Six pages in to the story proper. Nora has a new biology partner whose ‘black eyes [have] sliced into her’ and whose ‘smile spelled trouble. With a promise’ (what?). He’s told her to ‘Call me Patch. I mean it. Call me.’ (angels are not slick), he’s made an innuendo (though she’s not sure what it was), off-loaded a batch of stalkery personal information onto her about her, and slunk into her personal space.
They bicker. He scrawls his number on her hand and she responds, ‘I won’t call!…Not–ever!’ Zing.
She is discussing Patch with her German nanny so that she can muse about the broad, relaxed shoulders and playful, seductive smile that she forgot to mention in the first chapter, and how she finds him ‘irresistable’ despite all the antagonism of their one encounter. Don’t never let anyone tell you that personality counts, childrens. Hot people are hot people.
Patch and Nora are bantering in a pool hall because she’s supposed to interview him for biology because they’re learning about sex (what? That makes no sense as an assignment) and all of his responses are exceedingly sexual (I take it back. This assignment makes total sense). She’s all, I’m creeped out! All circumstances indicate that I am correct in being creeped out. Except that I’m totally not creeped out and will hang around in this poisonous environment because hey, finely-muscled back.
Bedtime:: backstory:: murdered father. This doesn’t really come into play plot-wise or say anything interesting about Nora’s character…it’s just a thing that comes up a lot.
Back to biology. Patch is blatantly harassing Nora in front of the class, and the teacher is all, This is awesome! Nora approaches the teacher after class all, I’m uncomfortable? He’s like, No, you being verbally seduced in class is rad.
Nora and Vee are joking about Patch stalking Nora, because if you joke about a thing, then that thing is not the thing that is happening. [Ed. Patch is clearly stalking Nora.]
Nora is going to sleuth up Patch’s student record, because nothing cures stalking like a little reverse-stalking. Nora has a pang of conscience but: ‘So what if there was private information inside? As Patch’s biology partner, I had a right to know these things.’ <- Logic.
Elliot shows up and is clearly the anti-Patch (i.e blond and fair), though also inexplicably and IMMEDIATELY interested in Nora. He gives Nora very sexy batting lessons during PE. Patch illustrates his jealousy by speaking into Nora’s mind. <- Not a terrifying invasion of personal space?
Nora goes on a date with Elliot, who you and I know is probably creepy, but who Nora has no reason to think is anything but nice, and Patch stalks up all, Leave your totally normal teenage date to come on a shady rollercoaster with me. Who you hate. And who speaks into your mind. Nora’s like, Doo dee doo, ok.
Ok so now Elliot is supposed to be creepy? “‘Purple is your color, Nora…Brightens your eyes.’ Vee nudged my foot. She actually thought he meant it as a compliment.” The hell? It’s not an innuendo. It’s not a threat. It might be idle chit-chat but it’s complimentary idle chit-chat.
Nora is flat-out retarded. She’s going to seduce some answers out of Patch’s co-workers, so she throws on a tacky wig and some hooker heels and is all, So….*leer*…is Patch a felon? Does he have a criminal record…or a girlfriend? Subtlety is a lost art. OBVIOUSLY Patch is working that night and OBVIOUSLY appears in the ladies room (???) when she’s shedding her slut-feathers. How. Embarassing.
There is a random new school psychiatrist, who psychiatrizes Nora thusly: No thoughts on your murdered dad? That’s fine. Stay away from Patch. And also? I’m not going to come right out and say that I’ve been spying on you, but I’m going to strongly imply it. Nora’s like, *taps lip* There is something off about this situation.
A lot of novel goes by without the plot being advanced at all. Patch’s black eyes slice into Nora again, which is seriously the most awkward and violent description of sexy eye contact.
Rainstorm + car troubles = Nora and Patch trapped at a motel, sans phones and nearly nude (rainstorms render clothing unwearable). Unresolved Sexual Tension leads to the Great Unveil. Patch is a fallen angel! Nora sort of already knew that because she used The Google, and you definitely already knew (see: prologue), so…hmm. Anticlimactic. Nora: ‘Why did you fall?’ Patch: ‘Lust.’ Nora: ‘Money lust?’ <- My first thought, too, especially given the semi-nudity of the situation.
Aaaand to make a long story slightly less long, something something human sacrifice something Patch could become human something Elliot’s friend Jules is a Nephil ok you know what? Neither of us cares. Nora sacrifices herself to save Patch, said sacrifice kills Jules via some bizarre angel-logic, Patch rejects the sacrifice, re-animating dead Nora and making himself into a guardian angel in the process. HEA for everyone (except Jules. Oh, and Elliot. And the school psychiatrist, who was an angel in love with Patch the whole time. Also, Vee breaks an arm).
It’s like Fitzpatrick extracted the essence of Twilight and distilled it into a thick syrup of unwarranted attraction, skeeze-factor and incessant self-disparagment (I spared you from all the times Nora is like, Ugh, I’m so slender with such long legs!). These are the Things That Sell.
And one of the legit criticisms of PNR is that they often read like the author wanted a romance and couldn’t think of a way to fling her two characters together, so she forges some mystic connection and hey presto. Emotional compatability completely unnecessary. And I know there are loads of paranormal romances that arise organically from the situation and just happen to have mystical elements and shit to make them even more awesome (kudos to them), but Fitzpatrick is firmly in the I Need Some Lovin To Happen Here Let’s Invent Some Mythical Garbage camp.
Because she clearly knows she has to get from A to C for Literary Success but she’s misplaced B entirely. Non-sequiturs abound. Vee phones Nora all pissed at being abandoned and they bicker about that and then Vee is like, You sound tense. Or aroused. Patch must have kissed you. That is not a logical train of thought, but somehow they had to get from fighting to discussing Nora’s fatal attraction. At one point, Patch admits he had a girlfriend, but she’s not around anymore. Nora is all, ‘You mean…she’s dead?’ Fitzpatrick knows what’s going on, but she doesn’t let her characters figure it out in a way that makes sense.
I’m not even going to touch the bad-boy-as-sanctioned-rapist because other people have already tapped this (admittedly inexhaustible) well and this post is rull long.
Two caterpillars for this one, because even though it made me bleed from the mind, it was surprisingly free of grammatical errors and Fitzpatrick at least tries to avoid words like ‘perfect’ and ‘perfectly’ and ‘most perfect.’