Thursday, December 31, 2015

Review: Smuggler's Lady by Jane Feather

Synopsis: Her auburn hair tucked into a severe chignon, dressed in a shabby brown bombazine, Merrie Trelawney was the picture of dowdy widowhood and sober respectability. No one would guess that those demurely lowered eyelids hid a sparkle of pure adventure. Or that the white hands so modestly folded in her lap could handle a sword as well as any man. Certainly, no one would suspect her of being the notorious leader of a smugglers' band who called themselves, "The Gentlemen"... Lord Rutherford, who had just inherited some property in this godforsaken corner of Cornwall, looked upon the local gentry with distaste. The men were pompous and stuffy; the women - that Merrie Trelawney, for example - were utterly insipid. How that auburn-haired church mouse had managed to best him in their verbal sparring, was completely beyond him. But if she thought that he was finished with her, she was sadly mistaken. Something about her struck a false note. And though he was not in the habit of seducing country widows, it might make an interesting change at that.... (from the back of the book)

Review: Lord, this was awful. The premise sounded fun, but it was so disappointing.  The Heroine, Merrie, was suppose to be this intelligent and daring adventurer pretending to be a dower widow - and yet, she ditched the facade willy-nilly, making it seems like a contravenes of the author and not a part of her character. The Hero, Rutherford, was ridiculous. First, making him the heir to a Dukedom was over-kill. Dukes (or their Heirs) aren't in the habit of running off to Cornwall - they have flunkies and lackeys for that sort of thing. And they don't go to war, either. It was utter nonsense to think his parents would risk losing their only heir by sending him off to fight for King and Country.
As for their interaction, it was stupid. He was all “I love her” after about five minutes and she was all “he’s so hot”. Given that they started banging about one week after they met, I’m thinking it wasn’t love, but lust.  The conflict between them, particularly at the end, was over-done, drawn-out, and annoying. It made no sense. Her objections to the marriage seemed contrived - and ludicrous to think someone wouldn't find out about her lack of wealth and position eventually.  She was suppose to be this headstrong woman with a mind of her own, but she came off as snobbish, ornery, contrary, and weak because the Hero could talk her into anything just by kissing her. Lame.  He came off as na├»ve and a bully.  As for the secondary characters, they were flat, annoying, and felt like set-pieces as a high school play instead of real people. In particular, the heroine’s brothers felt like puppets, only there to bring the couple together, to be discarded once their job was done. In the end, I was barely able to finish this and only managed it because I skipped through as much nonsense as I could. Don't waste your time on this twaddle.

Bookmarks: 5 of 10

Awards: None

ISBN: 0-8217-5401-7
Date Finished: 12-28-2015
Pages: 460

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