Note: this is the third and final book in the Roxbury House Trilogy. As with my review of the second book in the trilogy — Enslaved — I found the cover so fugly, I couldnt post it on my blog.
Plot: Set in Victorian England, Patrick O’Rourke is a self-made millionaire who wants a blue-blooded lady for his trophy wife. He decides on Lady Katherine Lindsey, daughter of an earl. Much misunderstandings ensue. Along the way, since Rourke is a social clod, he decides to use Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew as a guidebook to woo his Katherine.
Short and to the point: A mess. An annoying mess.
Ramblings: I was about to give this a C- because I have enjoyed Hope Tarr’s other books in the past and I thought maybe I was in a bad mood. Then I realized that I disliked this book as much as other D+ reads in the past like Suzanne Enoch’s Sins of a Duke and Linda Howard’s Raintree: Inferno and realized that I was kidding myself. This book is just an unfocused mess. I dont know where to begin.
It starts out as an erotic historical with lots of mental lusting. Then when Taming of the Shrew thing comes in, it tries for dry humor. Humor is subjective, of course, but I thought the humor failed miserably. The whole book right to the very end is a series of misunderstandings and missed signals between two very dim-witted and not very likable people.
Tarr is known for writing a sexy story but even this aspect was subpar. There is only one and a half love scenes in this book and the first sex scene involved spanking and light bondage for a Victorian virgin. The thing with spanking in romance books (as with any activity near the backdoor area) is that you have to
talk dirty about discuss it first in order to prepare the reader said virgin. That spanking came out of left field.
Earlier in the story, the heroine doesnt realize the hero is quoting Shakespeare (I did mention that she is dim-witted, right?) and asks “why are you speaking in that stilted manner?” At that point, I asked myself ‘why is the AUTHOR writing in this stilted manner?’ I am amazed that I finished the book but I guess I was hoping against hope (no pun intended) that the story would pick up but there was no two consecutive pages that ever achieved a flow.
All in all, an ugly hodge-podge Frankenstein mess of a book.