I have No Idea What is Happening in Texas
Hello out there to those of you above ground. It’s Friday the 13th today and that means bad luck. What was my bad luck today? Reading Temptation by Brenda Jackson.
I tend not to like romance books much and this one is a prime example of why not. From a barely there plot, to poorly developed characters, to really weird obsessions with mouths, this book was awful from start to finish. It was so bad that I was at times baffled and at times just straight up angry at how bad this could be.
Here’s the thing though, when I read something that I think is awful, I just obsess over it somehow. How did this get made? Why? Who thought publishing this was a good idea? But then it hit me, there is only one answer to this riddle for Temptation. I need to find out right from the horses mouths (yeah cause Texas and horses and… ah never mind). So, lucky for me, I have run into several of the characters in the book! I will be interviewing them below. I have no idea how they ended up in the fifth room of my dungeon but here they are. I wish I could say it was good to see people but well… maybe next time send someone with a ladder so I can get out of here?
Anyway, I am going to provide a quick summary of the (for lack of a better term) plot and then dive right into the interview.
Sheila Hopkins is an emergency room nurse in Royal, Texas. One day she is driving and sees a hunka hunka burning man meat in the car next to her on the way to work. She gets to work and surprise, surprise, surprise, Mr. man meat is there and meets her. This guy is Zeke Travers who is a private investigator. A baby was left abandoned and someone is trying to name Zeke’s best bud and client Brad as the father. It’s part of a blackmail scheme to get some money out of rich folks who are in charge at the Texas Cattlemen’s Club. Zeke and Sheila hit it off and Sheila, within minutes of meeting an abandoned baby is supposed to take care of it for two weeks while the custody of said baby is worked out. Sheila takes a shine to the kid and names her Sunnie, Zeke takes a shine to Sheila and they kiss a lot while ridiculously saying they should stay away from each other. Zeke has to keep an eye on Sheila cause what if she is some kinda psycho who just was handed a baby (never mind that it’s kind of psycho to hand over a baby to a stranger). Zeke and Sheila hook up, break up (but not really), hook up some more, have some fights, Zeke figures out the plot, Sheila has to give up the baby but it’s okay because now she can have babies with Zeke. Happy ending and holy crap there are a bunch more books in this series.
Let me give a warm Slick Dungeon welcome to my guests, Sheila Hopkins, Zeke Travers, Sunnie, and Bradford Price.
Slick: Hi Sheila, nice to meet you. So you were a nurse for the whole book but you never did any nursing other than taking a kid home. What are your thoughts about taking a baby home instead of you know, leaving it say, at the pediatric ward of your hospital?
Sheila: Neither me nor my kitchen would be able to handle all the heat Zeke and I would make.
Slick: uhmmm, that didn’t really answer the question. About the baby…
Sheila: Earlier in the day a man proposed to his his girlfriend in the E.R. It was very romantic.
Slick: Uh, ok. I mean have you been in an Emergency Room? It’s noisy, smells weird and occasionally people walk in with a severed finger in a mason jar full of ice. Is that actually romantic? Anyway, about this kid who you took care of…
Sheila: I named her Sunnie because she stopped crying and smiled at me. That makes me most qualified to be her mother.
Slick: I’m not sure that fits the definition of qualified but at least you are on topic this time. What made you so attracted to Zeke?
Sheila: Have you seen him? He has a mouth that is hot. Also he said to me, “Good. Because if I get arrested, Sheila, so do you. And it would be my request that we get put in the same jail cell.”
Slick: Okay, first off, I doubt you would get the request granted. Secondly, a jail cell? Is that supposed to be romantic? I kind of think your idea of romantic locations is a bit off here. Was it tough keeping Sunnie? You didn’t seem to have much experience with infants when she was randomly given to you.
Sheila: Zeke did a background check on me and I got sooo mad. Then he built a crib while I showered. We kissed. Zeke smelled good. Most of the men at the hospital smell sanitized. Zeke reminds me of a real man’s scent.
Slick: Wasn’t he all sweaty from building the crib and like hauling things in for you?
Slick: Okay gross. Also, just because you smell sanitary really does not mean you are not a “real man”. I think a lot of male nurses, doctors, and people who don’t like to stink might take offense at that. But since you keep bringing up Zeke, let me switch gears and speak with him.
Slick: Hi Zeke, you are a private investigator who did almost nothing for two weeks while Sheila took care of a kid that you first handed over, then thought, maybe I should do a background check on this woman that I gave a kid to. Were you suspicious of Sheila? And do you think maybe the background check could have happened prior to the baby hand off?
Zeke: Sheila attracted me right off. I kissed her, even though I had only met her earlier in the day, first at a stop light, then when I gave her a baby to take care of. This kind of mouth interaction with Sheila was stirring things inside me that I’d tried to keep at bay with other women.
Slick: TMI dude. So, Sunnie was not even five months old and cried a lot and had been literally abandoned on a doorstep of a club that your friend Brad is a part of. Yet, you wondered why the kid didn’t have a bed time. You don’t know how babies work do you?
Zeke: My friend Brad is a good man. He hired me. I own a big ranch. I have a niece and nephew too so I know about kids. Did I mention I kissed Sheila?
Sheila: Even after brushing my teeth I could still taste Zeke.
Slick: You need to brush better.
Zeke: Sheila tasted good. I couldn’t get enough of it, which is why I was eating away at her mouth with a relentless hunger.
Slick: Dude, stop, we have been over this. TMI.
Sheila: But he’s so romantic. He said, “I want to cherish you with my mouth, Sheila.”
Slick: I’ve watched a movie where space zombies try to take over the planet and no one in that film said anything even close to as weird as that. Let’s try talking about something else. There was a hurricane threatening your neighborhood, Sheila. Zeke did what a responsible guy would do and came over to check on you. Then he basically pressured you into moving into his house to wait the storm out. That seemed reasonable because, hurricane. But you asked him not to seduce you while you were there. He wouldn’t agree to that. Sheila, that’s seriously disturbing behavior, why didn’t you call the cops on Zeke?
Sheila: I went to his house knowing I was attracted to his mouth.
Slick: Okay… Uh, Zeke, did you not think it was messed up to basically say, stay at my house to ride out the hurricane but I won’t promise to keep my grubby mitts off you to Sheila?
Zeke: Brad is a good man. I own a ranch. I had to clear his name and to do that I had to mostly spend time with Sheila. My job was to investigate the crime so I stayed with the caretaker of the baby.
Slick: Er, you really sucked at your job and at being a decent guy. Hurricanes are not prime opportunities to coerce women.
Sheila: I stayed way longer than after the hurricane was a threat. I can’t admit my feelings for Zeke.
Slick: I would say all the kissing you did is kind of an admission.
Zeke: There’s something about Sheila’s scent that makes me want to mate.
Slick: Seriously dude. TMI.
Zeke: I could only imagine the outcome of this mating. But I needed it the way I need to breathe.
Slick: The outcome is pregnancy. In case you didn’t notice, there was a baby the whole time. That’s the outcome of mating. and let me just say this again, T.M.I.! But speaking of the baby, it was really convenient that she cried a lot at the beginning and then kept her attention on Sheila so she could be given over. Then it was even more convenient that she didn’t cry later in the book when you guys were doing weird mouth things and mating and what not. Sunnie, do you have anything to say about this?
Slick: Well I suppose you are kind of a plot device.
Brad: That’s my job. I’m a good man. I was set up. My brother had a kid with a woman, was killed by her and her drug dealing boyfriend then they tried to blackmail me with his kid. This is all explained in about two whole paragraphs in the book.
Slick: True. Sheila, you seemed to get surprisingly angry and depressed over the fact that Zeke might miss a flight while trying to catch a crook. Are you over that?
Sheila: Oh totally. We got married and Brad and this other woman Abigail that I met just days ago who seems to be interested in Brad was there.
Slick: Uh, more in this horrible series to come then?
Brad: Yeah. See when I told Zeke I had a genetic link to the baby, he left the building without any explanation and then hooked up with Sheila. We figured out it was my brother’s kid but not before I made Abigail cry. Then we watched a tape with Abigail that literally could have solved the entire crime if Zeke had just done his job and showed it earlier to the people at the Texas Cattlmen’s Club. But he was mating with Sheila. I get my turn next. With Abigail that is.
Zeke: Well, I did have to fly to Dallas and then be almost late for when Sheila gave back the baby, so I could watch other people arrest the bad guy. So I called my super rich dad who I was estranged from until a few years ago and ask to fly in his jet. Then while on that jet I bought a wedding ring for Sheila and proposed to her.
Slick: You proposed in a parking lot outside of the Texas Cattlemen’s Club?
Zeke: I did and she said yes.
Slick: I guess it’s better than an Emergency Room. How did you propose?
Sheila: He said, “Do you love me enough to wear my last name, have my babies and spend the rest of your life with me?”
Slick: Err. I don’t know where to begin here. First, is a last name something you wear? In my experience I mostly say it, spell it or sign it. Also, I would just like to mention that they wouldn’t just be Zeke’s babies. They would be yours as well. Spending the rest of your life, I have no problem with. But seriously, Zeke, you are one weird dude.
Brad: But he knows I am a good man. I bet he shows up in my book!
Slick: I will not be reading that. Thanks for finding your way here down in the dark. Now all of you, get out!
Slick drops microphone and releases various types of lethal oozes to get them to leave.
I hope you enjoyed my exclusive interview. Next week I will be back with another review. This time I will be reading The Last Chance Olive Ranch by Susan Wittig Albert. I guess someone already must have taken the first chance olive ranch?