Force of Law by Jez Morrow
When a Lamborghini Diablo car pulls into the quick oil change shop on Cleveland’s west side, Tom Russell immediately assumes this is his old lover, Wells, a beautiful, wealthy, east side snob, come back to torment him. But it’s worse.
The driver is Wells’ arrogant, obscenely rich cousin Law Castille, who invites Tom on a little subtle revenge, accompanying Law as his guest to Wells’ wedding. But dance with the devil, and there’s hell to pay. Tom thinks Law is toying with him, but Law’s visit to the poor side of a rustbelt town was never about revenge. It was never about cousin Wells at all. Law has come for Tom.
[I hate this cover. It’s a bland chest that says nothing about the book and the hideous TQ branding. I understand that pubs want to put their stamp on the books but this is awful. The sides are way too busy and distracting.]
Force of Law has been quite a few rave reviews around the ‘net as a delightful, fun read with a super alpha hero. Who doesn’t love an over the top alpha so of course I had to check it out. Although Force of Law offers nothing especially original, unique, or different to the genre, the nostalgic appeal of such an over the top, exaggerated book will appeal to romance lovers who love classic romance novels from the ‘80s. In fact, this book could easily have been written with a female mechanic in place of Tom and been exactly the same. Well not exactly as a few explicit scenes would have to be altered by one or two words, but other than that the story is easily the same.
The plot truly reminds me of old time romance stories with all the classic stereotype characters. If this had been with a female lead, it could be called The CEO’s Dirty Secret or something. Here poor, culturally ignorant Tom is a hard working mechanic trying to get over his richy rich ex-boyfriend that dumped him for the woman he’s now marrying. In a particularly contrived twist, the hated cousin Law Castille that runs the family empire as CEO decides to take Tom to the wedding. This doesn’t make much sense but like most of the plot, it doesn’t really matter and the more modern prose helps keep the story moving from one cliché to the next. After the wedding scenes, which are amusing and fun to read, the story goes into a few side plots with a ridiculous and superfluous blackmail and road rage scenes. Neither of these subplots is well thought out or even important at all to the characters or the purpose of the story and maybe exists to extend the word count. Other than that, I’m not sure why they are there.
The characters are amusing and entertaining, likely to appeal to fans that can delight in classic themes. Law is the super alpha to end all alphas, outrageously rich and prone to extravagant gestures such as arriving in a Lamborghini or picking Tom up in a helicopter for a date. This casual use of wealth again reminded me so much of those ‘80s romance novels where the big, alpha male dominants the tongue-tied virgin (and yes Tom is a virgin) with smooth gestures and an air of cruelty. That is until the handsome, overbearing man admits he’s in love with said ingénue and the power shift changes. This is close to what happens in this offering with Law as over the top as he can be while Tom is pretty clueless and submissive, despite all claims to the contrary. The pairing is nice with some electric chemistry but again, nothing especially different.
I personally struggled through parts of the book since they felt so familiar with a been there/done that feel. There is a more modern twist to a lot of prose and phrases used and the teenager sister in Roxy is absolutely delightful. I’d recommend this title to those readers who still like the classic romance stories –which are classic and beloved for a reason – but you should read it in that mindset. The super alpha male will definitely appeal to readers and Tom has enough charm not to be overwhelmed. While I didn’t hate the book by any means, the lack of anything new or different bored me personally and this reaction will be highly subjective among readers. If you’re looking for a nostalgic read, try this.
Get it HERE!