Berkley, $6.99, ISBN 0-425-17481-6
Historical Romance, 2000
I dislike characters who are so in love with self-immolation that they have no idea their “act of courage and great sacrifice” will ultimately doom the very person they are hoping to do a Joan of Arc act on. Therefore, the two lovebirds in My Fair Lord, with all their beloved self-flagellation and “sacrifice for love” crap act, make me see red instead of going “Aw!” in misguided romantic sentiments.
This is a role-reversal take of Pygmalion. This time around, heroine Caroline Wainwright must marry before she turns 25 – one week away! – or she will be destitute and all her money would go to her brother and his wife. They have nice plans for Caroline: unpaid nanny for their two spoiled kids.
So Caroline decides to whip Lucas Davin, thief, into a gentleman of first water. She succeeds, they marry, and then we have the whole whiny me-leave-you act. Oh, Lucas decides to leave because he cannot bear to see his true love ostracized. So in love with this misguided concept that he deafens himself to Caroline’s pleas. Better she suffer under her new life as unpaid nanny than to live in the slums, happy with her man, eh? He never even think of how much suffering she would have from his actions, and he never even consider than since Caroline isn’t exactly a demanding woman, maybe life as a middle-class woman won’t be so bad for her.
Since he’s a thief, he can always rob her brother and his wife for lots of money before he goes, to provide for Caroline, right? But no, our thief with the heart of gold must be upright. If this is what virtue does to a man, give me a highwayman rogue anytime than this sap of a wimp.
And who’s to stop Caroline from giving in to his man’s wishes? As long as he’s happy, let her suffer in silence!
There’s also a ghost subplot, where the ghost of a dead lord matchmakes them two. If it takes a ghost to make these two silly doofy dolts see light, their relationship doesn’t have a ghost of a chance at longevity. Next crisis that pops up, I bet he’ll walk out again and Sir Ghost would have to start another possession act. Hmmmph.
One more thing: Luke hates the rich, but I don’t see him walking away when he turns out to be… oh, someone rich, at the end the story, that hypocrite.