The Dangerous Gentleman
by Julia London, historical (2000)
Dell, $5.99, ISBN 0-440-23561-8

It's never easy creating a guilt-ridden hero. How do you make sure the hero, in his pity party, does not cross the line from being tortured to outright cruel? And what is worse than a hero who not only cannot communicate with anyone and does not hesitate to think the worst of a situation at the least provocation?

Pairing him with a spineless, starry-eyed woman. The result is a plane crash of a romance. I can't read fast enough, if only to get this story to end ASAP and put it behind me.

Adrian Spence accidentally dispatched his buddy to the Big Burning Brothel Down Below over a duel (someone accused somebody of cheating, etc, etc, you know how drunk and stupid overgrown boys behave when they are with each other). He gets disinherited, which I feel is a mild punishment for this sociopath. Our hero decides to get mad at his brother for getting the monies, so what does he do?

Marry his brother's object of infatuation - Lilliana Dashell. By doing so, he also pulls his father's plans of obtaining Dashell lands from under old man's feet.

And it's just so perfect that Lilliana is in love with him already. Why? Beats me. The woman, however, remains starry-eyed and idealistic no matter how much verbal and mental abuse the dumb cow heaps on her. Sure, she does try to fight back, but not enough to make her stand her ground.

After all, one kiss and she's helpless mush. All is forgiven in the aftermaths of orgasms. And Lilliana puts up with so much nonsense from Adrian from the lunatic's suspicion of her having surrendered her precious V thing to his brother all the way to the final denouement, she's either a spineless limpet or a very sadistic woman.

And it doesn't improve matters that Adrian's father and brother are complete duh villians, or Adrian and his supposedly-charming two remaining rakish buddies are men I would personally take a lawnmover to if they ever dare look at my daughter. Julia London is showing that she can create wonderfully tempestous scenes, it's just that this time, she succeeds too well in the wrong sort of tempestous.

Lilliana would do well to take up shooting lessons. Just in case.

Rating: 55

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