RogerBW's Blog

Do Your Worst, Rosie Danan 18 April 2024

2023 romance. She's a curse-breaker. He's a disgraced archaeologist with a famous father. They're both wotking on the same Scottish castle before it gets redeveloped…

Well. Yeah. The individual scenes are pretty solid, and I like Danan's writing style, but for me Riley Rhodes and Clark Edgeware [sic] never rose above generic protagonist status, and it was all very much bound up in American ideas of class. She's lower-class because she has Appalachian family and works in a bar while she's trying to get the curse-breaking to pay off as a career (trust me lady, it's harder than you might think), and so has Folksy Wisdom; he's English, and therefore upper-class, and therefore repressed and not Working Out His Issues the way that he should.

I mean, when they can actually talk to each other, rather than either snapping at the images they've built of each other or experiencing instant lust and falling into bed (they even have compatible kinks), that can be quite fun. But there's not a whole lot of that. And then the actual curse decides to take an interest in them too—which, I admit, does lead to the enjoyable scene of Riley constructing an improvised enemies-to-lovers magical ritual.

But the main reason this left a bad taste in my mouth was the way the real damage done to Clark by his family is dismissed as unimportant because A Family Should Be On Good Terms. I don't think Danan's necessarily even aware of what she's doing here, but if someone betrays you "for your own good" once, they're the sort of person who thought that was a good idea, and what's to stop them doing it again if you're stopid enough to give them back your trust? Family or not.

Hey ho. Interesting ideas, and I finished the book, but I can't recommend it.

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