Donna Hatch, $2.99, ISBN 978-1466039506
Historical Romance, 2011
Heroines in historical romances, particularly those set in 19th-century England, tend to be dolts that are euphemistically described as sweet summer child. Well, our heroine Abby is just the latest in such a long line of illustrious dingbats, just like how this story is just one more in a long line of historical romances set in this particular setting with a title called The Reluctant Bride.
Abby is to be betrothed to a meanie poo-poo head so she stows away in a mail coach, in order to run away to the ever-present aunt’s home. You see, she’s heard rumors that her husband-to-be has a dungeon, and he will throw her into it after having his wicked way with her.
When the story opens, she begins to have serious doubts about her plan, especially when Aunt Millicent has no clue that she is going to unleash herself onto that poor lady. Actually, she isn’t even sure whether Aunt Millicent will be happy to see her. Oops, too bad, her rear end is already in the storage compartment of a mail coach. She is soon found out and the coach driver insists that she should offer her body and all the money she has on her to him as payment. Well, I suppose he’s still better than her husband-to-be, so I’m not sure why she isn’t eager to ruin herself with him in order to escape the marriage forever. I mean, heroines in her position do this all the time. Oh, right, the man isn’t hot. That explains it.
Fortunately, this altercation also alerts a real hot man, our hero, to her dilemma. He swoops in to rescue her, and pays off the driver so that he can go off to coerce other ladies into putting out. So long as those ladies aren’t women of noble birth, of course—only the virtue of blue-blooded damsels count!
I am sure you can guess the identity of this bloke by now. He declares that he’s fallen in love with her, she’s relieved that he is hot and, therefore, it’s okay if he did have a dungeon to throw her in after having his wicked way with her, and then they head off to the sunset for a happy ending. I suppose the hero has a thing for women that do stupid things that would have led them to a bad end if he weren’t around all the time to rescue them.
That’s the end. Really!
I have liked the author’s previous works that I’ve come across, but this one… well, I can only wonder why she would think it is a good idea to unleash this ill-conceived story onto the general public. Am I supposed to find the heroine’s colossal stupidity endearing, and feel pleased that she is rewarded for her nonsense? The bar isn’t high when it comes to the average brainpower of a romance heroine, but come on, let’s not lower the bar some more.
I want to keep believing that the author is one of the few authors new to me that I could become a big fan of one day, so I’m going to be nice this time and pretend this thing never exists. Now. let’s never speak of this again, and hopefully the next story I read from this author won’t inflict a similar wound on my intelligence.