DCIB Book Club: Getting Rid of Bradley, The Happiest Silliest Doggiest Romance Novel!!!!

Happy Sunday! And Happy Mother’s Day! And happy day when we talk about a silly happy book that has nothing to do with mother’s!

This book is so great. It feels specifically 90s to me, in the best way. No computers making stress for folks, an assumption that everyone has a salary job which will last until retirement, and a sort of happy optimism about the future. That alone is lovely, and then you add on that is all warm and cozy in houses with dogs and a nice midwestern town setting, and it becomes cozy cozy cozy cozy.

GETTING RID OF BRADLEY | Comic | Romance Comics
There’s a COMIC VERSION!!!!! Who knew????

Now, discussion questions!!!!

Is it a problem that there is no real conflict in the romance? I don’t think so. Why do we need conflict? They have a couple of silly fights, but basically they fall in love at first sight and are together forever. No stupid misunderstandings, no jealousy, no invented obstacles. I am okay with that! The dialogue and interactions are so fun, I don’t need stress over “what will happen” to keep me reading. I guess that’s why it works. In other books, you put in the suspense and stuff in the romance so the reader will want to keep reading. But in this book, you want to keep reading anyway.

Did this book make you want to buy an old Victorian house? It did for me, for sure!

Was Sister Tina too perfect a stereotype of “tough rich sister/friend”? The whole fabulously wealthy, mean to men, scary, and so on was a bit duex ex machina. But they did explain it a little bit with her backstory, and how clearly the sisters did not have very warm parents.

Was it silly to call the town “Riverbend” when it was clearly Columbus? Yes. Yes it was. I had a friend who was in med school at OSU and spent a fair amount of time in Columbus and I know EXACTLY where all those locations and landmarks mentioned in the book are, especially the old Victorian houses near the campus.

Okay, now the most important part!!!!

If SRK is our hero, who is so full of energy it looks like electrical sparks are coming off of him, who is our heroine who loves dogs and her house and blinks when she thinks of something she shouldn’t say?

I am sincerely torn between Kajol, Rani, and Juhi. I might slightly lean towards Rani if we keep the sexiness of the story, because she is for sure the sexiest of the three.

7 thoughts on “DCIB Book Club: Getting Rid of Bradley, The Happiest Silliest Doggiest Romance Novel!!!!

  1. I really enjoyed the book, read it in less than 24 hours. But that said my head has just been swimming with all the gender relations stuff since. The book was written by a woman, and yet, the woman, the main character, was kinda like a pet. She needed a “keeper”? Men looked at her and thought she needed a keeper? And there are other oddities that can kinda be overlooked because it IS a light and fluffy story, like why wasn’t she in a serious relationship before her husband if she was so cute, and it is @#$! annoying to always have someone around with $ who can swoop in and buy you new cars when they get bombed and new windows when they get shot out. It is odd to me that though there is a female author and a female protagonist the idea of gender in the books seems very traditional. Yet, if I look at what the protagonist accomplishes it isn’t traditional, but the words, the author’s approach to her is. I can’t really explain myself, but basically I’m like “Do women think of themselves as pets?”

    The book had really good sexual tension. And I like sexual tension. In fact I would say that there was romantic conflict, neither of them wanted to get into a relationship, and yet they were both so attracted to the other. Sure it was internal conflict, but it was still conflict. The question of marriage was also a conflict of sorts.

    If we go back in time and cast a younger SRK I would want him to be with Juhi in this story. Kajol’s force of personality seems too strong for the character, and despite trying I’ve never been a Rani fan. But if we weren’t to go back in time – I could see Vicky Kaushal and Katrina Kaif being perfect for these roles right now.

    I kinda put you Margaret in the protagonist role. She seemed like my idea of you. Except I don’t think of you as a pet. But you like dogs, just like the protagonist, and home.

    I know nothing about the midwest and thus had no idea where the story was located – U.S., midsize city, before the era of cell phones. And a fixer-upper with only two bedrooms is in no way appealing to me. But I can certainly understand the appeal to those who don’t have three children and enjoy being inside.

    Thanks for getting me to read the book. I already passed it on to a friend who loves a good sex scene.

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    • Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay, so glad you read and enjoyed it!!!! Having read other books by the author, I think she definitely plays into the rescue fantasy. But in a very particular way. All her heroines tend to have self-esteem issues, family problems, stuff like that. And then there is the right guy who wakens their libido, makes them feel pretty, and so on and so forth, sort of shakes up their life. But it’s not always seeing her as a “pet”, that’s specific to this book, where she is sort of quiet and steady and never thinks about herself. There’s another book where the heroine is a conwoman who hates her life and is “rescued” by finding a nice steady guy who offers her a different life. And they all have heroes with family problems, etc. etc., and the heroine “rescues” them from those things. Also, I think that must be another part of the 90s of it? This whole world of dates and male-female interacts and stuff just feels foreign to me now, in the world of “gender is a social construct”. Anyway, it sounds like you were able to put aside your thinky brain long enough to enjoy the fun silly sexy book, which is what matters most!

      This author is phenomenal at sexual tension!!!! And she shakes it up a bit book by book, has sex scenes that aren’t just cut and paste good sex, but actually fit with the characters and the situation. If you are in the mood for just good sexual tension fun times, all of her books are good. And you are right, it was conflict of a sort, but it was FUN conflict. Like, I wasn’t stressed out about the misunderstanding or the two unhappy people, I kind of knew it would be resolved.

      Ooo, I like Vicky and Kat!!! Kat in particular, this is a PERFECT role for her. I would especially love seeing the hair changes on her. And if not Vicky, maybe Ranveer. There’s a definite Ranveer and Dips in real life energy to the couple, isn’t there?

      Oh I am definitely the protagonist! That’s why this is one of my favorite books of hers, I am sure. Her heroines without dogs aren’t nearly as interesting to me, and her heroines with children instead of dogs I just don’t get 🙂 But this one, a nice 30 something woman who loves her dogs and her house, that makes total sense to me.

      One thing I love about this author is that all of her books are set in Columbus, Ohio and the surrounding area. Not that I particularly love Columbus (although it is cool I am familiar with it enough to picture the settings), but that she made the decision to write what she knows. These kinds of books are usually set in New York or LA or some other aggressively cool location. Or on a ranch in Texas, or in Aspen with skiing, or in Hawaii. But she writes the little area she knows well and I think the stories are richer for that.

      On Sun, May 9, 2021 at 5:27 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • It is richer, being a little are that the author knows. And it was fun, going back in time to life before cell phones. Though, at least in this story, not much else seemed different.

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  2. Yeah, this book is very obvious in its “Oh yes, this would appeal to Margaret” qualities. Though I have to admit, the house was described in such loving detail that I found it charming, too. I guess the real test of Lucy’s love would have been if she’d had to leave that house to be with Zack. Then again, the house was shot to pieces and she worried about him, so I guess they’re on the safe side.

    I hadn’t checked the publication year before I started reading, so I admit I didn’t realize I was reading a historical document until she left him a note instead of just texting. Funny how I can ignore mentions of car phones when it doesn’t fit my preconceived notions.

    I had a lot more trouble believing she was a physics teacher. I think it’s a lot easier for an author to twist the second law of thermodynamics into a reason for dating than for someone who is actually used to thinking of that theory not in words but in terms of moving subatomic particles. And then I lost all trust in the scientific soundness of the book when the dog was spelled “Heisenburg” a few times in a row and I thought that was actually his name. Maybe I’m overly sensitive because I’ve actually worked with the guy’s son, but that mistake definitely wouldn’t happen to a physicist.

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    • The author has a few heroines who are teachers I think, and I think she taught in the past. So she nailed the “teaching” part of it, just fell down in the decision to make it physics instead of a topic she is more familiar with. I guess she thought it would make the heroine more logical and different? But yeah, a mistake.

      Awwwww, you all know me so well! This is absolutely a Margaret story. Dogs, houses, no need to go to big loud parties or have adventures, it’s even in a nice midwestern city.

      On Tue, May 11, 2021 at 5:07 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  3. This was such a comfort read to me. I love all of Jennifer Cruise’s quirky heroines. The books make me laugh and I just see them being perfect for a Hindi rom com. For example, I can actually see this turned into a movie Fawad and Sonam. Fawad has the protective instinct and oooozes sex! Sonam can play quirky really well. Another great heroine would be Kriti. I really like her comic timing.

    1. Is it a problem that there is no real conflict in the romance? No. They are just happy and quirky and have great sexual tension and lots of things blowing up randomly. It’s the perfect espacist novel.

    2. Did this book make you want to buy an old Victorian house? NO NO NO! Houses are expensive and already need a lot of upkeep. I do NOT want an old fixer upper. I want things already done. I have no interest in just putting money into an old house just to fix things that are broken or going to break at any minute. I will happy go stay at a old Victorian house while I am on vacation and someone else has to worry about the upkeep.

    3. Was Sister Tina too perfect a stereotype of “tough rich sister/friend”? She was a sterotype but I also just loved that about her. I wish there was a romance novel all about Tina finding love. Maybe with the other police officer.

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    • But Old Victorian Houses are so PRETTY! And Homey! And nice!!!!

      Did you read Bet Me? In that one, the sister does get a little romance with the friend of the hero. It’s barely there, but it makes me happy!

      Agree about it being the perfect escapist novel. No weird family tension, no sadness, all good.

      On Mon, May 17, 2021 at 11:51 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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