Sisters in Love by Melissa Foster

Sisters in Love is a facile and trite contemporary romance laden with clichés and complex problems simplistically resolved. A large part of my reaction was, “Maybe I could write a whole book. Melissa Foster did. It’s not like I have to write a good book. Melissa Foster didn’t.” It’s very freeing when one thinks of it that way. The rest of my reaction was to be grateful Sisters in Love was free and to be very pleased when I finished reading it – which I did strictly for review honestly purposes and I want points for that.

The hero and heroine of Sisters in Love meet painful when he accidentally elbows her in the nose when they are in line at a coffee shop. While tending to her, she notices he is incredibly physically attractive and that he is also checking out another woman whilst helping staunch the flow of blood. The heroine is appalled, but nonetheless can’t get him out of her head. The hero can’t get her out of his either. There is nothing like a woman asking “Are you done?” while she bleeds and you are checking out someone’s chest to make a man think about his life.

Adonis-adjacent Blake is very messed up. Not messed up in a romance novel way where he just needs a good woman, no matter what Melissa Foster thinks. He’s the kind of person who has almost no close relationships and uses his looks to bang every woman he can. He is detached. He identifies himself as sleazy. He’s “that guy”. He needs therapy and likely some kind of 12 Step Program. Conveniently, the heroine, Danica, is a therapist and soon takes the new acquaintance she desperately wants to sleep with as a patient, but I’d like to put a pin that egregious violation of client/therapist ethics to tell you about this: In one of the early chapters, there is a full description of an anonymous encounter in Blake’s own store restroom. Not even his office. The restroom. It’s far more detailed than the consummation scene with Danica. That was an interesting choice on the author’s part. It’s perfectly emblematic of how messed up both Blake and the book are. An anonymous woman says, “Jawanna?” and he’s all “Sure,”  and on to ignoring the fact that the porcelain must be really cold on the “cougar’s” behind. Afterward, Blake doesn’t like what he sees in the restroom mirror and wants to stop being “that guy” which is nice. Then, he does stop with ease and minor guidance which is ridiculous.

Danica, she of the elbowed nose, is a psychologist deeply invested in her career. The reader knows this because she doesn’t get out enough and she needs a makeover. Anyway, even though she is (unfathomably) sexually attracted to the deeply messed up Blake and is introduced to him socially, she takes him on as a patient. I’m not a doctor, but I play one in book reviews, and I cannot for one second believe that this is anything less than unethical. She stops being his doctor EVENTUALLY, right before they cross the line into a physical relationship, but it’s so twisted: He’s an emotionally vacant sex addict and she’s his doctor. He starts therapy, she gives him guidance, he resists a one-night-stand with her sister and suddenly the plot is on a steam locomotive to Love Town and he is almost all better. No. NO! Their entire attraction is physical and the reader is, I suppose, obliged to fill in the blanks on their doctor/patient ethics defying emotional connection. Ugh.

Links to my other reviews can be found on my complete reading list of books sorted by author or Author Commentary & The Tallies Shameful.

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