Review: House of Glass

House of Glass by Michelle Reid
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Here’s another book that’s going to be hard for me to not get shouty about because it holds some personal triggers and made me so mad at the so-called hero that I found it hard to forgive him at the end even if he did try to make up for his dickishness. His assholery in this book and his overall boorish behavior toward the heroine are just epic hall of fame stuff, bordering on psychotic, even considering the events that transpire. But then again, it’s a Michelle Reid, so it’s compulsively readable and of course, super angsty.

Dane is mad at Lily because he really, really wants to have sex with her all the time, not just once, ALL THE TIME, but he can’t, because Lily is married to his younger brother, Daniel. He’s extra super-mad at her because he found out Lily is hella into him just before she married Daniel because they made out in his apartment and Lily was really responsive, but she married Daniel, anyway, because she’s a money-grubbing, gold-digging whore and why can’t Daniel see that. UGH, STUPID LILY. She’s the reason why Dane is so mean to women and can’t commit to anyone because Dane only wants Lily and can’t stop thinking about her even after all these years, so he pushes everyone away. UGH, LILY IS SO AWFUL, THAT STUPID HO. And then Daniel did the most unexpected thing: he died in a car accident and now Lily is a widow. Of course, Dane rushes to her side and he’s like, OH DANE, STOP IT WITH YOUR BOY HORMONES, YOUR BROTHER JUST DIED but he can’t help himself because all he wants to do is assault Lily and get all up in her grill, even though Lily is still bloody because she was right next to Daniel when he died and she’s a little bit shell-shocked right now. But Dane is a relentless, angry testosterone machine who will not be appeased. Give her time to grieve, guy. Her husband died just five minutes ago. But Dane wants to know why Lily married Daniel when it was so obvious to everyone that she wanted Dane’s bone so bad and is Lily going to marry the guy she’s having an affair with now that her husband Daniel is dead? Lily and Daniel, as it turned out, were very good friends with a guy named Mark and Dane likes to insinuate that it was a menage a trois. Because he’s a dirty bird.

But Lily is not the Jezebel that Dane paints her to be. Silly reader, they never are. Lily and Daniel had a marriage of convenience, which at the time, seemed to be the perfect solution for both of their problems. For Lily, she needed the money to help her father with the hospital bills for her ailing mother. For Daniel, it was a little bit more complicated. Dane and Daniel’s grandfather owned a dude ranch and they employed a rather loosey-goosey girl who set her sights on Daniel. Daniel, who was trying to prove to their grandfather that he was just as manly as his older brother, began a flirtation with the girl, but it got a little out of a hand when the girl went bunny-boiler on him. The girl threatened to make some trouble for him with his grandfather, so he needed to get married to avoid a scandal and Lily agreed to be his wife, provided that Daniel help her with her mom’s hospital bills. As for Mark, he and Lily are life-long friends, and he attended the same university as Lily and Daniel. Mark is an artist, Daniel a horse-breeder, and along with Lily, the three of them lived on the ranch in harmony until Daniel died. With Daniel gone, Dane is suddenly up in Lily’s face, trying to get her to confront certain truths about herself that she’s not quite ready for and demanding womanly reactions from her that her body wants to say yes to, even though all of her instincts are telling her to run away screaming.

STOP!! BELOW IS WHERE I REVEAL ALL PLOT POINTS!! YOU’VE BEEN WARNED!!

If you haven’t guessed already, Daniel was gay and Mark was his lover and had been since uni. Lily was their beard. As it turns out, Lily is not the big fat whore that Dane had thought she was all this time because she still possessed the all-important big V, the separator of the whores from the whore-nots. That is, until he angrily deflowered her and treated her like a ha-penny slag. Dane refused to believe this “ugly slur” against his dearly departed brother despite all evidence to the contrary: Lily had a separate bedroom from Daniel, while Daniel and Mark had rooms next to each other with a connecting door in between. Oh and yeah, Lily was a virgin all this time, enduring the most horrible abuse from Dane about her so-called loose morals. Lily tells Dane that Daniel was gay and Dane, upstanding and sensitive guy that he is, basically calls her a lying bitch and accuses her of even nastier things, like shitting on his brother’s grave, just to justify her affair with Mark, who is ALSO GAY, DANE. SWEET CHRISTMAS!! The man is such a thick-headed mule and so obtuse that he’s almost unbearable to read about. I was just so horrified about his reaction to Daniel being gay, like it was a personal affront to him, that I almost did not finish the book. HELL-O, Daniel married Lily so their grandfather would not disown him because the old man had believed Daniel was a girly-man, which was what pushed Daniel to flirt with the psycho farmhand in the first place. WHAT THE FUTZ, Dane?!?

After Dane ravages Lily and she’s basically a shell of her former self in one corner, he tells her they could probably try to have a relationship or something in six months, so people won’t talk and say she’s a whore for moving on so quickly to her dead husband’s brother. Something about people living in glass houses? And suddenly he’s so concerned about her reputation. Lily’s like, whatever, and goes home to her native Australia and tries to forget Dane, which we all know would be impossible because he’s her One True Love, the silly goose. All this time, Mark has been in Hong Kong and Hong Kong is on the way to Australia from London, so Dane’s like, you whore, I knew it. Sweet Christmas, cut it out, Dane. Mark is gay. GAYER THAN THE HAMILTUNES GROUP WHO HANGS OUT AT A COFFEE SHOP IN WEST HOLLYWOOD ON THURSDAY NIGHTS. Ugh. This effin’ guy. Dane told Lily that six months would be the appropriate time apart they would need so people wouldn’t talk, but he didn’t tell Lily that he meant SIX MONTHS TO THE DAY and that he would need to hear from her because she would need to be the one to make the first move. WHY!?! I guess it kind of makes sense because Lily making the first move would signal her readiness to move on from her grief, but when Dane doesn’t hear from her six months to the day, he sends her a fax, demanding that she return to London because he needs her (which kind of made me choke up, to be honest). Lily goes back to London and Daniel is all sorts of mad at her because she blew past the deadline of SIX MONTHS TO THE DAY and he thought she didn’t want him anymore. D’awww. That’s kind of cute (he sent her a frickin' fax!). But Dane is still a humongous prick. And then he tells her he went to Hong Kong to see Mark because he thought she was there and ended up spending time with Mark to get his side of the story and got to know Daniel that way. So now he’s okay with Daniel being gay.

Like I said, this is a Michelle Reid, so it’s compulsively readable and super angsty, but it was really challenging for me in parts because of the triggering anti-gay stuff. It’s funny, I guess, that I tend to project my own values on the hero of the moment, believing that he’d be as progressive as I am: feminist (fat chance), an LGBTQ ally, vegetarian (hah!), a tree-hugger (all those private jets? Yeah, right!), and a lover of animals (umm… all of those HP heroines in the 80s and 90s wearing mink?), but it’s laughable because everyone has their own projection of a hero. As a Liberal American, it gets hard sometimes to reconcile my love of Harlequin Heroes with my own progressive values because 99% are throwbacks to a “golden” age where “men were men” and I get irrationally upset when I come across a “hero” like Dane who is definitely not anyone’s idea of a modern man (he sent her a fax!) and yet, I’m the one who chooses to read these older HPs when “men were men” and actually prefer them over the news ones. I don’t know, maybe I’m just a masochist, or one of these thoroughly modern females who just needs a REAL MAN to show me what’s what. **snort**

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Comments

  1. Yes! I've missed your reviews!

    ReplyDelete
  2. GAYER THAN THE HAMILTUNES GROUP WHO HANGS OUT AT A COFFEE SHOP IN WEST HOLLYWOOD ON THURSDAY NIGHTS.

    Funniest damn line I've seen in a review in age. Print it on T-shirts and sell them out of the trunk of your car in WeHo. You'll be a millionaire overnight!

    ReplyDelete

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