**spoiler alert** I am so confused after finishing Phantom Waltz how to rate it with stars. I liked it so much up to a situation close to the end when**spoiler alert** I am so confused after finishing Phantom Waltz how to rate it with stars. I liked it so much up to a situation close to the end when the heroine did something so stupid it opened my eyes to a point that pretty much ruined the book for me.
Bethany is a 26 year old woman who is in a wheelchair. When she was 18 she was severely injured in a riding accident that left her paraplegic. Ryan, the towns hottie bachelor takes one look at Bethany and realizes she is the one for him, despite the fact she is paralyzed from the waist down.
In the beginning, in my naiveness I guess, I absolutely loved these characters. Ryan was oh so swoonie sweet. A rich, handsome rancher who could have any woman he wants, falls for the woman in a wheelchair. And Bethany appeared to be a disabled woman who was desperately trying to be independent despite her physical limitations. After a while I realized that the entire book was about the disabled woman in a wheelchair Bethany, not Bethany the woman who just happens to have a disability (hopefully that makes sense). She was always "disabled" or "handicapped" first and then a woman second. This got to me after a while. At one point Ryan looked at Bethany and thought "my angel in a wheelchair". WHAT??? That pissed me off. Why couldn't she just be his plain ol' "angel"? Why did the author have to put her handicap once again as the center of his love?
The entire book, Ryan's view on Bethany, Bethany's view on herself was he loved her despite her being in a wheelchair. I didn't realize what was going on until Bethany leaves Ryan because she is scared he is going to get hurt protecting her, and in her "condition" he would constantly have to protect her. This was like an eye opener to me. Isn't that what love is about? Everyone who loves anyone wants to protect them from harm. It doesn't matter if the loved one is handicapped or fully physically capable. This to me was just wrong. I have a family member in a wheelchair and though I do not live day in and day out with him and his disability I look at him as a PERSON first. I don't look at him as "a person in a wheelchair".
I understand Catherine Anderson had a burden to make the average romance reader who most likely doesn't know the hardships of dealing with such huge physical limits understand Bethany and Ryan's obstacles. But in the same breath I feel that the heroine's disability in this instance just took too much of a center stage. I felt pity for Bethany. And just from having a personal relationship with someone in her situation I know that is the last thing most people who are disabled want us to feel for them. We as readers are supposed to look at the characters as people first and to me Bethany was portrayed more as just a "wheelchair" instead of the person who was actually in that wheelchair.
I have nothing but the utmost respect for those who overcome obstacles. Some people become who they are because of all they've overcome and they should be loved because of that. Not in spite of it. I felt Ryan's love for Bethany was portrayed in spite of her disability not because she was a stronger person for it.
Something Borrowed is about a woman who on her 30th Birthday gets drunk, does the unthinkable and sleeps with her best friend's fiance'. Oops, you meaSomething Borrowed is about a woman who on her 30th Birthday gets drunk, does the unthinkable and sleeps with her best friend's fiance'. Oops, you mean that doesn't happen all the time? As if that is not bad enough, she and the friend's fiance' decide they have feelings for each other (while sober) and start an affair behind the best friend's back.
Now, with that mentioned I must say I really disliked this book. I truly do not consider myself prudish in any way, but I strongly disagree with the reviewers who state you find yourself rooting for the deceptive couple. They are having an affair behind her best friend's back! It really doesn't matter if the best friend is an awful, selfish jerk. That is the great thing about friends, YOU CHOOSE THEM! If she is that bad why continue to be friends with her? The basis for this is the "heroine" in Something Borrowed is somewhat of a pushover and a supposed good person who can't be mean to her best friend and tell her where to go. But it's ok to sleep with her fiance'? I just don't get it.
Again, I don't think myself close mined or prudish but the author just did not create a sympathetic enough heroine for me to say it was alright for her to cheat with her best friend's fiance'. And if it is true love (which of course the author had to spin it as if they were completely in love with each other), CALL OFF THE WEDDING! Dex (Mr. Cheater - the hero) takes forever to make the decision to call off the wedding.
There were so many different ways this book could have been plotted to make a more agreeable and acceptable situation. Make the fiance' that of her worst enemy (which I guess Darcy would have fallen under the category of frenemy). At least then when describing the horrible things that were done to the heroine I would have formed a bit of sympathy, not something she would put up with because she is weak.
Bad heroine, bad hero, bad secondary characters make for a bad book I do not recommend to anyone.
Edited 3/14/11 - GRRRRR!!!! I am so pissed, they are making this book into a movie!!! Kate Hudson is playing Darcy, I love Kate Hudson, I hated this book! ...more