The Most Wanted Bachelor
by Susan Kay Law, historical (2000)
Avon, $5.99, ISBN 0-380-80497-2

Now, if the heroine is going to be a gold digger for the "right" reasons (so that she won't starve, etc etc), she better pucker up and do it. Give me a heroine who bombards me with close to 380 pages of emotional guilt, indecision, hesitation, and hand-wringing and I want to bare my fangs and do a Dracula act on this book.

Yes, I'm evil, I don't require the heroine to have a nervous breakdown so that I can enjoy a romance featuring her with a clear conscience. I'm even more nasty in that I wish she would be less of a wimpo and more of a mercenary, if being a wimp means spoiling my fun.

Kathryn Jordan is beautiful and she knows it, yay. And she knows she can make Daniel Sellington a good wife, which is a fair bargain in return of her getting his forty million dollars, yes? You go girl. And Daniel, that silly man, is trying his best to get rid of his money (Daddy got the money from ruining others, see, such as Kathryn's daddy). Unfortunately, everything he does only makes him richer, his guilt heavier, and women clamoring more and more for his hand. Has Dan received my begging letters yet?

He meets Kathryn and decides that it is so wonderful to meet a woman who doesn't care about his money (oh boy, he has a lot to learn, doesn't he?). And Kathryn, of course, plays along. They got married, and start their rocky courtship amidst deception.

Thing is, if Kathryn feels that losing her brother to the mines and herself in poverty excuse enough to dig her claws into the son of the man who ruined her family, I say good for her. Us women need all we can get to survive in the unfriendly times of yore, after all. But when this adventure turns into pages after pages of painful psychoanalyzing, when the words such as guilt and conscience pop up every other page, heck, why can't Kathryn just join the nunnery and spare me the misery?

And Daniel, oh for chrissakes, just give me the money if it pains you so. He is also so closed, so secretive, so guarded that he is little antidote to the mess that is Kathryn. One is an ice block, the other a hand-wringing mess.

Two clueless people with way too much conscience for their own good, stuck in a plot that demands the disposal of forty million dollars in the most "heehee" (read: silly) ways possible - urgh. And I'm actually quite mad because I can think of so much more fun things one can do with forty million dollars, much better plans than those by these two clueless virgins (yep, he's a V boy). Some people don't deserve their luck. Or a story.

Rating: 61

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