Zebra, $5.99, ISBN 0-8217-7033-0
Historical Romance, 2001
This is one of those “braindead heroines rescued by hunks” stories that, if written by anyone outside the romance genre, will be immediately pegged as a misogynist affair. I mean, what else am I supposed to think of a story that celebrates female stupidity as something “pure” and “noble”?
Elizabeth Foley is as sharp as a wheel. She was a single mother suffering as a waitress when an older man, a friend, of course, not a lover, proposes to her in a marriage of convenience. He’s rich, he’s nice, he’s kind, and he offers a way out of her drudgery without having to do evil, degrading things we know romance heroines don’t do (ie munching bananas and wearing lingerie), so what does smart, intelligent Lizbog here say? “But… but…” She only agrees when he says that yes, dear, she can have separate bedrooms. I mean, people, Lizbog is holding out for love!
Aren’t we all relieved that our romance heroines are so pure and virtuous, people?
Her hubby then dies, leaving money to Lizbog. But Lizbog, whom I guess cannot read, write, or think, just doesn’t know where the money is. The hero will later come in and immediately discover the documents indicating where the money is, so go figure. She also runs hubby’s estate right into the ground, and is about to dig a ditch to run the estate further under when the dumb hero of the related book Irish Lace sends Connor McDermott (Irish, hence, a hero) to save her from herself.
Connor and everyone else here pegs Lizbog as a gold digger. Only in romance novels, I tell you, that a dumb, wimpy, passive woman can be thought of as one. Lizbog gets harrassed by men, and she feels so sad (that’s the word the author uses), because how could she tell these men to bugger off? Lizbog doesn’t want to hurt their feelings. Lizbog wants everybody to be happy. Happy, happy, happy.
So she feels sad as she lets Connor think the worse of her. Why can’t Connor see that she is good? I’m sure people in love can read minds, so yeah, Connor, you halfwit, why can’t you see that she is good and hurting inside?
Oh, and Lizbog is a virgin. She also has a son, but don’t worry. This is no immaculate conception. I don’t think God is that sadistic.
Since Lizbog cannot stand up for herself, since Connor cannot talk to her, misunderstandings pile like a spectacular twenty-car pile-up (let’s toss in a trailer too). This is ghastly. I’m surprised to read in the author bio that this author has written around 18 books, because Irish Rogue is just like what happens when 15-year old Mary Sue decides to write a romance story. Childish, annoying, and it’s all about the purity, innocence, and brain incontinence. Bleh, bleeeurgh, and bleech all at once.