Searching for Someday is like a lollipop. You unwrap it, excited. I shouldn’t be reading this, you think. It has no real sustenance. But then you do read it, and you think, ugh, this is too sweet. And the prose is horrible. Did I ever use to like these? But it goes down quick before you really have a chance to think about it.
As a bodice-ripper, this book sort of succeeds. I’m saying “sort of” because it was page-turning and somewhat engrossing, which is really the only thing one asks for in books like this. I finished it in about three days. But the cringe factor is very high. I’ll leave aside the ridiculous nature of the premise – Kate runs a matchmaking agency called Kinnections, where she uses a combination of her supernatural ability to detect compatibility and real world dating advice to create lasting connections for her clients. She is also cursed to find one true soul mate in life. No one else will do it for her. OK, that part is fine.
Where the book starts to fall apart is when Slade enters the picture. A no-nonsense, super hot divorce lawyer, he becomes Kate’s client as a way of keeping tabs on his sister, who’s recently signed up for Kinnections. No. No no no no. Kate and her friends frequently cite Slade’s “protectiveness about his family” as a plus, but really? His behavior toward his sister is controlling, obsessive, unhealthy.
Here’s what protective looks like: “Sister, I care about you. You’ve been hurt in the past and I want to make sure anyone you date next has your best interests at heart.”
Here’s what controlling/obsessive/crazy looks like: “I’m going to find this matchmaking agency you signed up for and threaten to sue them to hell for daring to take you on as a client.”
I get that part of Probst’s point is that Slade is obnoxious, and that’s the tension as Kate struggles to fight her deep attraction to him. But Probst went too far into “unlikeable asshole” territory. Slade threatens, manipulates, and coerces Kate into dating him when she turns him down. When one of the matches Kate sets Slade up on a date with cancels at the last minute, Slade threatens to sue Kate if she doesn’t dress up nice and take her place as his date for the night. Yikes. Somehow, Slade’s aggressive behavior makes Kate even more attracted to him. She and her friends drool over how “alpha” he is.
Slade’s behavior aside, the prose is kind of cringey. Again, I don’t have high expectations of this kind of book – it’s literary candy. Probst’s prose is mostly fine – but every once in a while there’s a passage that just makes me gnash my teeth, like “bangs that played peekaboo with her sultry eyes” and “his dick rose to attention like a new recruit in the military saluting his commander.” It also seems like we get a status update on Kate’s nipples every three pages or so – at one point, Slade can see them poking out through a fur jacket, which–– wow. Either Kate has some exceptionally prominent nipples, or her clothing is too flimsy. Girl, we relate.
The Furious Gazelle received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.