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When a Marquis Chooses a Bride (The Worthingtons Book 2) Kindle Edition
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|Length: 320 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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I'll try not to make this a poop sandwich. There was something I liked:
This book read like something written in the 19th century. Very rarely was there modern vernacular going on. It was obvious that Ms. Quinn had researched the regency quite a bit and that she knew a lot about it. I would never call her qualifications for writing historical fiction into question. Very good job on that. Not worth two stars, but y'know, at least it's some positive I could pull from this book.
That's it. That's the one thing I liked.
First: It's too tidy. I could list for you what happened in the book, and it would sound exciting - Dom and his cousin Worthington don't get along, Dom sees Dotty and immediately wants her but needs a proper wife to be his Marchioness, Dom was about to propose to someone else and she knows it, Dotty has Dom take in a boy who won't talk about his past but shows indications of being from a noble family, they find out the boy's mother was kidnapped and forced into a brothel, etc. All of this is resolved within 2 pages of being presented as a problem. Dom and Worthington immediately start getting along when it's convenient. As soon as Dotty talks to the boy who's supposed to not want to talk, suddenly he talks. They go to the brothel and stop the woman who's kidnapping people. There is never anything at stake. No problems ever extends beyond a page or two. There's no TENSION, EVER. There's no doubt that something will become okay because it's always okay and no one's ever in danger.
Look, it's a romance novel. You know it's all going to end up okay in the end, but most I read are at least good at masking that. You actively worry about the heroine being in the situations she's in, there's tension where she and the hero argue, and sometimes you're chomping at the bit because the will they / won't they goes on too long. That's not the case for When a Marquis Chooses a Bride. There's none of that. Everything is resolved before the chapter ends. Don't worry about it.
Which leads to the second and most grievous sin: It's boring. I compared it to my coworkers as "reading a text book about bacterial taxonomy." It seemed like Ms. Quinn wanted less to write a romance novel and more wanted to write a very boring slice of life about 19th century peerage. I couldn't read more than a chapter at a time because I was overwhelmed by ennui. I read a chapter where Dotty and Dom (and their family and friends) explode into a brothel and tear it down and stop some sex trafficking going on and MY MIND WAS WANDERING. I wanted to read something else. It was such a scientific dissection of what was going on. This leads back to the tension thing I mentioned in the first point, but god it keeps coming back to me.
Third: Any smut scenes or smutty scenes suffered similarly from lack of tension and scientific dissection. Also before you get to any real smut, when it's just smooching, I swear that the hero and heroine just run around with their tongues thrust out of their mouths. Every time they kiss, instantaneously their tongues are out. Dom will lean and smear his tongue over Dottie's mouth and say "open" and then it's a scientific thesis about how their tongues are smearing all over each other. Look, french kissing has its place but this is one of the first times I've ever been completely disgusted by descriptions of what was happening. I mean, if you fetishize tongues, you might be into it. I wasn't.
Fourth: The back (at least, my copy) of the book says, "[Dotty's] sharp wit and outspoken nature has everyone in a tizzy." This is a lie. Dotty is not outspoken nor does she demonstrate sharp wit. The closest we get to it is now and again she will go "oh no! someone is kicking a puppy! we should help it!" or "oh no! that poor orphan is crying! we should give him hugs and kisses and pat his back!!" No one is ever in a tizzy about Dotty. Those girls I mentioned earlier who are kind of upset that she's marrying the Marquis rather than them? (oh, right, the whole "will she say I do?" thing is resolved by page, I think, 68?) They stop caring immediately deciding she's so nice. Well, no, there's one who keeps going at it because she doesn't realize she's super duper nice, you see, but that's also resolved before it can ever be an actual issue so it's totally irrelevant. Dominic doesn't have to risk his loyalty to his family in order to wed Dotty (as the book touts he has to) - his mother wants the wedding to happen, all of Dotty's family are into it (despite her father being against her wedding her first season in the first pages but - again, resolved whenever it might be an issue) - there's just NOTHING. Everything's fine. I just could not care less what happens to anyone in this book. No one is interesting. There's never any tension.
Which leads to fifth: Dominic, the hero, is BORING. Honestly, in a way, I almost - ALMOST admire it, because it's like the book is written in a majority from his point of view. If the book was totally in limited third person point of view from his brain, I could totally understand why it was so dull and stuffy - because that's exactly what Dominic is. I mean the book is supposed to be all about how he struggles to change and become less stuffy and dull, but because it itself is so stuffy and dull and Dotty is so stuffy and dull (I mean "oh no! orphans! puppies! kittens!" aside, which doesn't really make her NOT stuffy and dull, it just gives her an exhausting can do no wrong vibe which doesn't help stuffy and dull) there's...no indication of change. He acts the same through the book.
Honestly, there are a few other things I could talk about, but just thinking about this book has sent my brain into apathetic lethargy, so I'll just tl;dr the rest:
- All scenes read like dull montages.
- You know what? When I think about it, this book suffers from the same problem that Star Wars 1-3 do. It's all TALKING and then when action happens it's boring and there's either no stakes or the stakes are so inconsequential no one cares. This book is the Phantom Menace of romance novels.
- SERIOUSLY, THEY STOP SEX TRAFFICKERS AND IT'S SO BORING. HOW CAN THAT BE BORING? THAT'S ALMOST A GIFT. AAAH THINKING ABOUT HOW BORING READING THAT CHAPTER WAS IS ENRAGING ME.
- There's constant reference to other books Ms. Quinn wrote which read like someone holding up a bag of Doritos in the middle of a movie and saying "Doritos are so delicious!!!" and chomping on them. Advertising has its place, but with how big the wink and focus is in Ms. Quinn's book, I have no interest in ever reading these others.
So, all that said - I would not recommend this book. There is nothing titillating or enthralling about it. I feel like all these other reviews read some other book. I wish I'd read this book these other reviews talk about.
One look and he was lost. Of course, he can't admit it. She's not of his class and he must rid himself of this inconvenient tendre. It's not seemly. Circumstances conspire to put her in his orbit. Everywhere he goes, there she is.
Poor Dom. As the story progresses, so does Dom. This is a delightful story of a gentleman learning that everything he thought about the world and his view of it could possibly be wrong. We travel with him on this reluctant journey of self discovery and what a journey it is.
Dotty is a kindhearted young lady who has a savior complex. She just can't help herself. She's just what Dom needs. He was definitely in need of saving.
This was a lovely second book in the series. I enjoyed the couple's journey to HEA. The family is awesome. It was wonderful to see the Worthingtons' story continue where we left off in the first book.
This is a binge read for me, I'm heading to the next story! Happy reading!