Plot: The first book of The Courtship Wars Trilogy sets up a handsome Earl who inherits three impoverished beauties as his wards, as part of his inheritance. He intends to marry them off, although all three seem set on being old maids. Upon meeting the oldest chit, the Earl is instantly
aroused captivated and makes a bet with her that he can get her to agree to marry him in two weeks or else, he gives all three sisters independence from his guardianship.
Short and to the point: Nicole Jordan Lite. As if Jordan was writing a traditional regency, but with sex.
Ramblings: Anyone remember New Coke? Maybe I am outing myself as an old fart talking about it. A long time ago, not necessarily in a galaxy far, far away, Coca Cola changed a formula that was successful for one. hundred. years. to keep up with the current trend for a sweeter-tasting cola. I and millions more around the world were outraged. Why change something that ain’t broke?
That’s sorta what I feel about TPAL. It’s basically New Coke in book form: I don’t like sweeter and I just wanna throw a public tantrum until Jordan changes back to her old formula again.
Word through the grapevine was that Jordan was attempting “humor” with this new trilogy. I was perplexed because Jordan never showed any inclination toward showing humor in her 20 years of romance writing nor in her blog writing which can show a different side. Well, the good news is that Jordan didnt attempt Julia Quinn type humor, much less Julie Garwood type cute/funny. In fact, she doesnt attempt humor at all, as much as a light tone that you might find in an old-style traditional Signet Regency (just, you know, sprinkled with the usual hot sex that you expect from a Jordan novel, that’s all).
The result is a nice enough novel (hence the B-) that feels like there is something missing. There is no angst (check out Jordan’s westerns); there is no dark (check out Jordan’s Notorious Series); there is no action/adventure (check out the Paradise Series) to perk it up. It’s just a straightforward tale in which the premise of the trilogy is set up, the H/H meet in a dashing manner, the bet is struck, they do some outdoor humping, two weeks pass, one minor conflict at the end that is quickly resolved, they kiss/make up, THE END. If this really had been a Signet Regency, all this would have happened in 200 pages with hopefully some witty repartee mixed in and I would have seen nothing amiss. But at 383 pages, it is definitely missing something . . . and it aint more sugar.
Note: The next two books in the trilogy will coming out later this month and in March. However, I doubt this is the end of the series as I am initially led to believe as there are quite a few walking spin-off baits in the book with “Read my story next year!” signs on their backs.