Tangled Web Mass Market Paperback – February 1, 1988
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Mass Market Paperback
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The story: At the beginning of the book, Miss Celia Marcombe, the heroine of the book, is informed by her grandfather, Roderick, that he has arranged a marriage between Celia and his godson, Lord Trevor Ryde, the hero of the book. Suffice it to say, Celia is less than thrilled with this prospect and tries to get out of it by claiming she already is betrothed to her brother’s best friend, Jonathon Edelston. Celia is even less enthused about the impending nuptials when she visits Trevor’s home and realizes the state of dishabille it’s in.
Despite that disappointment, Celia does begin to develop a romantic tendre for Trevor, which is somewhat broken when she discovers he’s keeping a woman at his home. (The woman in question-Therese de Bourgerre- later becomes the heroine of another book, "An Intriguing Desire" by Ms. Bennett.) The reasons Trevor is keeping Mademoiselle de Bourgerre in London later come to light, leading to intrigue and danger. Eventually, most of the mysteries are solved, Celia and Trevor realize they love each other, Jonathon finds his true love-Celia’s companion Elizabeth-and the two couples have their Happily Ever After.
Upside: It’s a Regency romance. I learned a few new phrases. (I do love Regency phrases. Sometimes they are so much more descriptive than American phrases.)
Downside: I found both Celia and Trevor to be unlikeable. While I understood Celia’s desire not to be forced into marriage with Trevor, the way she goes about expressing that displeasure was, to me, immature and childish (in her defense, she is 19 years of age.) Trevor, on the other hand, is an arrogant, stiff, unfeeling boor for the majority of the book. I found the “romance” between them to be both unromantic and unbelievable. Toward the end of the book, Trevor threatens to kill Celia and spanks her; yet, despite this, she agrees to marry him!
Sex: Other than a few kisses, there is no sexual content.
Violence: Shootings, killings and a swordfight. None of the violence is graphic.
Bottom Line: I really wanted to like “Tangled Web”, as I currently own four of Ms. Bennett’s books and have many more on my TBR lists, but this was a seriously disappointing book. My hope is that Ms. Bennett’s future books will be better; they can’t be much worse.
Blot is involved enough to keep you reading but the feminine lead is way too spoiled and really lives in a very distorted world. Good enough due to plot lines if you can tolerate he. How the male lead can endure is beyond me.