Let Me Be Your Motivation by Tay Mo'Nae
Let me start out by saying that I know that I'm not the target audience for this novel. Yet, the blurb about a woman (Jordyn) finding out at the altar that her fiancé (Mason) is already married and his wife is pregnant was such an emotionally powerful premise that I decided I had to read it. I think we can all imagine that scene playing out in a half dozen ways and I really wanted to see how Mo'Nae handled it.
The answer--it was all right--not great, but all right. Mason (the already-married-dirt-bag) is looking uncomfortable as the minister guides them through the ceremony and then his wife stands up and--you guessed it--gets mad at the poor woman he's just made a fool of, not him.
Unfortunately, I find that believable. I would have preferred a little more build up and I was shocked to find out that Mason had married the other woman only two weeks before, but the scene definitely succeeded in creating the emotionally damaged heroine that Mo'Nae needed for the rest of her story--but it's that story that really makes me question this author's idea of the perfect man.
Jordyn, our heroine, reeling from this horrible betrayal and being humiliated in front of family and friends, goes on her honeymoon without Mason where the very first night she gets blackout drunk. She's not a drinker to begin with and she's staggering when the "perfect man" professional wide receiver, Amir, encounters her and feeds her more drinks, brings her back to his room where she sprawls her signature on a nondisclosure agreement she never reads, has very graphic sex with her, and then she wakes up in the morning not remembering who Amir is or how she got there or really anything except drinking the night before.
She flees from the perfect man in shame. Wait a minute? The perfect man? The perfect man takes advantage of totally drunk women? I don't think that fits most of our definitions of perfection.
Jordyn, of course, ends up having sex with him again, and I feared that this novel was going to go the route of good sex equals fantastic relationship, but Mo'Nae finally got her author's feet beneath her and started developing a nice vacation-relationship with give and take between woman and man and some genuinely fun times. It was good to read and actually worked to make me believe that this couple had a chance despite tremendous differences in personality.
Then the two exes (Amir had just broken up with his longtime girlfriend) reenter the picture to cause more trouble. I thought the Amir's ex was well handled, but frankly I did not for a moment find Mason (Jordyn's ex) credible at all and can't understand why Mo’Nae didn't embrace the fact that she had successfully sold him to the reader as a Grade A Jerk and tried to make him nice in the end.
Overall, I think this story could have been truly great, but only comes out being okay.