TERRIBLE PROSE TUESDAY: Obvious villain is obvious

Love triangles are a fixture of many romances. I have mixed feelings about them, but I have no problem with another character posing an obstacle to the main love story, especially if it’s done well (see Clockwork Prince.)

As this book is a modern-day retelling of Pride and Prejudice, it’s only fitting that the heroine of Jenni James’ Pride and Popularity fall for the wrong guy somewhere along the way.

I realize that people know the original story well enough that they see a lot of the original “twists” (e.g., Wickham is actually a bad guy with dishonorable intentions) coming.

HOWEVER. If you are adapting an older work, IT IS YOUR JOB to reimagine these plot points in a creative way. This novel is missing both foreshadowing and subtlety. This particular passage is as bad as–if not worse than–Theo’s creepy letter in A Thousand Pieces of You.

This conversation comes up in the middle of a discussion of “Magnum, P.I.” where Chloe (Elizabeth) and Blake (Wickham) come onto the topic of Taylor Anderson (Darcy). Blake is so filled with rage he ALMOST SAYS THE A-WORD.

After a cringe-worthy conversation about swearing (side note: lots of people complain that people sound stupid when they swear. You know what sounds even more stupid? Substituting words like “chicken butt.”), Blake asks when Chloe turns 18. Because that’s not disgusting.

First of all, WHO TALKS LIKE THIS? Is this how flirting works!? Have I been doing it wrong?

Second of all, WHAT GIRL HEARS THIS AND DOES NOT IMMEDIATELY THINK SHE’S TALKING TO A RAPIST?

Blake Winter is the rapiest of all the rapesters.

FUN STORY, the twist in this iteration of Pride and Prejudice is that Wickham/Winter is…actually a rapist.

He drugged and “took advantage of” an underage girl, went to trial, and was never convicted.

I’m not sure Mr. Winter comprehends the severity of his past actions, though, or even understands what rape is.

“You better call me the second you’re eighteen, you hear?”
“Why?”
“Because then you won’t be jailbait. Don’t worry–I won’t ravish you before then.”

Pro tip: age doesn’t matter if she’s unconscious.

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