Lately, Ms. Quinn has been writing rather bland books… but this one was actually kind of insulting. Which is new for her… and hopefully a situation not to be repeated.
You probably already know the premises: a peer of some kind comes down to London to hunt for a bride in two weeks or less. (Hmm, somebody, somewhere should really write a reality show scenario on this.) Anyway, he finds the pale redhead (based on the previous descriptions of Iris, I’d have expected her to be a really washed blonde, but not a redhead, and how are redheads fading away exactly? That kind of melanin would have entailed at least similar eyebrows and maybe some freckles… so how and where to is she fading exactly?!) to be adequate to his tastes and requirements, kisses her in a awfully brutish way, in order to compromise her and whisks her away to his far, far, FAR away home.
I had so many issues with this book, after just a hundred pages or so, it wasn’t even funny anymore.
First of all, how can Iris still stand the creature after that really, really botched kiss (to be read “assault”) that compromised her? Secondly, how can her parents/aunts/clan force her to marry the cretin? After all, she was caught “kissing” him by one of her own aunts, who is supposedly able to keep her mouth shut. They were never seen by anyone else, so how would the gossip actually start? And even if the gossip did start, Iris was already on her way to becoming a spinster, so why would the entire thing have caused her to be shunned by society, even provided that her aunt could really not keep quiet? And don’t even get me started on the parents…
Moving on. As their trip north began, so did the questions. Why isn’t he poorer? After all, he’s only a “Sir” and up to that moment it had been hinted that he might have only wanted her for her dowry, even if there was really not much of it… Why is he so well-known (where was he going since the innkeepers know him, but the whole of London doesn’t) and, of course, since this IS supposedly, a romance novel, why isn’t he banging his wife? Then, for about fifty pages, as we get to the house and the ties start binding, I entered a serious state of denial. I saw the disaster coming, but I still refused to believe it.
no… No… NO! This kind of plot CANNOT exist in a Julia Quinn novel! She’s not Jo Beverly! She’s not Virginia Henley! Noooooo!!!!!
Alas, it did exist.
Never before have I witnessed such a slap in the face of womanhood (because we can’t even talk about feminism here); no, actually I have noticed this before, back when I was trying to survive through some Company of Rogues novels.
I cannot even begin to describe the complete disappointment I felt not only with the book and the characters, but with the author as well. Ms. Quinn! I started reading historical romances thanks to you! I managed to escape the crappiness of reality at times, thanks to you and other authors like yourself, authors I discovered because I liked your novels so much! What have you done!?!?