Sourcebooks Casablanca, $5.99, ISBN 978-1-4926-233-1
Historical Romance, 2016
Don’t cringe, but The Infamous Heir is the first book in a series revolving around – brace yourself now – the Spare Heirs Society. I suppose spare heirs are better than spare tires, but if Ethan Moore, the hero of this book, is anything to go by, I think I’d rather read about spare tires. Like the characters of the author’s previous books, he and the heroine Roselyn Grey both behave like they are spoiled kids trapped in bodies of adults, and the whole thing makes me cringe.
Roselyn wants to marry Trevor Moore, Lord Ayton and the eldest son, hence the heir. She and Trevor are neighbors, so in this story, her family visit the Moores for a party. Hopefully, Trevor would propose and Roselyn, who claims that she doesn’t care for something as unreliable as love, would get a life of respectability and what not with him. But when Ethan also shows up at the party, she soon starts enjoying the way he rubs up against her. She writes notes asking him to see her at midnight, sneaks off with him… and then acts shocked – shocked! – when Trevor gets furious and starts fighting with Ethan. And then, oops, Trevor is dead and Ethan is found by the body holding the bloodied knife. She has driven Ethan to kill his brother… and NOW HER PLANS TO HAVE A RESPECTABLE WEDDING IS RUINED FOREVER OH MY GOD, HOW HORRIBLE.
I’d have respected her more if she had been a naughty, happy harlot who gets the rogering she wants from Ethan for all the troubles she puts them through, but no, she’s worse: she creates the mess, chickens out because the author doesn’t want me to view Roselyn as a tart, and ends up being a big stupid idiot for nothing. For nothing – that’s the worst part. She’s such a fucking moron in this story, and Trevor’s death is only the beginning of the downhill spiral.
She has to marry Ethan, because people are talking, and once again, she can’t seem to understand why running off to paw guys and not doing a good job in hiding her antics can lead to negative repercussions. Even better, she experiences an epiphany: now that she has forced Ethan to kill his brother, she must never fall under his power again, and she will never tell him why she has to act like a cold and dispassionate woman around him. Or so she intends to anyway, when it comes to the last part. All he has to do is to wag it like an elephant’s trunk, and she’s gagging for more. Her antics are selfish and stupid, made unforgivable because the author tries to pass them off as the action of a clueless girl instead. As if stupidity is somehow better than a woman being horny for a hot guy, oh please.
Mind you, the hero is no prize. Ethan spends his time boxing and “following his dreams”, while looking down his nose at his father and brother for “being trapped” by their responsibilities. Does boxing make one much money back in the 19th century? Something tells me that his life wouldn’t be so cozy if he doesn’t have a big home and rich family members to fall back on. Worse, his disdain is generally unreciprocated by his family – his sister likes him well enough, and when it comes to Trevor, Ethan is the one who keeps firing the first shot every time – so Ethan comes off a spoiled and entitled brat. Later in the story, he actually tells Roselyn about how, when he was younger, his father tried to make him learn how to manage the books, but he had no interest to learn. With him now being the boss of the family, I can only hope that estates would be able to magically run themselves while he continues to “pursue his dreams”.
He and Roselyn make a painful couple because the “good times” see these two acting like two randy children while the “emotional times” are often than not the result of them refusing to communicate like normal people would. Jumping to weird, wrong conclusions and acting on these conclusions are so much more fun, after all!
Oh, and yes, the hero didn’t kill his brother. That’s not a spoiler – you don’t really think the author is willing to go that far, do you?
At any rate, The Infamous Heir is a ridiculous read. The relationship is doomed anyway. She demonstrates little ability to make sensible decisions while he’s a spoiled, entitled brat who would probably hate the wife one day for “trapping him” with responsibilities too. And then he’d become a mean drunk, she’d become a crazy-clinging creature as a result, and their kids would end up completely messed in the head.