I like historical romances. I really like them. I enjoy the innocence and strong element of the heroine and the appeal and charisma of the hero from those times. This book made me question if I really like historical romances. The sheer stupidity of this book left me boiling mad.
As the title suggests our heroine, Elizabeth, lost her dear husband in the famous Battle of Waterloo. She was still grieving for him and desiring for another man was unpalatable to her (she did that a number of times but who am I to judge?). She was not ready to step into the unchartered territory with another man. Elizabeth had no mettle at all and gave me a serious whiplash by vigorously swinging between her feelings for the hero. She did show some backbone in later part of the book that made me like her some but the surrounding events did little to lift the book in my eyes.
Our idiotic hero, Jemmy seriously seemed like a dummy and is one of the weakest heroes I have ever read. His character (if it can be called that) had no strength. He was supposed to be this dashing, irresistible, charming and brave knight in shining armor but he was the exact opposite of all those things. He was smitten with the girl (his reasons are beyond me) and was so sickeningly sweet as times that it became nauseating.
The story opened up to Jemmy and Elizabeth accompanying in each other in a traditional ceremony. This was pretty soon followed by a hot and heavy make out session. This led to the supposed turning point when Elizabeth called out her dead husband’s name in their most intimate moment. Although Jemmy (being the super understanding lad he was) forgave her then and there, she was engulfed by mortification and could not face him again. Then began the story of her running away and his following her like a lovesick puppy. She hopped back and forth from desiring him to avoiding him. Elizabeth struggled with her feelings for Jemmy and guilt over betraying her husband since the start of the book but the moment the news came over about her carrying his child, all her guilt vanished into thin air and she was suddenly overwhelmed with her love for Jemmy. I think they fell in love too fast for my taste. The beauty of a historical romance was ruined by the omission of any kind of story behind the courtship.
The book was unnecessarily stretched at times. Details were absolutely omitted where they were necessary and were present in abundance where they weren’t needed. Last few chapters seemed present only to increase the number of pages in the book. Elizabeth had two children, who were her greatest concern and priority, with whom she was supposed to have an unbreakable deep bond. However, the bond was neither elaborated nor expressed here. Jemmy’s father endless refusal to accept their marriage, trouble to get special license and then the extraneous kidnapping was all some overbearing drama and it really felt like the whole universe was plotting against them. At some point, I felt like the problems along with the book were never going to end. After annoying me endlessly throughout the book by Jemmy’s father’s outrageous behavior, his suddenly agreeing to the marriage on his ridiculously preposterous condition took the cake. At this point, the book had gotten from almost two to a generous one star.
Another thing that I did not like was that the author threw in so many irrelevant names into the mix from the very start of the book that it was hard to keep track of who was courting whom and who was marrying whom. I understand it was all part of the tongossip but I could have done with a bit less of that. It wasn’t even interesting. The author added ludicrous drama to thicken the plot but it made the book just infernally aggravating. She tried to make a book with a non-existent plot with clichéd characters and the results are as expected.
At this point, I am just happy that the book has finally ended and I am still left with some brain cells to write this review. You can give me a medal anytime now for my undaunted efforts.
My rating: 1 star