Avon Impulse, $6.99, ISBN 978-0-06-238049-4
Historical Romance, 2015
Despite having a title like The Elusive Lord Everhart, this story isn’t raunchy or vulgar at all. Quite a shame – I’d have thought the author would come up with such a title to capitalize on the potential vulgar possibilities around it. Anyway, this book follows what seems to be a pattern in Vivienne Lorret’s quest to have a monopoly on romance stories featuring main characters that have the mental capacity of three-year old brats.
Five years ago, Gabriel Ludlow, the current Viscount Everhart, distributed a series of love notes to various ladies of the Ton as part of a prank. Lost in the mess is his real love letter to his friend’s sister Calliope Croft. Calliope read that letter and was so mesmerized by the idea of being in love with the author of the letter, that she ended up turning down suitors and such. In other words, she put her life on hold for five years, waiting desperately to lose her virginity to someone who couldn’t even bother to sign his name on the letter. She ended up heartbroken when word got out that her letter was one of the many floating around the Ton. Naturally, she dreams of exposing the letter writer one day as a wretch who has ruined her life. It’s all his fault!
Anyway, cut to present day. Calliope along with her brother and his new wife end up in the same house as Gabriel and his two “buy our books, coming soon baby!” friends, and basically, every misunderstanding and wrong assumption that can happen, will happen. That’s basically the plot – non-stop consecutive episodes of emotional and impulse ping-pong between two people who would probably need a manual to help them exhale. Gabriel keeps trying to push Calliope away after reeling her in – every single time – that I get dizzy trying to figure out which side of sanity he’s on in a certain page. Calliope is the classic dingbat who can’t make up her mind about anything when she’s not jumping to all kinds of bizarre conclusions that only make me question her intellectual capacity. She can’t see the obvious, but she’s amazing at mental gymnastics – if you want to, you can easily make her imagine that Gabriel has been doing naughty things to the horse next door because he’s in love with that horse.
The author seems to have some degree of awareness about her characters’ rampant stupidity, as occasionally she’d have her characters go, hey wait a minute. Still, these moments are rare, as the author is more intent on piling on all kinds of communication breakdown, immature mental gymnastics, and childish behavior way past my threshold for tolerance. If this story is half its length, the relentless tomfoolery may be more tolerable. In its current length, however, the author only succeeded in convincing me that her characters need remedial classes, not sexual intercourse.