Lady In Waiting
by Nicole Byrd, historical (2002)
Jove, $6.99, ISBN 0-515-13292-6


Circe Hill is an artist. Or so she tries to bluff me into believing. The artistry, or non-artistry, of Circe is yet another "personality trait" of hers, along with this irritating tendency to live only for her sister's husband's oh so handsome I-luv-him-4eva best friend and this tendency to feel guilt for the smallest, slightest things in the world - all these non-character-development only makes Circe the Regency era Britney Spears.

Circe Hill. She's hot. She's sexy, but she's a - uh huh - virgin. She tantalizes and teases, but it's all an innocent act. And when she opens her mouth, the most stupid stuff comes out, and when she acts, she plunges straight into trouble.

Sigh.

Probably thirteen-year old girls living for one-sided love stories where it's okay that sexy hunk lie and all, as long as in the end they live together happily ever after, et cetera, these girls may love Lady In Waiting better. Me, even blasting at full volume the West Side Story soundtrack and me going "I wanna be in America!" in horrible faux ghetto accent can't remove the numbing boredom this story inflicted on me. (The neighbors probably hate me now though.)

Circe's sister gets her own story in last year's Dear Impostor. Psyche, the sister, married one Gabriel Sinclair as a result of suffering to pay off Circe's art tuition fees and stuff. If I'm Psyche, I'll be fuming mad, because Circe doesn't even lift a brush in this story. If I worked my butt off to pay for someone's education, that someone better become the new Picasso or die paying me back my money at high interest rates.

Anyway, here's Circe. She's been in love with Gabriel's best friend David Lydford, some earl or another, and now she squeals in joy when David pretends to be her boyfriend. Yes, David's a secret agent, and in England, romance novel England, secret agents attend balls and court women like James Bond gone Jane Austen. Still, Circe, who swears that she's plain, she doesn't like dancing, she doesn't like the boring Ton stuff, even if she wants to dance with David and stand close to him and omigosh, OMIGOSH, he KISSES her, OHMIGOSH, this is, wow, so rufus and hot and I wonder if he will love her, is that flower from him, and oh, how does she know if he, like, loves her much? If he talks to her like that, is it like he wants her bad? Oh, shall she let him kiss her? Oh, pretty, pretty kisses! La, la, la, he's like, the hottest hunk ohmigosh. OMIGOSH.

Someone please brain me with a hammer until I get amnesia.

That's basically the story. David decides that he has the hots for Britney here at page 92. Circe thinks he's the hottest stuff since Justin Timberlake from page 1. So what's the conflict, you ask? That spy thing? Well, the spy thing only rears its ugly head in a rushed last few chapters, where Circe does many, many unbelievably common-sensefree things so that David can rescue her again and again and live happily ever after forever and ever. I shudder and clutch my stomach as I ache forever and ever.

Seriously, this book is so girly, Circe just has not one ounce of common sense or maturity or even an ability to think for someone her age, the whole thing just makes me cringe. I've known of books which make the readers feel young again, but this book makes me feel just plain stoned.

Lady In Waiting is definitely not for readers like me who want at least a little maturity in the characters.

Oh, and Ms Byrd may want to tighten up continuity a little. There are some glaring inconsistencies in characterization and motivations in this story that could've been avoided if more care is exercised in post-production.

Rating: 58


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