- File Size: 754 KB
- Print Length: 256 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publication Date: June 12, 2012
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B008BDYYJ6
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #28,324 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
|Print List Price:||$7.99|
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To Catch A Spinster (The Reluctant Bride Collection Book 1) Kindle Edition
|Length: 256 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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Olivia Blakesly (or is it Blakesley? Who cares?) is a Regency-era spinster of twenty seven. And she's pretty OK with that, she has her "studies," an allegedly overwhelming interest in astronomy (we'll get to that in a moment). With five married sisters and accepting of the notion she won't marry herself, Olivia decides to take the seduction bull by the horns and get herself a no-strings-attached temporary lover, just to see what the fuss is all about and to experience passion for herself, at least once.
After considering and rejecting various men for various reasons, Olivia settles on Nathanial Jenkins as her designated seducer. After all of eighteen seconds of extremely silly conversation. Right. Because he's so overwhelmingly sexy and gorgeous and built like a god? No. As far as I could tell, she picked Nathanial because he wasn't those things but he was discreet. And there. So she propositions the fellow on their second meeting and he thinks she's insane (rightly so in my opinion) but then he can't stop thinking about Olivia and agrees to deflower her at their very next meeting. But Olivia doesn't just want the sex, she wants the illusion of being courted--walks in the park, nights at the opera, dances at the balls. And they have their sex and their faux courtship then Nathanial does the unthinkable and falls in love with her, proposes and is rejected. That all happens within the first 50 pages or so. The rest of the book is spent with Nathanial trying to change her mind, which he never actually does but change her mind SHE does and off they go to wedded bliss.
Oh, this book was bad in so very many ways. In broad strokes--the writing was juvenile. Which shouldn't be surprising since the "heroine" acted like a rotten teenager most of the time. The research was nonexistent. The language choice was decidedly modern. People didn't say "OK" in Regency England. I know this because I LOOKED IT UP. Something the author clearly didn't do. And Olivia's raison d'etre, astronomy? (By the way, the word astronomy is not used once in the book, even though it has been in usage since the 13th century. I looked that up, too. But's OK because we have "OK" in there so I guess it evens out.) This burning passion is referenced but only in passing general terms. The only time a specific reference is made, the author has Olivia point out Orsa Major, supposedly the Big Bear constellation but I'm pretty sure that should have been Ursa Major, what with "ursa" being the latin root for bear. I didn't believe for a moment Olivia knew what the devil she was talking about.
And there's Olivia's wardrobe. She dresses abominably. A superficial concern perhaps, but it's a recurring theme through the story. She consistently wears ugly, unfashionable clothes that don't suit her and that she herself doesn't particularly like. I was left with the feeling that she was punishing herself but if so, Olivia never discloses the reason. She seems to take a great deal of petty satisfaction in thwarting everyone for no good reason, right down to her clothing choices.
Finally, the reason Olivia consistently refuses to marry Nathanial (even though she expects him to drop his pants and perform on her command--ick)? She doesn't think she's marriage material. She's too headstrong, too dedicated to her studies (though she can't name a major constellation correctly), too off-beat, too strong-willed. So says Olivia. This reviewer says, "Oh, please!"
I know I was supposed to view the heroine as courageous in her convictions, strong in character for pursuing unwomanly interests, on a higher plane for her lack of interest in clothes, marriage and gossip. I didn't. I loathed her for being unreasonably truculent, for throwing tantrums when Nathanial won't be her on-demand stud, for admitting that Nathanial is everything she could ever hope for in a partner and that she loves him but digging in her heels like a spiteful seven year-old. I did not cheer her on. I did not relate to her purported independence (an independence that would make her a life-long financial burden to her parents and then her sister and brother-in-law and no, I'm not making that up--the author told us that was Olivia's plan). I wanted to drop her in a deep well, nail a cover over the opening and wait to see how long it would take for her bones to rot. I had difficulty forming an opinion about Nathanial because Olivia was just so very awful that she took up all my opinion-forming space.
This was just a bad book all around. Poorly written, poorly researched, poorly plotted and with a thoroughly unlikable heroine. There was no romance here. There wasn't even a decent smutty scene. In the end, there is absolutely no reason to read this tale.
I was glad this book was free though... I rate it two and a half stars because the first half is truly wonderful and both h/h are likeable but then Olivia did a 180 and became a total B. The book should have been shorter and ended at the proposal, I could understand the fear and refusing once, maybe twice but not trice and certainly not the countless of times she kept refusing him. Or the author could have extended their courtship before he proposed instead of wasting the second half of the book! I am however curious about book two and I might give it a try once more reviews are in...