Slow Dance with the Best Man by Sophie Pembroke

slow-dance-with-the-best-man-by-sophie-pembroke

Taming Hollywood’s Best Man 

Shy Eloise Miller has hidden from attention since her mother’s scandalous affairs destroyed her family. So having to act as maid of honour in a glitzy celebrity wedding is her worst nightmare!

Under the glare of the world’s media, she’s paired with best man Noah Cross. On paper, this commitmentphobic Hollywood heartthrob is everything Eloise avoids. But soon he’s unlocking Eloise’s secret hopes, and tempting her to believe that her dreams of forever might come true…

Slow Dance with the Best Man by Sophie Pembroke

I really liked this book – with one exception. In fact – and despite the speed the relationship moves at – it was one of the best books in this category romance line I have ever read.

And yet it was so painfully misogynistic in so many places, that if the writing had been even just a little bit worse, I would not have finished it.

So, this is one of the best-written and most sexist books I have read.

This Mills and Boon/Harlequin line puts out books that are short and sweet. That means simple storylines and no sex. However, Slow Dance with the Best Man is definitely the steamiest one I’ve ever read from Harlequin Romance. No, there are no actual sex scenes, but there’s the before and after, and lots of naked conversations, and I am actually surprised one of the publisher’s most conservative lines let this one get through!

I was also very surprised that there was so much substance to the story. I’ve read a lot of these books set in castles and stately homes in Britain, but this is by far the most memorable.

Both movie star hero and reluctant to be in the spotlight heroine had strong character arcs, and complex careers they were hoping to move ahead in. Their romance was convincing. They had issues outside their growing relationship, and backstories with some substance to them. It made for a much stronger book.

Yes, the relationship moves at such a fast pace, and yet somehow the author convinced me it was realistic. That takes some talent.

I also liked that she made sure to use British/US English correctly for her characters from different countries – but WITHOUT going over the top with “cute cultural differences” conversations like most people do.

However, is it really too much to ask for authors to stop making awful, misogynistic stereotype “blonde bitch” characters? I am so tired of it – and am especially tired of the word “blonde” being used like we’re immediately supposed to know it means the character is bad.

The villainess in this book is beyond evil. She does not have a single redeeming feature. And that is unrealistic.

On page two we are told that she’s a blonde, and that therefore she’s a typical “mean girl” (this is such a sexist term that women should eliminate from their speech). Also, women Do Not stamp their dainty foot when they’re angry!

A little while later, we’re told about all those nasty “Hollywood blondes” and how they’re all the same. And then we get the usual reference to all the pretty blondes probably having breast implants…

On and on – and on – it goes, for the whole book.

If I read one more author who describes excited “bimbo” women as “squealing”, I might…

A blur of blonde.

Cruel. Evil. Nightmarish. A total witch in a blonde wig.

Why would the best man refer to the bride like this? He knows her!:

Because some blonde asked you to wear a pretty dress.

Nobody would ever say: some brunette!

It is so crazily unrealistic that a woman would be 100% evil just because of her hair colour that it ruined what would otherwise possibly have been a five-star read. I am really interested in the secondary romance, which I assume is the feature of another book. However, I know it will be more of the same when it comes to the “other woman”…

It was a disappointing aspect of an otherwise highly readable book, and one that is full of substance in a category line that usually has simple storylines and fairly bland characters.

I do also wonder how in the world the heroine could randomly move to and live in America – visa regulations exist, and the US is no piece of cake even for people who are married to an American!

I will highly recommend this, on the condition you don’t become a woman-hater because of it.

 

Review copy provided by NetGalley.

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One thought on “Slow Dance with the Best Man by Sophie Pembroke

  1. Pingback: The Week: 9th -15th January | Sonya's Stuff

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