Saturday, January 20, 2018

Stay Close (For You) by Alexa Riley

Rating: unrated | 46 pages | Carina Press | Contemporary | 7/17/2017 | Buy Now !

Stay Close  is spin-off series featuring the daughter of the hero/heroine in , His Alone, book two of Alexa Riley's For Her series. I've heard a lot about Alex Riley from the Scandalicous and The Nerd Herd  podcast and I was curious to give her a go. . . also this was free. Going in I understood that the age gap between high school senior Penelope and the Russian bodyguard, Ivan, hired to protect her wasn't going to be my thing. But when I began to understand that Alexa Riley is about "insta-love, over-the-top, sweet, and cheesy love stories that don’t take all year to read" I got what they were doing here.

I can see why the characters went from meeting to insta-love in like a week, but I wasn't expecting it to  veer towards extreme heteronormativity where the hero is the dark and brooding strong protector (who does pull ups on a metal pole cause he's a MAN) and the heroine's best quality is that she is pure and innocent. Penelope cooking and serving Ivan breakfast (and technically lunch, why yes he joins her for lunch AT HER HIGH SCHOOL) endears her to him. She's pretty, smart and eventually decides to become a stay at home mom. It's not my type of romance, but I get it.

But see there is this one scene.

To set it up, Ivan is bringing Penelope and her twin sister back home after they snuck out. Ivan and Penelope sleep together for the first time (Ivan lives in the  guest house out back), Ivan wakes up super early, asks Penelope's mom for permission to marry her, then buys an engagement ring.

So, after all that they all go to breakfast and tell the dad about the engagement

[Dad's] attention goes straight to my finger. I make no move to cover the ring.
“Penelope,” my dad says, and I stand at attention.
“Watch your tone,” Ivan says.

I almost threw my iPad across the train. The dad gave Ivan a job, let Ivan live in his guest house and this man sleeps with his high school daughter (who still lives under his roof) and has the nerve to talk to him like this ? In his own kitchen ? Fear not, it just takes a few paragraphs for the dad to get on board but I don't know.

So yeah, this genre of book is not for me but I will say all the insta-love and  crazy-saucenes of it did keep me entertained while traveling.

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