by Julia London, historical (2007)
Pocket, $6.99, ISBN 978-1-416-51616-3
As you may know from reading my other reviews, I'm not too strict when it comes to judging the accuracy of a historical romance. Therefore, it's probably saying something when I find myself lifting a brow even as early as the first three chapters of Julia London's The Perils Of Pursuing A Prince. Historical accuracy purists, put on your best running shoes because I suspect that you will either be running away as fast as you can or you will want to apply the sole of those shoes on Ms London's behind.
Greer Fairchild, who you may remember if you have read the previously connected book The Hazards Of Hunting A Duke had taken off to Scotland to look for her inheritance, is currently traveling to the estate of Rhodrick Glendowner, the "Prince of Powys", with Rhodrick's cousin Owen Percy. Because Owen is a conman, Rhrodrick believes that Greer is Owen's accomplice and her babbling about being the heiress to the property that is now his is part of the two's attempt to con him. Because he wants her, Rhodrick will embark on a courtship that will bring fond memories to readers who adore Rosemary Rogers' books.
This story is rife with miscommunication issues that could have been solved if Rhodrick will talk to Greer but our hero decides to believe that she is a liar and a whore so the fun never ends, I tell you. Even by the last twenty pages of this story, he is still calling her all kinds of names for a woman of a woman of ill-repute, so I have to wonder how am I supposed to buy the happily ever after in this story. Rhodrick has issues about his looks and the way people around him perceive him, but at the same time he allows himself to behave like a monster that I don't blame anyone who sees him as a brute to avoid at all costs. He does such charming things to Greer like locking her up and delivering all kinds of threats to her while pawing her body.
Greer is a nincompoop, even by the standards of the author's previous five or six heroines, from her refusal to believe anything bad about Owen Percy at the start to her subsequent antics that only fuel Rhodrick's suspicions about her nature.
My biggest objection to this story is the high number of contrivances the author puts in to keep the two arguing and bickering to the point that there are not enough moments to help me believe that there is a possibility of tender feelings developing between them. The story feels really fake, as if everything is added in just to create more hysterical and childish drama between the two main characters. The end result is a really loud and irritating story featuring two main characters who behave like ill-mannered children in need of a time-out and a spanking. Perhaps the author is trying to create a playful Beauty And The Beast type of tribute to those Gothic-style bodice-ripper romance novels of the old days, I don't know, but the end result is a complete pain in the behind to slough through.
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