What I’m NOT Reading: The Delilah Complex

First up, Sylvia’s got a review up here.

Secondly, Bitch goes all macro on a bad book. <3

And now… our sentences of the week!

From The Delilah Complex:

The way she imitated the worst traits in a man made him pity her. Why did she force her toughness? Didn’t she know how much more powerful women were than men, even if they were in pink sweater sets?

Holy non sequiter, Batman, you thought about pink sweater sets when this chick is grilling you for a story about a possible serial killer when she’s the ONLY REPORTER/PERSON the killer is sending INCRIMINATING EVIDENCE to. WTF? Her “toughness” and manliness should be the last things on your mind.

We’re about 28% of the way through this one. I gotta confess, I ended up finishing this. What can I say? Long bus ride, only book downloaded, FAIL. Here’s another sentence.

He knew better than to think he could ever fix what was wrong with anyone, but he was certain that he was what she needed. And he was even more certain that if Morgan had what she needed in a man, she could finally heal herself.

Anyways, here’s the sitch. Jordain (the he) is a sexypants detective from New Orleans, who plays sexy jazz and makes sexy food. He’s also just shown up and had sex with the sex therapist he’s brought on as a consultant for the same serial killer case mentioned above AND has spent a few lines here and there complaining about the reporter whose forced “toughness” shows that she has no idea that women are innately more powerful than men, “even in pink sweater sets.” Anyways, I eventually picked this moment 80% in as my mental breaking point: here, we’ve got a man so arrogant that he’s assuming he can fix a woman who was trying to talk out her ambivalent feelings about beginning a sexual/romantic relationship while he’s sucking on her nipples and who says repeatedly that she can’t do this and doesn’t feel comfortable. I know he’s supposed to be a semi-perfect love interest — he’s a musician, a cop, a hottie, a great cook, immediately vibes with your kids, knows what you need even when you don’t, etc. — but this kind of smugness and this muddying of consent in a thriller about sex and BDSM? Uh, no.


  1. Juliana says

    “From The Delilah Complex:

    The way she imitated the worst traits in a man made him pity her. Why did she force her toughness? Didn’t she know how much more powerful women were than men, even if they were in pink sweater sets?”

    I hate it when people toss around “women are more powerful than men so shut up and conform to your gender role.” It feels like “See, I’m not really being sexist! I said girls are powerful.”

    And about the what she really needed is man/this man thing… yuck. I doubt anyone could benefit from being in the presence of someone with such a huge ego.

  2. Maria says


    Particularly when it’s a book series about sex-based crimes, with characters frequently referring to the ways in which women are disempowered based on age (the reporter he’s talking about has started getting rejected at the sex club she’s part of because she’s now the oldest member) and class (Morgan, the sex therapist, regularly offers counseling services to incarcerated prostitutes, and the next novel in the series seems to be about the exploitation of webcam girls).

    But I guess this is about EXTRAORDINARY crimes, not ordinary ones, like DV, rape, sexual harrassment, institutionalized oppression, prisoners’ rights, etc.

  3. says

    So, the author isn’t okay with raping AND KILLING women, but she is okay with just pushing them past their ambivalency into the sexytimes you know deep down is what they need as long as you don’t kill them afterwards? Stuff like that takes me out of the story, and then I start feeling like the author has just undressed her psyche in front of me, and it really wasn’t something I cared to see.

    This is why I think Anne Rice is underrated. Bless her – no matter how sexy or sympathetic she made Lestat, she was always quite clear on the fact that he was basically just evil.

  4. Maria says

    Jennifer Kesler,

    That is actually one of my favorite things about Lestat (and why I found the first few books of the Witching Hour series so creeptastic). EARLY Anne Rice is really comfortable with her monsters being monsters. Mid-career Anne Rice — less so. I think part of it is that she married her Lestat, and tried to fit herself into a Christian box. I think she’s a bit better now — her Satan in the Christ series is really, not sexily evil.

  5. Fraser says

    Oh, lord that’s bad. I always imagine it being said in a very condescending tone–why honey, don’t you know you’re the one who’s really in charge? Women are the bosses, not men.
    Now go make me dinner.

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