MightyWords, $3.00, ISBN 0-7173-0155-9
Historical Romance, 2000
Sabrina Jeffries’s The French Maid is a very, very short story about a cold marriage between Eleanor Rushin and Henry, Lord Lansford. He marries her for her family connections that will further his political career, and she… well, he has great thighs. Now, Eleanor is fed up with feeling underappreciated by her hubby but she doesn’t know what to do. She wants pumpies, but he will only visit her bed once a week (Wednesday nights, like clockwork). And when hubby is showing signs of forgetting their anniversary, it’s the last straw.
Then hubby hires a maid to replace the one who just got married. Babette Lebeau is French, and she will teach Eleanor how to spice up her marriage. Hey, settle down, this is not one of those sex education thingies. Instead, Babette will doll Eleanor up and give some practical advice here and there. On his part, Henry sees his wife’s wearing the Regency equivalent of a Wonderbra and perks up considerably.
What could’ve been a silly story – doll up and he’ll be nicer to you – turns into a great story of a guy who humbly learns never to take wifey for granted ever again. Too bad the author never has Henry volunteering to do the housework from now on, but still, this story is a breeze to read and a hoot at places.
Perhaps it will be asking the impossible for deep romance and melodrama in a 19-paged story, but for a short while I am entertained. I’d also prefer to think of it as a brief glimpse into people’s lives and not the whole story, because that way, I’ll still feel good about this story despite having paid $3.00 for it.