MIRA, $7.99, ISBN 978-0-7783-2849-0
Historical Romance, 2010
Reckless follows Ruthless, and it’s been a long time since I read the other book, so I guess the hero here, Adrian Alistair Rohan (yes, three names) is the son of the hero of the previous book? It doesn’t matter, at the end of the day – they are both the same guy in more or less the same story.
Charlotte Spenser has always had a crush on Adrian because he’s so hot. The fact that he mocked her pretty harshly after they danced that night only made him more special. It’s a shame he didn’t do more, like perhaps removing a shoe and whacking her rear end with it, because she’d then go full bunny boiler mode and probably stalk that guy 24/7 while wearing the faces of his lovers that she’d personally skinned. That would have made a far more interesting story, at least.
Here, she joins her cousin, the widowed Evangelina, as Lina makes her rounds around the Heavenly Host, which is basically an excuse for noble people to get together and have orgies and such. Lina is determined to enjoy life after having paid her dues and survived a hellish marriage with the now dead Count of Whitmore. Lina wants to keep Charlotte untainted by the nasty sex thing she had to endure, you see, which is why she is bringing Charlotte along to orgies and such. I’m sure that makes sense after a few glasses. Charlotte, meanwhile, wants to see these things because… she’s a feminist? A bunny boiler who just wants to see Adrian naked? Mind you, she spends basically the first few chapters telling me non-stop that she is too tall, her hair is not of the fashionable color, she is too old and is on the shelf… so really, no penis will even want to come near her even in an orgy when people don’t care whom get stuck to whom as long as everyone’s stuck and happy! I need a few more glasses. Seriously, just go read porn or something – at least then she wouldn’t have to smell the whole damned thing, shudder.
Adrian, our new Viscount Lindsay Lohan, is charmed by her but after a few Heavenly Hosting, he realizes that she’s gotten under his skin so ooh, he has to be cruel and ditch her! Like I care, really, because the entire arc of Charlotte has been one, long tortuous ritual of a brown-cow getting deflowered by a whiny crybaby man-whore.
Meanwhile, Lina and a vicar find love after he spends a lot of time calling her a whore and lusting after her, and she’s like, that’s so hot. To be honest, I find these two are a far more interesting couple, as at least there seems to be a more concrete basis to their attraction other than “man-whore screws virtuous cow… and it’s love!”. However, such a coupling had been done by the author before, and this one feels like another retread.
At the end of the day, I realize that I’ve officially, completely outgrown my Anne Stuart fan phase. I have a hard time accepting “Here’s a man-slut!” as a plot by itself, I want something more in my romance novels these days. Oh, I know, someone tries to kill Adrian, but this silly subplot feels like filler material, and also, I don’t think the world will be losing much if Adrian did get killed. I don’t care whether he gets killed or not, I roll up my eyes at the interminable deflowering of Charlotte, and I wish I care more for Lina and his scowling, horny boyfriend. As it is, by the time I close Reckless, I still have a hard time pinpointing why I should care about these characters and their stories.