by Patricia Cabot, historical (2002)
Sonnet, $6.99, ISBN 0-7434-1028-9
Kiss The Bride is flat. The heroine has rotten turnip stuffed in her skull in place of a brain, and she is flat. The hero is boorish, unlikeable, and he is a two-faced hypocrite, and yeah, he's flat too. The "adorable matchmaking family relatives" (do they even need to be here, may I ask) are psychotically hell-bent on seeing everyone shagging and shackled that they creep me out dearly.
How many ways are there to describe the condition of utter, total flatness?
When she was eighteen, Emma Van Court elopes with Stuart Marbury. But that is after (a) she confides that they are planning to elope to James Marbury, Stuart's older brother whom she sees like a brother forever, never knowing that the pervert James is seeing her in more than a sisterly way, (b) James hits Stuart in the face and rats to Emma's parents, and the parents then (c) lock up Emma after dumping on her like crazy, and (d) Emma runs away with Stuart to Faires, Scotland (a scary, isolated village filled with psychotic simpletons).
Of course, Stuart dies. No question there. And Stuart was a boring lover. Yawn. James is the hero. Puke.
Now, she is 19, legal now, ma, woo-hoo! And she is hiding in her village. Her husband is killed by this guy, and the killer dies, she inherits said killer's money, provided she marries first. Okay, I guess the author has a better way of explaining this hambrained thingie throughout the course of this hambrained story, but I don't want to spoil things. Okay, yes, dammit, I confess: I still don't get that part much.
So all the men in the village want to marry Emma. But Emma is trying to be a schoolteacher instead, even though she is obviously unskilled in anything to be even worth the carbon material her being is made up of. She doesn't even inform James of his brother's death until a year later, and James comes to find her ASAP.
I mean, he wants her. And he loves her. This after him letting her parents lock her up, him beating her hubby-to-be, and he not even caring much for a whole year whether his estranged brother can feed his wife or not (hint: not). What a catch. He was confident that she will come crawling back to England (and him) if he tightens the purse strings and let his brother struggle in the charity/missionary thingie of the latter, and is skeeved when she chooses to hide in her stupid hovel instead.
I love control freaks like this. The idea of him staking a claim on me? Wow, I think I am getting an outbreak of the virus that causes syphilis all over my body.
And of course, Emma can't tell him of the Secret Clause. She forgives him. No, she doesn't. Yes, she does! She loves him! No, she doesn't. Wait, she does. Ahem. Is this creature even human? Her motivations run amok in all possible directions (read pages 67 to 73 for a taste of this creature's horrifying thought process, as she veers from disliking James and NEVER forgiving him and going all girly-girly horny over him and back and forth again like two schizophrenics in a duel of wits) that she is like a scatterbrained plot device, reacting only to cause conflicts and problems with her tendency to martyr herself to the most dim-bulb of causes at the slightest provocation.
In fact, most of this story would be unnecessary if the idiot chit takes a stand and tells the world and its freaking irritating matchmaking relatives to stay the hell out of her life. But no, it's not nice to tell those men that she doesn't want to marry so GET THE FORKING HELL OUT, no, she has to fake a marriage with that freak James. Of course, she must feel unworthy of James, because, well, didn't she drive her husband to his grave by her inability to make him happy? (Dumb bag overestimates her importance in the scheme of things, of course.) And now that James has taken her precious non-virginal innocence and shows her what it means to have Martyr Orgasm, it's like, oh, so her fault! Boo-hoo! Oh, oh, oh! What can she do to make it right?
I mean, James is like such a wonderful man, you know. When Emma's students are sick and Emma somehow just can't get into her head to call a freaking doctor (yes, I want to die too) but James calls for a doctor, wow, isn't he the smartest handsomest hero ever? Oh, how can Emma, who can't function at all in this story without needing people to prop her up and smooth over her gaffes, cross the street were it not for our Pimp Daddy James holding her hand?
Either way, I never liked books where the heroine doubles as the hero's human pinata, so no thanks. I'll go kiss a donkey instead.
This book at Amazon.com
This book at Amazon UK
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