Fiction: “Addiction” by Charlotte Featherstone

addicted Oh, Midwestern Philosophy.  I turn to you when I no longer want to think about what I’m reading.  I look for a formula in you: boy and girl meet; boy and girl have sex, multiple times, in many different arrangements; there is an argument, or, boy and girl realize they are keeping secrets from each other; they reconcile, and everyone lives happily ever after.

Then I found the Spice imprint of Harlequin, and what the heck?  There’s a deeper plot, and, character development, and … what?  It’s like someone went by and put peanut butter in my nonfat imitation chocolate syrup.  I didn’t read you to have to think, or connect; I just wanted to insert myself into the girl’s part and Daniel Craig into the boy’s part.  Is that so much to ask?

All protestations aside, Addicted is pretty meaty for Midwestern Philosophy.  Lindsay, who goes by multiple titles (he’s Lord Raeburn, but his father’s name is Lord Weatherby), is in love with his childhood friend, Anais.  I have no idea how to pronounce that.  Is it an-i-EES?  Is it an-AY-is?  If only there was an umlaut!  They ‘come to know each other’ (wink wink nudge nudge) in a stable one night, where afterwards, Lindsay proposes marriage.

What’s the problem?  Well, Lindsay dabbles in opium.  And a couple of nights later, after indulging in some opium, he mistakes Anais’s friend Rebecca for her.  And of course, Anais discovers them in flagrante delicto, and she runs away.  Flash-forward to an auspicious ten months later, and Lindsay returns from a trip to Turkey just in time to save Anais from her burning house.  He and his family takes in Anais’s family for the holidays (because yes, it’s Christmastime), and he notices how sick she looks.  DUN DUN DUN.

I think you can see where this is going.  Anais has anemia, she’s lost a lot of blood, she looks pale … meanwhile, she’s also latched onto one of Lindsay’s old friends Garrett Braeburn, who’s helping her.  Lindsay seems to think that he’s giving her a helping hand as well, ifyaknowwhaddimean.  Lindsay’s jealousy and desire for Anais continues to battle with his growing need for opium.

And throughout all of this, Anais and Lindsay still do it.  A lot, actually.

The plot was actually very dense, but as I’ve said, I’m not looking for a lot of character development in my Midwestern Philosophy.  The last forty pages included SPOILER ALERT Lindsay’s withdrawal from his opium addiction, which was a cloudy shade of intense.  It’s not nearly as graphic as it could be, but for its genre, it was practically Fight Club.

Right now, I don’t foresee the need to read this novel again, but I may continue to read this imprint.  Just don’t make the peanut butter chunky, okay?  (Um, I don’t mean that in the way my brain just thought it did.)

Grade for Addicted: 2 stars

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