Review: How to Date a Douchebag: The Failing Hours by Sara Ney

Reviewed by Joanna

Zeke (Ezekiel) Daniels is a douchebag. Unlike Oz, the douchebag in book one of this new adult series, Zeke’s quality of douchiness comes more from his terrible attitude problems, rather than screwing around. He’s such a sour puss.

“My parents must have known from the beginning that I was going to be a sinner—that’s why it sounds like they named me after two books of the Bible. Lord knows I’m no saint.”

So it’s no surprise when mousy scared Violet, who is assigned to tutor him, takes one looks and runs a mile. She’s not alone in her reaction. Everyone dislikes the guy. Women sleep with him for his incredible looks and body, and for his face being on billboards around campus as he’s such a hot wrestling stud, but they hate him otherwise. His friends don’t much like him either, nor does his team, and his coach has had it.

Coach forces Zeke to attend a Big Brother program, where he has to take a kid out once a week to give a single mother a break. On a very reluctant outing with Kyle, the kid, he meets Violet with her own babysitting charge: Summer. Relieved to be able to kid-pool, Zeke hangs around Violet, and they pick up the tutoring again, once she’s apologized a thousand times for ditching him. Vi is super intimidated by the beautiful, angry man.

“Act casual, I remind myself, he is just a guy… An insensitive guy. Intimidating. Cold. Callous. Complicated. The moodiest, broodiest, douchebaggiest guy I have ever met.”

See, library-dwelling Violet is gentle, kind and beyond nice. She’s got a terribly sad past and a terrible stutter because of it. Zeke makes fun of her and I wanted to bash him for this. He also makes fun of her flat chest (her small boobs were mentioned so many times, it was an obsession for them both), her likes and her life. Boy is mean.

“…she smells like virgin and what I imagine baby powder would if I knew what the hell it smelled like.”

But, amazingly and perhaps due to her much practiced resilience, Violet doesn’t hate everything about Zeke. She finds at least one redeeming feature and hangs around even when Zeke hurts her feelings. It’s a hard slog to watch her tolerate his hurtful behavior. She does call him on it, but he gets away with a lot. I wanted him crawling on his knees to beg forgiveness before she lets him in.

Zeke has a lot of changing to do. His past is sad but it’s not all that tragic – basically his parents didn’t care all that much for him and went off traveling for much of his formative years. He’s got abandonment issues and I guess in all our lives it’s about perspective, not a competition for whose had it the worst. Zeke is wallowing and hiding, not facing up to anything. He’s a spiteful child in a magnificent man’s body. Did I mention how hot he is? I liked reading the descriptions of him rather a lot – tall, dark and carved is my manna. And those hella revealing wrestling leotards sound just delicious.

I’d read more by this author, and lucky for me Douchebag three is in the planning.

Rating: B

Click to purchase: Amazon

How to Date a Douchebag: The Failing Hours
by Sara Ney
Release Date: January 31, 2017


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