2 out of 4 stars
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Heartaches 2, by H.M. Irwing, is a fictional romantic thriller book. It is the second book of the Bad Boy Vibes series, which is a set of three books. This book continues with the thorny romantic journey of Anna Simons and Rafe Brown. The two empathize with each other because of their similar past experiences of abuse and rape. However, their path towards building a blissful future together gets constantly disrupted by the scars of the past. How they deal with such issues, what new dangers they face and how they prepare themselves to overcome such obstacles, form the essence of this installment.
One thing I liked about the final part of the series, Heartaches 3, was that it was not led by its plot, but was focused more upon its relationships. This means, a new reader will not find it difficult to connect with the book even if he or she has no idea what has happened in the previous installments. I found this aspect to be conspicuously missing in the second part. The characters are driven too much by past occurrences. Therefore, if one does not know about those past incidents, understanding the first few chapters of this book will be highly difficult.
However, I have bigger issues with the book. Firstly, the incidents in the first half of the book are repetitive and trivial. Too many pages are wasted on aspects that do not deserve more than a paragraph. For instance, almost every second chapter of the first half ends with scenes that try to make us understand how much the two lead protagonists love each other. The developments feel like a loop of one trivial incident followed by one scene of sex or passionate love. I understand that romance is an important part in a book of this genre, but it has been applied here so forcefully and repetitively that it soon became mind-numbingly stale.
The second, and more important issue I have with this book, is regarding the manner in which it has treated its female characters. They are simply one dimensional and appear to be too tolerant of the verbal insults thrown towards them. In fact the nature of abuse is so fiercely graphic that only pure perverts are capable of using such language. Can any woman actually be cordial towards such a pervert? Not that I know of. But the women in the book seem to think otherwise, which was hard for me to believe. Additionally, the female characters have no problem in talking about what kind of underwear they have. Overall, the book is absolutely demeaning when it comes to portraying the dignity of women.
For these reasons I rate this book 2 out of 4 stars. Actual constructive developments begin much later on and a substantial portion of the book has been wasted upon trivial issues. But more importantly, it is the manner in which the female characters have been treated that I found to be well beyond my taste. There are a few grammatical errors, but they are very negligible in amount. The book is suitable only for young adults who seek mushy reads with sexual titillation and are not hoping for serious enlightening conclusions.
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