Review: The Secret Virgin

The Secret Virgin by Carole Mortimer
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I admit I picked up this book because I was tantalized by the title and had hoped that the aforementioned virgin was the hero because I’ve grown weary of heroes who have screwed half of the Eastern seaboard and most of the French Riviera and doesn’t hesitate to screw the heroine without protection. That’s just bad manners. Why is it the heroine who’s always the virgin? I can write a whole book on that alone. There’s something about virginity that’s always guaranteed to thaw the hero’s cold heart and bitter cynicism that all women are whores, except this one good one with a pure heart and a unicorn vagina. Virginity separates the whores from the whore-nots. That’s in the Bible or something. Trust.

Tory Buchanan is asked by her friend, the famous actress Madison Famous Actress, to pick up her brother Jonathan Mcguire, an American, from the airport. He will be staying on a holiday at Madison’s house on the Isle of Man for some R&R, which Tory thinks is weird because it happens to be during the Tourist Trophy races, or TT, this annual gigantic biker rally, so the island wouldn’t be ideal for peace and relaxation. Tory is immediately attracted to Jonathan, but she might as well have been chewed up gum stuck on the bottom of his shoe because that’s basically how he treats her from the get-go. He is cold, rude, and not at all grateful that Tory took the time out of her day to pick him up from the airport when she didn’t have to, though she tries to stay pleasant to him because he’s her friend Madison’s brother (though if he were ugly, I doubt she would have tried as hard). Tory drops him off at Madison’s house and hopes never to see him again, but her farm-folk parents invite him to Sunday lunch, much to Tory’s horror. Afterwards, her father suggests that she take out Jonathan on her bike to see the races, so Tory decides to give Jonathan a bit of a payback by showing him she’s hell on wheels and he barfs. Hilarious! Thus begins their awkward courtship of hanging out, Jonathan getting offended and pissed off, pushing Tory away, and Tory running off (or Jonathan storming off). Lather, rinse, repeat.

Jonathan is a broody, pissy guy and boy, has he got a chip on his shoulder. This is a sequel to the book “Bound by Contract,” the aftermath of which he is currently dealing with: his half-sister and half-brother are now married. Yeah, talk about awkward family reunions. Don’t worry, there’s no incest stuff going on, just some Hollywood circle-jerk fuckery, which is quite common, from what E! True Hollywood Story tells us. He’s also the only non-famous member of his family: his mom is a famous actress, his half-sister is an Oscar-winning actress, his half-brother is an Oscar-winning director, his dad was a critically acclaimed director… and he’s, like, just some guy. All right, he runs a bunch of successful casinos, but what he really wants to do is compose music, because he’s artistic, too, okay?!!?! He likes being alone with his guitar sometimes and just… write music. They don’t have words to them because words are dumb and he’s got something against pop songs, like the kind of stuff that pop singer Victory Canan warbles on the radio.

And Victory Canan turns out to be Tory’s alter ego. Imagine that. Our heroine, a humble farm girl who is also a kickass motorcross racer, just happens to be a super famous Sparkle-pony Rockstar, too! I wouldn’t be surprised if she were also a member of a super-secret girl-ninja team for the MI6. When Tory walks in on Jonathan playing on his guitar forlornly, she is really impressed with his skills, but he thinks she’s spying on him and proceeds to berate her. She tells him she thinks he’s great, but he sneers at her and mocks her, asking what the hell does she know about music. DOUCHEBAG. When they go out for a night on the village, Tory gets recognized by the townsfolk and the live band playing at the village shindig asks her to get on stage and that’s when Jonathan realizes that she’s the pop star Victory Canan. Jonathan’s like, ugh, she must have been making fun of my music and leaves her in the middle of the village to make her own way home in the middle of a giant biker convention. What a gentleman this guy is!

To make matters worse, Tory has a ratbag ex-boyfriend she’s been trying to escape for the last few months and he’s becoming a real pain in the ass. He’s been her manager for five years and had recently asked her to marry him (naturally, his name is Rupert because that’s the perfect name for a ratbag), but on the very night he asked Tory to marry him, Tory discovered he was in bed with another woman. She fled to the Isle of Man, where she grew up, to be with her parents and to gets some R&R before a big tour, but Rupert has been unrelenting with his calls for Tory to return to London. When Tory is featured on the newspaper for her impromptu concert, Rupert is pissed off, but especially because Tory was apparently with some “tall, dark, mystery man” who was obviously Jonathan. Jonathan hates all press, having to deal with all that crap due of his famous family, so he doesn’t appreciate being dragged into all of this because of Tory. Ugh, Jonathan is such a sourpuss. It must get so exhausting to be so gloomy all the time. Anyway, Rupert rushes over to the Isle of Man because he’s worried that Tory is canoodling with some mystery man and he’d lose his meal ticket, so he slimes all over Tory, which causes Jonathan to get super jealous and think Tory is the biggest whore. Jonathan’s like, bye, I don’t need this drama. Tory gets super sad.

And then Tory finds out that her famous actress friend Madison set up this whole thing because she was tired of seeing her sadsack brother being such a sourpuss all of the time and thought he would make a good match with Tory since they could make music together, literally. If I were Tory, I would have gone after Madison and set her on fire for putting me through some shit, but whatever. That’s just me and I’m kind of a bitch. Like it’s Tory’s responsibility to fix her emo brother who is a grown-ass man? The woman has her own career to worry about. She’s a superstar in her own right, damn it. She doesn't want to be some dippity pop star anymore. She wants to do... serious music. She's looking for... new sound. She’s not just some farm girl on some lonely British isle tending to ewe and pigs or whatever. Seriously, Madison has some for-real boundary issues.

This book was kind of chore to read through because the hero was so emo and not even in a fun way. He’s just so self-pitying. Oh, boo-hoo, my brother and sister got married to each other. Big deal. Sack up, Jonathan. Okay, so he finds out when he turned 18 that the guy he thought was his dad was not his dad at all and that his real dad died before he was even born, so he’ll never get the chance to get to know him and the guy that his sister just married turns out to be his half-brother. All right, so that might mess up a guy a little, but get over it, guy. What about the man who raised you from babyhood and treated you as his own son from the get-go? Ugh, Jonathan was just a tough guy to like. This book would have been unbearable, had it not been for the heroine. She’s tough, smart, and decisive. Also, spoiler alert, she stays a virgin, so what does her virginity even have to do with anything? Oh, because all pop stars are whores, except for Tory. Got it.

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