Teal's Reviews > Two Man Station

Two Man Station by Lisa Henry
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At 43% I'm embracing the DNF -- embracing it with the fervor of a drowning man clutching a life preserver. Get me out of here!

So, yeah, this book wasn't for me. Despite its charms -- and it did have them -- well, did have one, at any rate -- no amount of pigheaded persistence on my part could make me like it.

The biggest problem was that it was all about child-rearing. Jason is a single dad with a 10-year kid, and at least 25% of the story was about him either taking care of the kid or angsting about taking care of the kid.

I don't read m/m romance to read about kids and parents. Just personal preference here -- but a very, very strong one. What I do want to see in a romance is two people falling for each other and becoming the single most important person in each other's world. When one of them is raising a kid, that's not possible. The kid will always come first. For Jason, "His son was the most important thing in his life."

As he should be.

But that kills all possibility of a romance that I have any interest in reading about. Sure, one MC may have found Mr. Right, but the other MC has found Mr. "Maybe we can have something, maybe not, because I need to fit you in around the kid, and if that doesn't work, eh, too bad, but fortunately you're not the most important thing in my life, so it's not like it's a BFD or anything."

Romantic, much? Not to me.

I started skimming the scenes where Jason was making the kid yet another Vegemite sandwich, plus all the text devoted to his ruminations over the local dearth of child-care options.

But there were other problems too -- I ended up loathing Jason because of his attitude toward ethical oversight of the police force. I've already used up my allocation of one rant per review, so I won't say anything more about it, other than wow, did I ever feel dismayed and demoralized by the author's take on the police.

I finally threw in the towel (grabbed the life preserver!) when I realized I'd made it almost halfway through without getting invested in either of the characters. Jason I hated, although he was maybe just on the verge of redeeming himself; Gio I felt indifference for. The bottom line was that this book was not working for me. I actually would have DNF'd much earlier, at about 20%, except for the fact that it was written by Lisa Henry and I was trusting that she could make the magic happen.

I was wrong. And in case you haven't figured it out, I am so relieved to give up on this book. It entertained me greatly, for a while, with its Australianisms -- big lunch and little lunch! poddy calves! servo! rego! icy cup??? -- I learned so many new words, and also was stumped by a few. Unfortunately the fun with words was nowhere near sufficient to carry me through the book.
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Reading Progress

September 30, 2017 – Shelved
October 26, 2018 –
3.0% "BOOK: "The small dayroom contained two desks. One was empty and, presumably, Gio's."

ME: There are only two desks in this police station? Just two? How many people work here -- oh wait, the title is "Two Man Station." Two Man Station. Gosh, do you suppose that title has any significance? *ponders*

BOOK: I may be too advanced for you."
October 26, 2018 –
17.0% "If I'd known that one of the MCs is a single dad raising a kid, I wouldn't have bought the book.

Oh well. My punishment is to keep reading it, since I paid for it..."
October 27, 2018 –
34.0% "I hate one of the MCs.

I don't think that was the author's intent.

Skim mode: ON"

Comments Showing 1-6 of 6 (6 new)

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message 1: by [deleted user] (new)

Valiant effort. Same on the kids and parents in romance novels. No way.

Linda ~ chock full of hoot, just a little bit of nanny ~ Great review, Teal. I'm not allergic to kids in books, despite being allergic to them IRL, so I'm still going to give this a try some day. But... I know you said only one rant per review, but this is the comments section. ;) What exactly bugged you with the treatment of the police? Because that could be a no-go for me too.

Teal Linda, I have a feeling this was just another "me thing" that other people didn't interpret the same as I did.

Gio's coworkers turned on him after he reported his partner to the Aussie equivalent of Internal Affairs (can't remember the name, something to do with ethics). And then every cop in the nation who heard about it turned against him too, including Jason, because... what? Ethics have no place in law enforcement? No cop's behavior should ever be criticized by another cop? Cops should be given free rein to misbehave with impunity, with no constraints or consequences?

There's an explanation for why those in Gio's immediate circle turned against him -- although the fact that they did so with unanimous and unrelenting glee was a bit hard for me to swallow. Fine. But for Jason to meet him, think that he seemed like a nice guy, but never even CONSIDER giving him the benefit of the doubt or that there might be another side to the story -- it was just fucking ugly. I hated it. Eventually I grew contemptuous of Jason for holding on to that attitude so unquestioningly.

Sure, that behavior of closing ranks and persecuting the whistleblower happens -- but that EVERY COP in Australia was on board with it gave the impression that every Aussie cop believes that cops are above the law, believes that cops should be shielded by their peers no matter the transgression. And that any cop with a conscience, any cop who challenges that status quo, should be bullied, hounded, sent into harm's way, vilified, and tormented. I just couldn't buy into the utter unanimity of that attitude. EVERY COP in the country? Seriously? That's insulting to the profession, and seeing it presented that way made me angry.

Two rants in one day! That's it, I'm taking the rest of the weekend off. 😠

Linda ~ chock full of hoot, just a little bit of nanny ~ LOL. Get it off your chest, Teal, so you can enjoy your next read unhampered. :D

And thanks for explaining. I think I'll be okay with that, so I'll still give it a try. Some day. ;)

message 5: by Mymymble (new)

Mymymble Lols. Sent it back unread (sorry LH). Thanks Teal.

Teal Mymymble, hopefully By The Currowong's Call will be better. At least those MCs aren't parents...

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