HarperTorch, $6.99, ISBN 0-06-101434-6
Historical Romance, 2000
Lord Raphael Dalton, war hero of Guess-which-war (hint: fatso in Elba), is one of the two rejected suitors of the heroine of The Choice. Never mind, in The Chance, he marries Brenna Ford to save her reputation when she gets… well, let’s just say she is in love with him (don’t ask why, it’s a plot thing) and he, unfortunately, thinks of her as only his sister’s nice friend.
I’ve never been too fond of a romance which has the heroine starting off utterly, utterly, utterly in love with the hero and the rest of the book revolves around her trying her feminine best to get his affections. Especially when these sort of women more often than not play fair – when we all know it’s a free-for-all brawl in the arena of amour – and stand there, tears in their eyes, just waiting instead of clawing the eyes out of their rivals.
Instead of donning some leather whore gear and whips and busting through his bedroom door, our heroine stands there demurely like an ice princess, a tragic martyr of unrequited love. In between the long, boring descriptions of parties and stuff which I’m getting used to after three Edith Layton books, our heroine says the obligatory witty stuff (proof that she’s courageous and intelligent) while waiting for love.
And wait and wait and wait she does.
Never mind, lucky for her a villain steps up and brings the story to a hasty “Yes, yes, darlin’ I love you indeed, milady wife!” epilogue. Lucky Brenna indeed, for in an otherwise less kind novel, she’d be trampled by women with more guile than she can ever dream of.
Rafe is boring, a bit obtuse, and he’s okay too. Everyone’s okay in this novel, well-mannered, not a step out of place, saying lots of things that only cement the whole dull properness of things.
Very nice, all of them. They can all buzz off now because I have better things to do.