Review by Kylie Thompson
Rating: 1 star
Genre: romance… kinda? It’s mostly just baffling. See also: random wtfery, chick(en) lit.
It’s Mother’s Day. The time you show you really care by buying her cleaning supplies that make her hate you, and buying crappier junk food because you’re too lazy to cook for her one day a freakin’ year.
This year, KFC has decided to sweeten the deal for her, with a free* Colonel Sanders romance novella through Amazon. You know, just in case you decided to forgo the microfibre giftset this year, you can DL the woman who gave you life a freebie book to make it up to her. I’m sure she’ll be thrilled.
Yup. I read it so you don’t have to. If that isn’t the best Mother’s Day present of all, well, I don’t know what to tell you except you’re wrong.
I don’t even know where to start, because ‘Tender Wings of Desire’ is a goldmine. There are questions, certainly. Firstly, perhaps most importantly: Why is the cover heroine wearing jeans when she’s apparently English nobility in the time of corsets and embroidery fetishes? Why is that bucket of chicken just floating, ghostlike, behind them? And why didn’t anyone tell me that Colonel’s hair was blonde, not grey, so I haven’t spent a lifetime thinking he’s an old guy?
Also? Why does he look so baffled? Is he upset she’s eating all his ghost chicken? Wondering who invented time travelling take out? Worried she’ll get grease on his white clothes? Is he wondering who stole his sleeves while it’s cold enough for her to need a jumper? Or why the hell she has car keys when she’s only got a horse? Or if they really had oversized soul patches in Victorian England? Is he wondering if all the hormones in that chicken have made him practically immortal at this point?
I’m just saying, there’s a lot of questions. And once you start reading, there’s just a lot more questions. Mostly of the ‘why’ variety.
The plot, of course, is about as cheesy as that time you got dared to get quadruple extra cheese on your already extra-cheesy Zinger burger, and ended up at the ER. It’s like they sent the Colonel to a cheese factory, and he brought samples of everything back with him to drunkenly smear between some pages.
So, so cheesy.
It’s a tried and true, not particularly Original Recipe: girl is forced into an arranged marriage. Girl runs away to be a bar wench in a town that sounds like it’s named for a sexually transmitted disease. Girl meets salty sailor with glasses and hair that is definitely blonde and totally not grey, y’all. Girl/author does not know the difference between ‘lay’ and ‘lie’ and breaks my heart and my soul with this fundamental misunderstanding. Girl begins to Feel Things (like that time you added too much Tobasco to your Supercharged Zinger and had to go to the ER).
There are some Double Tender (burger) moments, of course, and the usual Variety (Feast) of overdone tropes. If you’re looking for a fresh twist on the genre, well… this just isn’t the Spicy Hot Twister tale you’re looking for. Sorry.
‘Tender Wings of Desire’ is the sort of literary trainwreck you’ll want to settle in with some popcorn (chicken) to enjoy. And by enjoy, I mean ‘mock unmercifully and try not to think about the way you’re never getting those hours back’.
Happy Mother’s Day!
* Not always free. And even if you don’t pay money for it, you’re paying in other, soul-destroying ways. Just a thought.