Thursday, April 15, 2010

Penelope Develops An Obsession For Books With The Word "Tycoon" In The Title

What exactly is a "tycoon" and why is it so damned popular in certain romance novels? According to the Merriam Webster dictionary, a tycoon is "a businessman of exceptional wealth and power: magnate." So, basically a tycoon is a really rich, powerful guy. Okay, I sort of get why that would be sexy. And, the tycoons in Maya Banks trio of books--The Tycoon's Pregnant Mistress, The Tycoon's Rebel Bride, and The Tycoon's Secret Affair-- are all hot Greek guys. I'm getting the whole tall, dark and handsome thing, with the added benefit of them speaking Greek, which is sexy.

Unfortunately, after I inhaled all three tycoon books in about 24 hours, I remembered that I've read a book by Maya Banks--Seducing Simon--which irritated me for a variety of reasons. (See Penelope's review here).

Here's the deal with these books, and the shocking (and embarrassing) conclusion I reached:

  • Tycoons are big a-holes. There's arrogant, and then there's I'm-going-to-strangle-you-if-you-tell-me-one-more-time-to-be-careful-walking-on-the-stairs. (Seriously, I think 50% of the dialogue of The Tycoon's Pregnant Mistress is Chrysander telling Marley to be careful walking on the stairs!). These guys are ridiculous!

  • The characters in these books are pretty unlikable and not very well developed. The women are whiny, manipulative, submissive, wishy-washy....Jiminy Cricket! I especially didn't like Jewel, the heroine of The Tycoon's Secret Affair. She jumps into bed with a total stranger, then gets pissed off when she's fired because she unwittingly slept with her new boss. She screams "You can tell Mr. Anetakis that he is the lowest form of pond scum...He's a gutless piece of chicken shit, and I hope he chokes on his damn cowardice." Nice manners, babe.

  • The TSTL moments are unbelievable. You're a pregnant woman with amnesia, and you allow a total stranger to take you to a secluded island and then jump into the sack with him at the first opportunity? You've been warned about potential kidnappings, but insist on escaping your security team so you can sub in for your friend at her stripper club, even though you've never danced before? (Hee hee....I love that one!). You find yourself pregnant after a one night stand and call the "chicken shit" up to insist he cares for you during your high risk pregnancy, even though you have a best friend who could do the job, who you are conveniently ignoring. Uh.....okay.

  • The purple prose is incredible. Here is an actual line from one of the books.... "She raced up a mountain slope and hurtled into a free fall of ecstasy." Also, "turgid manhood" was mentioned in the last book. ;)

  • Have you ever read a book and gotten the distinct impression that the author was intending to do something with a specific plot point, and then later changed her mind and just decided to wrap it up with a couple of dorky sentences? There is a kidnapping in book one, and the criminals are never apprehended. The threat of potential kidnappings for the heroines in books 2 and 3 is brought up repeatedly, and they both have a team of big, beefy security guys yapping at their heels. I was waiting for the kidnappers to strike again, get caught in a dramatic way, find out that they were actually 2nd cousins of the Greek family, something. Anything. It was like dangling a piece of unresolved plot in front of the reader's face. However, after waiting patiently throughout the third book for a bad guy to jump out of the bushes or something, Banks casually mentions that the kidnappers were caught in NYC. We never find out who they were or why. What the hell is that all about? Okay, end of rant.

Now for the embarrassing conclusion. In spite of the unlikable characters, bad purple prose, bizarre TSTL moments, and plot lines left dangling with no where to go, I still found myself addicted to these books. And, if Maya Banks suddenly decided to find a long-lost Greek brother in the family who wants his own tycoon book, I would probably read the damned thing. Why?

Well, I guess it all comes down to one simple thing....entertainment. These books entertained the hell out of me. I laughed my ass off at the purple prose. I gasped at the stupidity of the heroines. I shook my head at the "black moments" and their obvious conclusions. Maya Banks knows how to get a reader addicted to her storyline, and that is a very good thing.

Honestly, it was worth inhaling the whole trio just to say I've read a book with the title The Tycoon's Pregnant Mistress.

Happy reading,