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Saved by Scandal Hardcover – Large Print, March, 2001
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Well, not so fast. I don't know what this novel wanted to be. Sometimes it tried to be farce. That didn't pan out. The usual goofy characters weren't funny.....two were just tiresomely unpleasant. It wanted to be a romance too but romance was pretty 'thin on the ground.' Why, you ask? Mostly because the H spent a good part of the story nursing the kid. And the dog. I love big dogs (I have 3 GSDs) but the manners of this dog were atrocious and his misbehavior went on and on. Not his fault o/c, it was the fault of the stupid people populating this story.
Speaking of stupid people, why didn't the H boot his ex-fiancee out of his home...his *wife's* home...in a flash? Was that stupidity or lack of gumption? Either way, it was very un-heroic.
I've never come close to feeling so let down by a Metzger novel. No laughs, no story, no nothing.
Enjoy your reading! :)
On rare occasions, even I cannot bring myself to finish a book. I did finish this one, but while there was plenty of evidence in the writing to suggest that the author has talent, the story content was disappointing.
This story was barely a romance. It read more like two people becoming friends or allies against a menagerie of dysfunctional folk - and truly, there was hardly anyone around this pair who could - by any stretch of the imagination - be certified as normal.
Somewhere in that quagmire of nutcases, there was a dog that seems to have been big, ugly and like the humans around him -socially dysfunctional. I will give credit where credit is due, however, and note that when the chips were down, the dog saved the day.
But overall, this story seemed frenetic. There was no elegance; none of that magic something that makes a Regency a Regency? Not in this story.
There was a young lordling - and to be honest, the hero's nursing of the boy on their journey to London was probably the only truly engaging part of the story. It was during the hero's efforts to see this boy through withdrawal from opium addiction that I felt that I was actually getting to see into this man. Then he reverted to superficial form when he arrives back home.
In a nutshell: Hero gets jilted, so he introduces himself to a popular stage singer he's never met before, and three or four hours later, they are married.
Then there's the Hero's friend Skippy - and every time he came into the story, I swear to God, the overiding thought in my head was 'you can tell a lot about a man from the company he keeps!'
The fiancee who originally jilted the hero just turns up and moves right into the newlyweds' London home and refuses to leave. No evidence of breeding or good manners there either.
Then there's the hero's sister - and five minutes with her, and you know damn well you weren't imagining it - this family was not raised to be even slightly well-mannered or genteel.
And don't forget the heroine's uncle - someone who seemed to be a rat's whisker away from being a truly feral animal lifeform.
Add to the character issues the fact that the story was sort of flung at you in a ceaseless bombardment of information; often in a way that made you wonder whose point of view you were in now - and I'm talking from one paragraph to the next - and it was like being on an out-of-control rollercoaster; but worse than that - when you look up,you realize there's no-one driving the damn thing!
Did I enjoy the story? No. It was barely OK. I have read far better works from this author. This one didn't live up to the promise of the premise, and I was very glad to get to the end of it. At that point, all I felt was thoroughly exhausted from the experience.
Why fatigued? A personal peeve is authors recycling plots and characters, changing names and shifting some elements around but not really forging fresh stories or fresh personalities in stand-alone novels. After reading a number of BM's books, I've gotten too used to her repertory company of characters: the endangered, physically ill or harmed (poisoned) person in jeopardy (can be heroine or heroine's relative); the gallant hero who backs into the role but plays it well; the bad, fang-baring dog of indeterminate breed; the loony relatives/friends; and the conniving bitch spoilsport. I mean, each story I've read so far has these types. Without fail. Sigh.
I know there are plot points that differ but overall there is a sameness that even her wonderful wit and slapstick situations cannot redeem. Also there is the same dearth of emotional content, of romance, and I miss it. (Miss Lockharte's Letters is the wonderfully romantic exception, although the heroine is sick, being poisoned, hero backs into his role, etc.) I love to laugh but I love to feel something authentic between the hero and heroine just as much. BM seems to let the romance get lost in the frenzy or in this case, it just feels anemic and underfed, like the heroine's brother (who was being poisoned).