A Gentleman's Bargain
by Patricia Waddell, historical (2001)
Zebra, $5.99, ISBN 0-8217-6994-4

If I am Grams in Patricia Waddell's A Gentleman's Bargain, and my grandson Garrett Monroe pulls a fake girlfriend and wife-to-be stunt on me (apparently because I am sick and he believes that he pretending to be marry will cheer me up - HAH), someone is going to get disowned faster than you can say "My grandson's a moron". Does this mean that he doesn't expect me to live? And he loves me? Bastard.

Yes, Garrett wants to pretend that he's getting married so that Grams will get better - or shall I say "die happy", because I have no idea how he will explain the mess if Grams does get better and expects him to marry. He decides that he will find a money-minded woman to play his girlie, and apparently he needs a aristocratic, nice, kind, and money-grubby woman. In short, he needs a romance heroine who needs money for all the "right" reasons, ie she needs money for someone else's good.

Enters Claire Aldrich. She just wants to find her missing brother. Can Mr Monroe find her a job as a maid in his hotel while she tries to save enough funds to continue her search for her brother? What, play his fake wifey-wannabe? Oh, she doesn't know... but he's so handsome. And gorgeous. All the women must adore him! How can she resist? Oh, she loves him, because he is so handsome! She loves him so-ooo-oo-ooo much, but she must never tell him because she knows she is no good for a commitment-phobic scoundrel like him, for she is only a poor, poor damsel in distress, but oh, did she tell you that she loves him?

My poor brain explodes from all this girly-mirly Virtue Pikachu grotesque nonsense.

That's the story. Claire, very young, very innocent, just loves Garrett because he is, like, the most handsome thing since Justin Timberlake, and oh, she wants to be his Britney Spears and sings "I'm Not A Girl, Not Yet A Woman" to him while sauntering around in her PG-rated white undies (white, of course, because BritneyClaire here is Innocent and Pure)... sorry. Can you tell that I've recently watched that Britney Spears' movie? (Aside: hubby likes it and recommends it to, er, all Britney Spears fans out there.) I'm still suffering, and this book is like Crossroads redux.

It has reached a point where if I read another paragraph of how Garrett is certain that Claire is a virgin and pure, even as he schemes to make her his mistress (creep!), I will definitely take up a pair of scissors and practise my origami massacre on this book.

Rating: 46

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