May 1 2006
Dear Ms. Galen,
Oh my, this book is just packed with romance cliches starting with the English nobleman working for the Foreign Office. I’m beginning to think that Avon believes this was part of a nobleman’s duties. Despite that I did end up liking this book but while I enjoyed it, it’s not Fine Romance at it’s best. Well, after all, it’s an Avon book so we get Avon “history” and Avon “manners,” in general we get Avon “Regency England.” And we all know how realistic that is.
Let’s see, what were some other cliches? The heroine is a Spitfire (complete with red hair) American who is in London trying to find her late brother’s friend to loan her enough money to get her late father’s South Carolina shipping company back in business and she takes pissing off the English very seriously. The Slightly Stuffed Shirt hero, who needs the heroine to try and track down this friend who is a suspected spy against England, takes pleasure in bringing her down a notch or two. They conveniently forget their faux marriage bargain at times and seem to ignore the fact that Freddie’s servants are no doubt spreading news of their “marital” spats all over London.
Other problems I had with it include Addy’s (the black mammy) speech veering from slightly overdone to ludicrous and back again. Freddie takes Charlotte’s virginity yet in a moment of anger later on, he accuses her of having a lover. It features the kind of villain I despise, you know, the ones who start off perfectly rational and end up as candidates for a loony bin. Oh, and the cover. (Shudder) Bare chested English hero holding heroine who is having dress problems and who looks like she’s trying to get a leg up on him.
Yet, despite all this, I still ended liking it enough for it to probably be a guilty pleasure. Freddie and Charlotte sort of grew on me and they do have their funny moments. Addy’s speech might at times be straight out of a 1930s Hollywood movie but the running gag of whether or not she or Freddie’s valet had more power in the household made me laugh a lot. I know you probably enjoy hearing that but I’m still puzzling it out myself. Oh well, just one of life’s little mysteries.