to end. I only finished it because I love Tru and Jones as a couple and I wanted to give the story a chance to redeem itself. But let me tell you, it wasn't easy and I kinda wish I would have stopped at book 1. And while I didn't hate the entirety of this book, I didn't really like it, either. It was just too much drama that could have been avoided by having a single conversation.
So, to Sandra Larkin, I have this to say -- FUCK YOU, YOU BAG OF DICKS!