Nameless, by Claire Kent


Grade: C-

Doing it at: 4%

Catnip: Accidental Pregnancy; Mature Rational Decisions; Emotional Unavailability

Shame Scale: Low shame, this is pretty close to a real book, dammit

Fantasy Cast: Lee Pace; Anna Paquin

Book Description:

They named it anything but love.

After a failed marriage to a domineering man, Erin refuses to be controlled by anything or anyone. That includes Seth, the father of her baby—a man who was supposed to be only a one-night-stand, a man who’s used to always getting his way.

There’s a reason that Seth Thomas, a successful defense attorney, is often referred to as the Bulldozer. If something needs to happen, he makes it happen. That includes being part of his baby’s life—even if he never expected to be a father, even if Erin doesn’t really trust him.

They’ll work out an arrangement in the best interest of their baby—and if they occasionally have sex, well, that’s just an added perk—but they both agree on one thing.

What they have will never be love.

I was crazy excited for this book. Mary sent me a link to it with the text “Happy early birthday, I better get a good review”, and I was all “SQUUEEEEE.” You see the whole synopsis is super catnip to me; I totally totally want to have a bar baby. Its pretty common for me to mention in any sort of company that I want to reenact the song All I Wanna Do by Heart. And here was Nameless! Just look at that cover! That girl totally looks like she’s young and in trouble; making bad eye make up decisions and having an awesome secret pregnancy. Alas bitches, alas alas, that was not what the book held for me.

Nameless opens with our gal Erin at a funeral for a neighbor, a man who was a lifelong friend of her father. She’s divorced from a controlling man, dedicated to a career that wasn’t what she dreamed of but that she likes OK, and is close to her small family. Seth is there too, he was the dead man’s closest kin and no one is talking to him. Apparently Seth was a dick when he came to live with his uncle as a teen and the whole town is still holding it against him. Even though now he’s grown up and a hot-shot lawyer who makes the gossip pages, and has lots of money. It seems kind of shitty of a whole town to hold a grudge against a troubled kid; and Erin thinks so too. The troubled kid comes home was reminding me of Jess and Rory, and my hopes for this book were getting even higher, a little Gilmore Girls wishful thinking never hurt a book. Erin starts talking to Seth, they head to a bar for a drink, and end up having several. The more they talk and drink the more it becomes clear that they both really want to see the other one naked, so they go back to his uncle’s house for some lust and thrust. We’re still doing OK at this point. No Erin isn’t going to be knocked up by a stranger but we can overlook this one little disappointment! The sex is well written; its realistic and a little awkward and Claire needs actual clitoral stimulation to get where she’s going. I especially appreciated that, so often in these books the guy like blows a puff of air down there and our girl shatters into a million pieces. UNREALISTIC.

They have their sex, Erin declines to stay the night because she a modern woman, and she chalks it up to a really great one night stand. Until her period doesn’t come. I was expecting:

A: Erin keeps the baby secret until Seth sees her heavily pregnant (they both work in the court system so this is a good possibility)

B: Erin tells Seth and he doesn’t believe the baby is his (he’s been talked of as kind of a douche and dates around a lot, so this is also a good possibility)

C: Seth demands she get an abortion, she lets him think she did, and then he sees them two years later and is all WHOA NELLY (Again douche, good possibility)

What I get is nothing like any of those. Nameless gives me two mature adults having a rational discussion about an accidental pregnancy. To be absolutely clear this was not what I wanted in my bar baby book. I wanted secrets and yelling and then the eventual acceptance and crazy head over heels love. I wanted maybe 250 pages of plot then an easy HEA, possibly before the baby is even born.

Instead I get Erin and Seth having very occasional sex to scratch her pregnancy itch. I get a labor scene that gave me traumatic flashbacks — the author has either had natural child-birth or is a goddamn psychic — and a confession of love at the worst possible moment. I get a pages long scene of a child who doesn’t want to pick up Cheerios. Epilogue after epilogue detailing their HEA with nary a screaming match or mistake to be found.  At one point, its been made to seem like Seth is cheating on her and Erin very calmly decides that it can’t be what it looks like and talks to him instead of doing something rash. This is a great real life reaction, but in a book that I had such high trash hopes for it kind of sucks. Trash books don’t need to let the reader know that Seth made space for her in his apartment by redecorating a room, or that he supports her decisions to go back to school or not go back to school, or that he worries about how she’ll pay for child care. Less realism and more doin’ it in hallways, por favor.

Again, the doin’ it in this doin’ it book is A level work. The pregnancy sex takes angles of penetration and awkwardness and Erin not feeling hot in to account. Kent does those things and STILL makes the sex sexy. She deals with breastfeeding mom having boobs full of milk frankly and without any embarrassment. I kind of felt like I was reading a pregnant and new mom sex how-to guide at times. Is it OK to be mad that my book wasn’t trashy enough?

You guys this was not a true bar baby book. This was practically a REAL book about love and parenting and emotional growth only with some good hard fucking thrown in to liven things up. I’m so disappointed. If I want to read about “imagine his surprise when he saw his own eyes”, I’m just going to have to write it myself.