Katy Madison, $2.99
Historical Romance, 2011 (Reissue)
Katy Madison’s Secret Valentine was previously published as The Bachelor and the Bluestocking, under the name Karen L King, in the anthology Cupid Calling. I don’t read many anthologies on the whole, so of course I have to had read that one, and I only realize this when I read the inside front page after I’ve purchased a copy of this story. Now, I’m not screaming for a refund or anything; I just wish a little notice on the book showcase page on Smashwords would have been nice for other people who may not be as understanding as me.
I don’t recall anything about the story, so I decide that I may as well read it again on a clean slate. It may be fun to see whether my opinion is different this time compared to my original review, right? Well, not really.
Cecilia Clemmons has had a crush on her guardian Devin Nash, Lord Beauchamp. Her late father left her nothing but debts, and Devin is going to have to sell off her father’s home to pay off the debts. Hence, he decides to propose to her, in order to give her some security in life. Instead of being grateful, our heroine of course goes, oh no, sirrah, please go away and let her die in this world as a tragic martyr, because our heroine is another one of those wretches to whom it’s either love or nothing at all.
Fortunately, Devin is determined to marry her – oh, if only more hot and wealthy men were like this in real life, I tell you – so he decides to woo her using her one sole weakness: her vulnerability to romantic phrases. He starts leaving her lovely cards and what not, but to his dismay, she becomes confident that these things come from another man.
No, wait, did I say that my opinion of this story remain the same all this while? Actually, the more I think about this story, the more I start to give Cecilia the side-eye. Here is a woman facing genuine financial and social ruination, and her preoccupation in this story is to want to spread her legs to the man who says the prettiest things to her. Oh for heaven’s sake, at least spread them for the highest bidder – that is something I can respect, far more than I can for this vapid miss thing who would be completely and deservedly ruined if she were allowed to carry out her nonsense to the fullest here.
Even towards the end, when she realizes that when you remove the space between the second and third words in the phrase “the pen is mightier than the sword”, you get something beautiful, her reaction is to persist in rejecting Devin. Seriously, am I supposed to root for the happiness of this abject moron?
The story is well written, and Devin is so cute as this guy who tries so hard to be the romantic he thinks Cecilia wants her to be. He’s the reason why this story gets an extra oogie. But my god, the heroine… I said previously that this story was pleasant but forgettable. Maybe I’ve mellowed and become wiser over the years, because right now I wish I can forget this story and the wretched heroine as easily as I apparently did the last time.