This has nothing to do with late fees. I have no fear of late fees. I should actually have a chair with my name on it in my favourite branch because of all the fees I've paid in my life.
However. I very rarely stop in the middle of a book. Once, when I was very young, I watched a kid's show about a boy who never finished the books he was reading until they all came after him in the night. Since I am all about avoiding things that come after you in the night, I am all about finishing books. Plus, I hate not knowing.
The book is Showdown by Tilly Bagshawe, an author I thought I liked*. The book begins in the UK, and features rich people. The heroine is a young rich girl** whose daddy breeds horses for racing but is not allowed to ride herself, even though she is the bestest horse-rider ever. She meets Booby who is a real-life cowboy who inherits a ranch in Texas. The bad news is he's poor, and so is his ranch. He needs to live up to his dead father for some reason, and he chooses to do it by getting into a partnership with an ultra-skeezy land developer who wants make a ton of money off Booby, mainly by ripping off Booby's oil and whatever else he can get his hands on. Booby (it works better) wants to save the family ranch by breeding quarterhorses for racing. His dad (a terminal moron) was all about the cowboy way, which apparently, in T. Bagshawe's world, means no oil. Drilling for oil desecrates the land or something.
My suspension of disbelief faltered, failed and would not be revived. First of all, Texas = oil. And cowboy ranchers? cowboy ranchers = paying your damn bills and not losing the ranch because you've got no money because you are stupid.
Now, I don't know any ranchers but I do know quite a few farmers. I don't even have to call them up to ask what they think of this guy.
TOTALLY FAKE INTERVIEW
Me: So, the bank is going to foreclose on your farm and you're going to lose everything. The reason they're foreclosing is because you are poor, behind on the mortage, and they are pretty certain there's oil on your property. What would you do? Remember, this is the West, and in the West, your code of honour is apparently more important than having a place to live.
Farmer: Wtf? I'm not broke, I have oil. Lease the mineral rights for loads of cash, throw a party, buy a boat and go on vacation. In that order, and finishing in Hawaii doing some deep sea fishing.***
END MADE UP YET TRUE INTERVIEW
So, there you have it. My complete lack of belief in the stupid reasoning behind the conflict = putting it down and not picking it back up. Well, and the fact that most people in this book were head-splittingly annoying, crazy or just plain stupid.
Life is too short for this.
*and now I realize that I actually really liked Louise Bagshawe's books, not Tilly's. Boo british writers who have the same distinctive last name! Boo!
**I forget her name, but she had long blonde hair, and was kinda annoying and seventeen for a really long time in the book.
***Actually, this part is true. Including the deep sea fishing part.