Saturday, October 22, 2016

Review: "The Bachelor Auction" by Rachel Van Dyken

Cinderella never had to deal with this crap. Jane isn't entirely sure that Cinderella got such a raw deal. Sure, she had a rough start, but didn't she eventually land a prince and a happily-ever-after? Meanwhile, Jane is busy waiting on her demanding, entitled sisters, running her cleaning business, and . . . yep, not a prince in sight. Until a party and a broken shoe incident leave Jane wondering if princes---or at least, a certain deliciously hunky billionaire---maybe do exist. Except Brock Wellington isn't anyone's dream guy. Hell, a prince would never agree to be auctioned off in marriage to the highest bidder. Or act like an arrogant jerk---even if it was just a façade. Now, as Brock is waiting for the auction chopping block, he figures it's karmic retribution that he's tempted by a sexy, sassy woman he can't have. But while they can't have a fairy-tale ending, maybe they can indulge in a little bit of fantasy . .

Thanks to Forever Romance for the free review copy in exchange for my honest opinion.
I'm not sure what I was expecting from "The Bachelor Auction", but whatever it was, I don't think it was this.  The cover is cute, the synopsis sounds cute, so I guess, I was hoping for something lighthearted, romantic, and, well, cute.  And while there were certainly some funny and sweet moments throughout, overall, this book struck me as being overly silly.

If you didn't realize you were reading a modern Cinderella retelling when you first picked up "The Bachelor Auction", you would figure it out within the first few pages, guaranteed. Every character is an over-the-top Disney caricature, from the Ass to the Cock - not even kidding, these are actual characters, also known as Donkey and Rooster, and are more developed than some of the more important secondary characters, for example, Cinderella's - oh, pardon me, Jane's! - sisters (not step-sisters in this case, but still evil.) Of course, in the Disney version of Cinderella, the prince didn't have much of a personality, or interchangeable twin brothers, but other than that, the similarities between that story and "The Bachelor Auction" are decidedly obvious.

Which gives rise to more of the silliness I spoke of earlier. There are several different versions of the Cinderella tale, all written hundreds of years ago. Taken in that context, it's easy to see why a French orphan in the late 1600's would allow herself to become enslaved by her step-family. What other choice would she have? Probably a convent or a brothel.  But when you look at Jane in the context of "The Bachelor Auction", i.e. modern day Arizona, I had to wonder why on earth she would become an indentured servant to her sisters? She has an education. She has a thriving business. What more does a modern woman need to stand on her own two feet?  Instead of appearing brave and resilient, to me Jane appeared like more of a doormat than anything. And then Prince Charming, aka Brock, is not much better. I mean, he allows his grandfather to auction him off as a husband to the highest bidder? What craziness is this? I could understand the whole "bachelor auction" thing for charity, but for some reason, both Brock and Jane thought that the highest bidder would be a future fiancé for Brock. Why couldn't Brock just go on one date with the winner, and then go back to dating Jane? This whole aspect of the plot did not make any sense to me at all, and it was a major plot point throughout. It just did not work. At all.

So while I had a few snickers here and there, mainly to do with Brock's brothers and occasionally his grandfather, I'd have to say I was disappointed in "The Bachelor Auction". I think other readers might enjoy this book, especially if they're looking for some comic relief or something not too serious, but unfortunately this one was not for me, and I don't think I'll be continuing with the series.

My rating: 2.5 stars

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