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REVIEW: Her Secret Lover by Sara Bennett

Dear Ms. Bennet:

I have to tell you up front that you will not want to read this review, not that I think you will, but in case you have a Google Alert set up, this is something that you should just delete.

/start rant (there will be spoilers and maybe a little blood)

This book is an amalgamation of horrible romance cliches that are designed to make women look stupid and romanticize disgusting male behavior. It meets or exceeds every stereotypical thought someone outside of romance has about the romance genre and leads to wrong generalizations about the people who read romance.

Let’s start out with Chapter One where our brown sparrow of a heroine, Antoinette, is ruminating about being sent to a country estate from an unscrupulous man. During her ruminations about this she takes the time to think about the fact that even though she wears subdued outer clothing she has a weakness for sexy lingerie. WTF? This chick is supposed to be worried about escaping from the clutches of a villainous man and she spends time monologuing about her underwear?

But, of course, we have to know that she likes sexy underwear because the very next scene a highwayman stops the carriage, bursts inside and then starts manhandling her. He wants a letter that she has and demands she hand it over. When she refuses, he tears her bodice and starts gripping her breasts. This totally turns her on. WTF? And him as well because of the said sexy lingerie.

I am supposed to believe that some gently bred woman in the 1840s and is unmarried is going to be delighted that some scary man in a mask is ripping her clothes off and making like he is going to rape her? I wouldn’t even believe this scenario today if some guy carjacked a girl on the way to the country, ripped her shirt and started manhandling her. But no, in this book, not only is Antoinette turned out by the breast fondling, she’s breathless with fucking anticipation when he lifts her skirts. And wow, did he just brush her privates by accident or on purpose and will he do it again?

He drew his hands downward and his fingers accidentally brushed her most intimate place; or was it on purpose?

If my fireplace were wood burning and not natural gas, I would have ripped out chapter one and burned those pages. I’m supposed to believe that because she doesn’t care what society says and some ancient ancestress is telling her to “go for it” that this scene should be titillating instead of disgusting.

Of course, the book does not get better. The highwayman, Gabriel is really the former owner of the manor.   Gabriel has had this “birthright” torn from him when his father signed it over to the villain, Lord Appleby. Gabriel does not find the letter and returns to a cottage on the grounds of the manor. He then tells his faithful servant that he isn’t sure he can obtain the letter. The servant gives him encouragement by telling him

“That’s ’cause you’re a gentleman, master,” Wonicot explained. “You’ve been brought up to be kind to women, so it goes against your grain to frighten them. And I wouldn’t call Miss Dupre weak and feeble. She’s got a look in her eye, that one.”

Oh Mr. Wonicot, maybe because you weren’t there inside the carriage and thus, you didn’t realize that the asshole ripped the clothes off the woman, fondled her and stuck his hand up her skirts, or maybe you think that kind of behavior is gentlemanly and heroic. After all, I’m sure that is how I, the reader, am supposed to view it. Unfortunately, I view it as boorish at best, potential rapist at worst.

Looking at how Gabriel treats other women in the story suggests that he is definitely a self absorbed asshole. For example, young Mary, the servant girl, dallied with Gabriel when he was younger. He snuggled with her, kissed her and she built up expectations, unreasonable ones, that she and Gabriel may one day be a couple. Of course, in Gabriel’s mind, he was just practicing and when he went off to London, he snuggled, kissed and did much more. Is that honorable? Heroic? Is accosting a woman in a carriage and ripping off her bodice honorable or heroic? No no no no. I don’t like Gabriel. He acts and sounds like an impetuous spoiled young boy. So your father sold you out. Move on, you asshole.

Instead, Gabriel embarks on midnight visits wearing his mask to the manor house. There, night after night, he encounters, and scares the shit out of, Antoinette as she wanders from library to schoolroom. He dubs her the “little brown sparrow” and “pocket Venus” and “clever little minx.” He accosts her regularly which she apparently doesn’t mind. She’s all about giving up the goods to some guy who comes to her at night wearing a mask. The best part? Antoinette finds some erotic books in the library so that she can help seduce herself. Every household in England must have had these. They were more common than the penny dreadfuls which makes perfect sense because why else would all those orgies in historical romance be included?

Even better than a little brown sparrow-minx Venus who finds two descriptive and illustrated erotic manuals in a gentry’s country library is that the gentry owns part of London’s most infamous brothel: Aphrodite’s Club. Even better than that is that the gentry’s wife is worried about being shunned by the local parish if word got out that she had an affair because having an affair is so much worse that owning a whorehouse. Woot.

So let’s count the cliches:

  • brown wren on the outside wearing sexy lingerie underneath
  • highway man is really hero, landed gentry in disguise
  • all the servants love the hero and eventually the heroine
  • the little brown sparrow-minx finds erotic tomes – hmm I wonder what she’ll do with those? Not use them to impale her self on the fleshy pole of the masked highway man who is really the hero in disguise
  • heroine befriends groom and allows him to chastise her about her sexual choices (of course groom is also hero who is also the highway man)
  • there is a whorehouse involved

But let’s not get bogged down by the cliches. After all, what’s a few cliches between friends? Let’s look at the plot. We have Antoinette who is super rich and her sister, Cecilia. Antoinette, a young rich heiress, apparently can travel from her home in Surrey to London to visit Lord Abbleby without chaperonage. Who has control of her fortune? Not really clear. Antoinette is caught in a compromising position with Lord Appleby and is sent to his country manor to tamp down rumors that they are having an affair until Antoinette agrees to marry him. Um, that makes tons of sense. No one will ever start gossiping about that.

Then we have Lord Appleby who is some kind of lord but feels antipathy for the “London blue bloods”. Wasn’t he a London blueblood? Instead, he is a “self-made man”? who “pulled [himself] up from nothing?”

The story is set around the time of the opening of the Crystal Palace. There was alot in the book about the Palace itself but not much else. It read like someone had come accross a book about the Crystal Palace and thought, hmm, I’d like to write a a book about it. I find it ironic that the book featuring the Crystal Palace and Prince Albert (a very Anglicized Albert at that) makes the “self made” man as the villain given that the Crystal Palace was built to house the Great Exhibition which displayed the modern technologies of the day and that Prince Albert was a bit of a populist himself. But this book neither explores the underbelly of modern technology of the day as corrupting which would fit having the self made man the villain, nor did it explore the changing mores of society as a result of the Industrial Revolution. The Crystal Palace is nothing more than a set piece, a marker whose presence is supposed to imbue the story with historical authenticity. In other words, any other museum or exhibition hall could have replaced the Crystal Palace in this story without effecting the arc, theme or plot of the book.

But who cares about creating any historical accuracy so long as you have a historical monument anchoring the story, right? Who cares that you have a young, rich woman staying at London’s most notorious brothel? Who cares she traisping around without a chaperone?

But, and most importantly, both Gabriel and Antoinette had money. Gabriel made his money off of railroad speculation and Antoinette had inherited it, so why they were running around in subterfuge was beyond me. Use your fucking pocket books and buy your way out of your respective messes. Seriously, this book was a wall banger, in every aspect. D

Best regards

Jane

This book can be purchased in mass market from Amazon or Powells or ebook format.

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com

42 Comments

  1. Animejune
    Oct 23, 2008 @ 15:15:36

    Thanks for the warning! I will avoid this like the plague, now. I can never understand why people will write historical romances if they don’t bother making them historically accurate!

  2. Kimber An
    Oct 23, 2008 @ 15:34:25

    I can’t make myself read a book I dislike. How is it done?

  3. Fionn J.
    Oct 23, 2008 @ 15:43:05

    Mmm…I’m such a glutton for punishment, but you’ve just made me want to read it. Just to see if it’s as bad as you say. :O

  4. SonomaLass
    Oct 23, 2008 @ 16:26:22

    You have saved my wall a banging, and I thank you.

  5. Jessica
    Oct 23, 2008 @ 16:59:32

    This is why I gave up historicals SO many years ago. I know they’re supposed to be better now, but every time I try one . . . I end up with one of these.

    Save the contemporary (as long as it’s not a Silhouette Desire and the hero is a billionaire ass).

  6. Jayne
    Oct 23, 2008 @ 17:01:47

    How did the book avoid an F grade? Just curious…

  7. Jane
    Oct 23, 2008 @ 18:28:25

    @Jayne – I considered it but felt that according to our grading metric, it was more of a D. I have a hard time giving an F because mostly I feel like if I give it an F, I am saying it really didn’t deserve to be published. I mean, was it as bad as Karen Tabke’s book or Carol Lynne’s? I don’t think so. It was offensive, but not THAT offensive.

  8. veinglory
    Oct 23, 2008 @ 19:08:37

    Sexy Victorian underwear still pretty much came by the yard, and didn’t involve panties. So I am having trouble imagining the whole scene. http://news.ninemsn.com.au/article.aspx?id=606570

  9. Aemelia
    Oct 24, 2008 @ 06:56:02

    I liked this book…though admittedly, I’m not one to focus on historical accuracy(unless it is something totally obvious and smacks me in the face). I like both of the characters.
    BUT,I’ll put up with alot more crap from historical heros than in contemps.

  10. MCHalliday
    Oct 24, 2008 @ 15:24:10

    Originality and historical accuracy are really important to me and I’d deem this book a wall banger even if the hero was wonderful.

    The Crystal Palace was tendered in 1850. Joseph Paxton had designed and built a number of glass houses before his plan for the exhibition building was rendered in a magazine, to great acclaim. He designed the iron work and was assisted in the construction by Charles Fox, an engineer working in Derby, the iron centre of Britain at the time. William Cubitt was a civil engineer and inventor, also Chairman of the Building Committee.

    Underpinnings for ladies in the 1850′s were not the least sexy, unless one considered the crotch opening for other than toileting. After ripping apart the bodice, the attacker would then be faced with the chemise encased by a rigid corset, thus preventing any possibility of fondling.

    “Lord” is a courtesy title for the younger sons of a duke and marquess, who are not peerage. Otherwise the title cannot be used unless a peer, such as a Baron would be referred to as “Lord”. A man who ‘pulled himself up from nothing’ might be afforded a knighthood through service, fame or industry with the title “Sir”, but never given a hereditary title of peerage. Even Prince Albert was not a peer, the request from the Queen was refused by parliment.

    The Prince was viewed with suspicion and his plan for foreign countries to be represented at the exhibition caused outrage. He quietly fought for his belief that British manufacturing would benefit from the exhibition, as would standards in the Commonwealth. His qualities are reflected in his support of the arts, changes in university education (he was extremely well educated and likely spoke English well)and work to abolish slavery in French colonies and the US. In HSL, I hope he was portrayed as a kind yet persevering gentleman, dedicated to a country that did not embrace him until after his death.

  11. Bev Stephans
    Oct 24, 2008 @ 17:43:23

    Jane, thank you for not contributing to my TBR pile!

  12. Sue
    Oct 25, 2008 @ 02:06:53

    Dear Jayne,
    Although I hadn’t even read this book, I was fairly sure some of your comments were innaccurate as I had just finished the previous book and knew it was not set in the 1840′s but the 1850′s. So I checked, and sure enough, this books starts with the date, June 1851. Then your quote from the Gentleman’s Gazette is actually talking about the ‘Opening of the New Bridge at Rochester’ and has nothing to do with the Crystal Palace. If you intend criticising an author’s research and historical accuracy, you should ensure accuracy yourself. And in the excerpt chapters I read, this author does not actually say that Lord Appelby ‘created the cast iron tubing’ used in the construction of Crystal Palace, but that his manufacturing company made money supplying it. Perhaps the book is full of cliches, and I realise Victorian clothing is notoriously hard to remove, so I may agree with you later on those and other things. Still, a lot of this review is factually incorrect, misleading, and therefore an unwarranted insult to the author.

  13. Jane
    Oct 25, 2008 @ 08:55:40

    @Sue: The part of the Gentleman’s Gazette refers exactly to the people who worked on the Crystal Palace (as well as the bridge). It’s a cross reference between Wiki and the GG but I’m sorry I didn’t include the wiki reference. I certainly don’t present myself as having any special historical knowledge but Lord Appleby was presented as someone integral to the building of the CP. Further, it was hinted that he was a self made man but still a Lord so I did google to see if you could find out more.

    My understanding of the cast iron tubing at the time is that it was a revolutionary type of construction and the book says “His latest venture, supplying the cast-iron components for the Great Exhibition building, had made him a household name.” and “He paused to stare, and then he remembered what his mother had said, and realized that he’d heard of Lord Appleby after all. He was one of the manufacturers who’d won a contract to help construct the already famous building.”

    The point of the historical complaint is this: Nothing about the book except for the CP had any ring of historical authenticity to it. How is Lord Appleby a Lord and a self made man who views the “London blue bloods” in disgust? What is Lord Appleby’s title? Why is Gabriel’s father able to sell his home to Lord Appleby? Is there some entail that would control that? What about the fact that the heroine is not chaperoned the entire book and spends a large portion of the second half residing at “London’s most infamous brothel”? It’s the underpinning of the book that is without historical detail.

    As for the 1940s comment, I simply could not remember if the book was set in the late 1940s or the early 1950s. It doesn’t change the criticism of any aspect of the story.

    I wouldn’t agree with you that “a lot of this review is factually incorrect, misleading, and therefore an unwarranted insult to the author” since I think the book is an insult to the reader. We’ll have to agree to disagree.

  14. Mel
    Oct 25, 2008 @ 19:41:37

    Wow. I sure hope Sara has a forgiving heart and a thick skin. Why is it writers can be freely attacked, but that for someone in any other career – doctor, lawyer, taxi-driver…this would never be condoned?

  15. Stephanie
    Oct 25, 2008 @ 23:10:27

    I’d say the book was being attacked, not the writer. Whether one agrees with the reviewer or not, her criticisms are directed towards the novel’s plot, characterization, and other narrative elements. At no time does she go off on the author as a person. One would hope Ms. Bennett herself could tell the difference.

  16. graindebeaute
    Oct 26, 2008 @ 00:21:09

    This book surely won’t go to my TBR pile.

  17. Ann Somerville
    Oct 26, 2008 @ 00:54:41

    A man who ‘pulled himself up from nothing' might be afforded a knighthood through service, fame or industry with the title “Sir”, but never given a hereditary title of peerage.

    And in fact, at that period, life peerages were very rare and not considered ‘real’ by hereditary peers.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Life_peer

    Any ‘brown sparrow’ who was wearing sexy lingerie at that period wouldn’t have just been a slut, she’d have been a prostitute. The only possibly excuse our ‘hero’ would have had for his behaviour would be that on encountering it, he would have been entitled to think her favours were on offer. But that’s not actually any excuse.

    Mel, if a taxi driver made this level of error (which would be something like ending up in Sydney when you were trying to cross London), you bet they’d be criticised. You can get away with stupid if the book’s funny or enjoyable, but it sounds as if it’s neither, so on a professional level, it just fails.

    As for doctors, they are frequently criticised – even for the authorly sin of plagiarism. The difference between a doctor and an author is that Raj Persaud was suspended for three months and Janet Dailey…is still being published by the same company.

  18. MD
    Oct 26, 2008 @ 01:34:39

    Omg, Mel. You aren’t around lawyers much, are you? Lawyers are under fire that *never* lets up. Even the good guy lawyers who genuinely just want to help people with their legal problems (and yes, I do know some).

    When you choose to walk out on the world stage, whatever your profession, you have to be prepared for whatever will be hurled at you, whether it’s roses or tomatoes. If you can’t deal with it, the best thing for you is to do something else that won’t involve those risks.

  19. Sue
    Oct 26, 2008 @ 19:42:31

    Ann, you were quite correct in that the hero did make the mistake with the underwear because he did indeed think she was a mistress, a kept woman, a prostitiute, but Jane ‘forgot’to mention that contributing factor.
    And Jane, your dates are not just a decade out now, but 110 years out. The book is not set in 1950.
    Plus, your latest attempt to justify using Wiki refereneces to account for previous misinformation fell flat, as will be evident if you search and read the stories in the actual newspaper, dated 1856, around the ‘Opening of the new bridge’ story that you misquoted previously.
    In the period of steam/steel/manufacturing expansion in the 1840s and 50s, many companies were involved in the manufacture of components of the steel used in Victorian building projects and people made money in share trading in these companies, so it is difficult to say who actually ‘created’ the twisted tubing and list the names of the hundreds of people involved in manufacturing contracts. So apart from an author being allowed, in fact encouraged, to use fiction rather than fact in the naming of characters, it would be difficult to prove or disprove the thousands of names involved, especially by only using ‘wiki.
    I do not object to you expressing your opinions, only to your muddling of facts and therefore misleading readers.
    Sue

  20. Ann Somerville
    Oct 26, 2008 @ 21:12:49

    The book is not set in 1950.

    Wow, Jane made a typo. Hang the witch.

    You’re taking this very personally, Sar…Sue. Any particular reason?

  21. Jane
    Oct 26, 2008 @ 22:05:01

    @Sue: You are absolutely right that the story takes place in the 1850s and that was a typo. I understand that you are arguing that Lord Appleby’s position as a manufacturer of cast iron tubing may be accurate. The problem is even if you concede that point, nothing much about the story had an authentic historical feel. I.e., what about Lord Appleby referred to as a self made man? What about the idea of a young woman going around London and various rural ocmmunities wihtout a chaperone.

    What is really tragically ironic is that Lord Appleby, the self made man, was the villian in a book that featured the Crystal Palace and Prince Albert prominently.

    Edited to add: the lingerie point that I was making wasn’t that it was historically inaccurate because I didn’t know that fact. The lingerie scene was problematic from the standpoint that a woman is being accosted by a masked man as she is being sent away from her family and in the hands of a villain and she is titillated by this masked stranger ripping her bodice open, fondling her breasts and sticking his hand up her skirt. That is beyond absurd.

    Edited to add one more thing: I removed the offending Wiki and Gentleman’s Quarterly reference and edited the review to more accurately reflect why I thought the use of the Crystal Palace in this story was weak and ineffectual.

  22. Teresa
    Oct 26, 2008 @ 22:19:10

    Mel – authors DO need a thick skin to be in this business. NO book is EVER going to please all the people all the time and reviewers are legitimately allowed to air their opinions, positive or negative, wherever and whenever they like. Authors who don’t want to read not so glowing reviews aren’t forced to do so. And I speak as someone who hopes to be published one day.

    There are negative reviews with which I disagree, ones which stoop to insulting the author rather than writing about the reviewer’s perceived inadequacies of the plot/characterization/historical accuracy/motivation etc. Jane’s review does not cross the line in any way. What she wrote is her opinion only and is, as far as I can see, fair and well-written.

  23. Karen Scott
    Oct 27, 2008 @ 05:14:28

    The story is set around the time of the opening of the Crystal Palace. There was alot in the book about the Palace itself but not much else. It read like someone had come accross a book about the Crystal Palace and thought, hmm, I'd like to write a a book about it.

    Hey, wasn’t Crystal Palace the setting for the first scene in Lisa Valdez’s Passion, where the hero fondles the heroine who he has never met before, and rubs his massive Love Muscle up her crack?

    Or maybe I was just dreaming. *g*

    Ann, you were quite correct in that the hero did make the mistake with the underwear because he did indeed think she was a mistress, a kept woman, a prostitiute, but Jane ‘forgot'to mention that contributing factor.

    I could give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that you’re just a reader who absolutely lurved this book to death… but… nah, I’m far too cynical for that. You were far too quick to assume that this was an attack on the writer rather than the book.

  24. Ann Bruce
    Oct 27, 2008 @ 08:03:15

    Hey, wasn't Crystal Palace the setting for the first scene in Lisa Valdez's Passion, where the hero fondles the heroine who he has never met before, and rubs his massive Love Muscle up her crack?

    Yes. And they returned there for a couple of subsequent encounters.

  25. MCHalliday
    Oct 27, 2008 @ 13:21:02

    In the period of steam/steel/manufacturing expansion in the 1840s and 50s, many companies were involved in the manufacture of components of the steel…so it is difficult to say who actually ‘created' the twisted tubing and list the names of the hundreds of people involved in manufacturing contracts.

    It is exactly because of this, I have a huge problem with Lord Appleby portrayed as “a household name” and therefore famous due to a contract for the cast tubing.

    The context of ‘created’ is confusing as it could imply manufacture, but the actual creator of the tubing was Paxton; after using huge timbers in his early glass houses designs, he went on to incorporate iron framework with great success. He was not an engineer so the CP construction was overseen by Fox and Cubitt. Paxton became well known (a household name) as did the engineers, to a lesser degree.

  26. Heather>>The Galaxy Express>>"The Great BS Device"
    Oct 28, 2008 @ 21:39:40

    [...Therefore, I wonder, to what extent do present and future SFR authors have a responsibility to aim for scientific accuracy or a well crafted BS device? Is there an onus for them to demonstrate that this sub-genre can master both the science and the romance? As I write this, the historical romance genre comes to mind. Readers often discuss the difference between books involving accurately portrayed historical details and “wallpaper” historicals. Interesting parallel, I'd wager.[...]

  27. Lilly
    Oct 29, 2008 @ 09:50:21

    Wow. Your review didn’t sway me in either direction of reading or not reading this book, but you have clearly established yourself as an unprofessional reviewer.

    Settle down, have a nice cup of tea, and gently steer yourself away from writing reviews of books that you believe will ignite your temper. Because your not helping anyone who is wondering if they want to read or not read this book–all your doing is drawing attention to yourself. And I’m sure that’s not what you intended.

    Peace.

  28. Antonella
    Oct 29, 2008 @ 10:06:46

    Funny, I didn’t find Jane’s review unprofessional, so I guess we’ll have to agree to disagree. On the contrary, I found the review informative and helpful. Thanks to reviewers like Jane, who pull no punches and give a straight-up review, I’ve managed to avoid flushing my money down the drain on a number of books I would have otherwise ended up pitching against the wall in a fit of disgust.

    Your remarks, however, did come across as fairly childish, condescending and unprofessional.

    Peace.

  29. Kalen Hughes
    Oct 29, 2008 @ 10:19:52

    Your remarks, however, did come across as fairly childish, condescending and unprofessional.

    . . . and lacking in grammar. Why is it that the internet-whacko-attack-squad always has grammar issues?

  30. Jane
    Oct 29, 2008 @ 10:31:46

    @Lilly – I actually love tea and will have a cup this afternoon if I have a chance. (Lack honey at work which is a real bummer). I am not a professional reviewer, just a reader, sharing my thoughts with other readers. I understand if this review doesn’t hit you right. With most of our lower grade reviews, there is negative pushback against the negative things that are said in the review about the book.

  31. Lilly
    Oct 29, 2008 @ 10:50:32

    @Jane–Tea is wonderful, isn’t it? No honey for me. I’m a cream and sugar sort of gal. I believe what stunned me were the f-bombs. I am a gentle spirit and although there are those that believe I was being condescending, I can only say that I was, in fact, completely sincere. So, I will be quietly stepping back and this time, I will proceed with caution when I next see a negative review.

    Peace. :)

  32. Ann Somerville
    Oct 29, 2008 @ 14:55:32

    I can only say that I was, in fact, completely sincere.

    Absolutely. I understood that.

    You were being sincerely condescending, rude and uninformed.

    Peace the fuck out. (who the hell says ‘Peace’ after being a snot? Man, you don’t get the same class of hippies these days.)

  33. Jane
    Oct 29, 2008 @ 15:01:44

    @Lilly – Yes, I did curse in the review. I don’t normally though. I think I just go so frustrated over the whole idea of writing a book about the Crystal Palace and then not having any of the story relate to the significance of the CP and the Industrial Revolution as it related to societal structures, particularly given that Lord Appleby (and I really can’t get over the fact that he was a non specific lord, i.e., not title is given for him), was made out to be a self made man, one of the lower classes, and yet the villain.

    But even beyond the historical part making me uncomfortable in terms of authenticity, were the characters themselves and their emotional arcs which relied heavily, I thought, on cliches and tropes without having a cohesive message.

  34. Lilly
    Oct 29, 2008 @ 18:15:24

    @Jane-Thank you for taking the time to respond to my post.

    Peace :)

  35. Paul Bens
    Oct 30, 2008 @ 00:25:06

    Here is what I do not understand about this…if someone lurves this book to death and disagrees with the review, why does that reader take it as a personal affront to themselves or as an attack upon the author or attack the reviewer? It’s almost as if they wrote the book themselves…which we know, of course, is not the case.

    I’m also curious how one can not have read a book and yet come so staunchly to the defense of it (and presumably the author), so much so as to state the review is an “unwarranted insult” to the author. Jane read the book and stated her opinion. At least one person here read the review but not the book and decided the reviewer was full of crap and out only for attention.

    Like Ms. Scott, I fear I fall into the cynical category.

    Someone has been washing their socks today.

  36. Lori
    Oct 30, 2008 @ 00:38:45

    Someone has been washing their socks today.

    I plead ignorance… what does that mean?

  37. Ann Somerville
    Oct 30, 2008 @ 02:20:57

    @Lori – I think Paul is implying, as I and Karen have done, that Sue might be known in some places as Sara Bennett. In other words – a sockpuppet. The fact she hasn’t returned after being called out on this, rather tends to confirm suspicions.

  38. Karen Scott
    Oct 30, 2008 @ 03:46:25

    Peace the fuck out. (who the hell says ‘Peace’ after being a snot? Man, you don’t get the same class of hippies these days.)

    That hit my funny bone in the right spot.

    Whenever anybody says ‘peace’, after being especially snot-like, now, it brings to mind Ringo Starr, telling his fans that he will no longer respond to fan mail.

    It truly was a thing of beauty. Peace and love.

    What a fucktard.

    Erm, Ringo that is. Lilly is just a gentle soul who wants us all to be nice to one another, and doesn’t agree with cursing in reviews. Nothing wrong with that. *g*

  39. Ann Somerville
    Oct 30, 2008 @ 04:04:40

    Nothing wrong with that.

    And it’s cheaper than Ipecac too!

  40. joanne
    Oct 30, 2008 @ 07:43:19

    I’m late I know but I wanted to thank Karen Scott because I knew I had read a Historical Romance with the Palace setting and not remembering the title was driving me crazy!

    Hey, wasn't Crystal Palace the setting for the first scene in Lisa Valdez's Passion, where the hero fondles the heroine who he has never met before, and rubs his massive Love Muscle up her crack?

    Or maybe I was just dreaming. *g*

    Thank You so much, I really hate the brain-blips when I have them (and they are frequent lately *grin*)

  41. Frances
    Oct 30, 2008 @ 11:44:22

    (and I really can't get over the fact that he was a non specific lord, i.e., not title is given for him

    Actually the writer is on target there. A) All peers except Duke are known in general conversations as Lord {Title} and B) If you don’t know otherwise, you can assume any peer is a baron, the lowest rank. A baron is never, under any circumstances, referred to as Baron {Title}. So all the books you’ve read that do that are wrong.

  42. Jane
    Oct 30, 2008 @ 11:55:55

    @Frances: No, you mistake what I’m saying here. I know the reference to Lord Appleby is correct. The underlying issue is that there is no discussion of his title, whether he is an earl etc. I.e., Lord Appleby, Earl of Chester. It’s important in the context that he is described as a self made man and someone who is not a blueblood of London. Therefore, I kept looking to see if his titled was part of a grant from the crown as a result of service rendered.

    I.e., Joseph Paxton was knighted in recognition of his design and creation of the Crystal Palace.

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