In an effort to read things I already own, I’ve been letting a random number generator decide which book to pick up next. It’s not going so great, if you want me to be honest because, boy, do I have a lot of things lurking on my Kindle. I don’t remember how half of them got there.
This is one of those books and I didn’t make it to the end.
Quinn Bradford and Elise McKinney were on the piano prodigy circuit when they were in their teens. I’m not sure if this is actually a thing as I don’t listen to classical music. They have a bit of a playful, prank-filled relationship.
The majority of what I read takes place a decade later. Elise is in the hospital following a horrific car accident that claimed the life of her manager. She’s a concert pianist and, in the accident, she suffered several injuries. Most devastatingly, her hand was mangled and would need several surgeries to even remotely reach its full strength.
Quinn is part of a popular rock group that has appeared on magazine covers and won countless awards. He’s kind of a big deal. When he hears about Elise’s accident, he goes to visit her in the hospital.
I try to give a book around seventy-five pages (give or take) before I call it quits. As I was reading this on my Kindle, I’m not too sure how far I got. However, I stopped before their hospital reunion scene was even over. Operating on a “three strikes and you’re out” rule, there were three distinct issues that caused me increasing infuriation and I just knew I wasn’t going to enjoy this book.
Strike 1: Needless jealousy
Elise has been in the hospital for awhile by now. I’m unsure of the actual time, but enough to have at least one surgery. When Quinn arrives, he brings a backpack full of necessities and toiletries put together by his friend’s fiancee.
Elise comments about how thoughtful that is, to which Quinn agrees that his friend’s fiancee is a pretty nice person.
Elise is very, very jealous of this other woman.
Meanwhile, Elise hasn’t seen Quinn in ten years. Their last time together, he swiped her v-card (a fact that gets mentioned over and over) and then bails on her. He doesn’t text or call or write. I get that the lack of closure might cause Elise to still have some unresolved feelings for Quinn, but he just said that this woman is engaged to another dude. Yet, one innocuous compliment from Quinn, and Elise feels the talons of the dreaded green-eyed monster.
It seemed so silly and made me worry for any future mentions of other women. God forbid Quinn talks to another woman in this entire romance. I’d hate to think how Elise would react.
But overall, this was the only moment from Elise that made me a bit grumpy. The rest of the issues I had solely rested with Quinn.
Strike 2: Hospital boners
Elise goes to change into one of the nightshirts that was in her backpack stash. Upon coming out of the bathroom, her legs give out and Quinn catches her. That touch is enough for him to pop a boner. He can’t stop thinking about her hard nipples, even though he knows he shouldn’t be thinking sex thoughts right now.
Correct. He shouldn’t. And I physically recoiled during his ogling.
Okay, first. Hospitals are fucking freezing. I have never not been cold at a hospital. I don’t blame Elise for blasting her high-beams. She’s probably not even aware of it and just wants to get back into bed and under a million layers of those wafer-thin blankets.
Elise is also pretty bruised up and has stitches in her forehead. It just made me feel so gross at how vulnerable Elise was, physically and emotionally, but yet we get a couple paragraphs about Quinn’s dick. The poor woman has stitches IN HER FACE and he wants to focus on her hard nips? NO THANKS.
Injuries aside, it’s revealed that Elise has lost several people important to her. In the past year, her dad died and her fiancé called off their engagement. Then, she loses her manager in an accident that she survived. This poor woman is going to need a lot of therapy of all sorts and her career may very well be over. Quinn’s dick is the last thing any of us need to be worrying about.
Strike 3: Privacy
As I mentioned before, Quinn bailed on Elise after taking her virginity and ghosted her. He had a little man-trum about how Elise is too good for him and yada yada yada. He then shows up a decade later to bring her flowers and check on her at the hospital, after hearing about her accident.
Elise, naturally, has a moment of WTF. She’s standoffish and doesn’t tell him the full extent of her injuries. Why should she? It’s none of his goddamn business and she’s still raw with not only grief, but the long road of physical therapy she has ahead.
Quinn suspects that Elise’s condition is worse than she is making it seem. While she’s asleep, he decides to poke around her medical chart.
Let me repeat that.
He looks at her medical records while she is sleeping!
After the stunt you pulled on a teenage Elise, do you honestly think she owes you anything? Least of all, divulging to you after years apart how her condition could keep her from playing piano ever again? I’m sure just seeing Quinn, a man who also is gifted with playing piano, is a harsh reminder for Elise.
These three things were just one scene. One. I legitimately worried for my blood pressure if I continued any further.
I have no time for a hero who can’t respect boundaries. And who has a dick like a nosy landlord, popping in at the most random and inconvenient of times.
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