by Gayle Callen, historical (2001)
Avon, $5.99, ISBN 0-380-81377-7
His Betrothed is hot, hot, hot! Hot in arousing my temper, that is. Much of the nonsense in this story need not happen if the heroine has a brain bigger than a gerbil's and tell the jerk hero to drop dead. If this story serves any purpose, it's probably to illustrate how no one ever got burned underestimating the intelligence of a romance novel heroine.
Lady Roselyn Harrington leaves her husband-to-be Spencer Thornton at the altar. I'm not sure how she can do this in 1586 Elizabethan England, but she runs away from her wedding, leaving Spencer humiliated. Spencer goes to nurse his wounds in a tavern, Roselyn's father disowned her, and our heroine lives a quiet life as a baker in an island, which happens to be Spencer's home. Idiot or what?
Cut to two years later, where our hero is wrongfully accused as a spy for the Spaniards. Injured in a battle with the Spaniards, he is washed ashore for some Bedside Nursing by, yup, Rose.
He thinks she's hot. Then he realizes that she's his absent almost-wife and the chamber pot spilleth over.
Now, Roselyn is an idiot. Spencer overhears someone calling her "Lady Roselyn" and immediately deduces that she's, well, her. Apparently, there's only one Roselyn in England. Of course, any heroine with a functional brain can always say, "Excuse me, but I'm not that Roselyn!" if she wants to remain who she says she is (a widow), right? Alas, our Roselyn, Romance Heroine Virtuous and Pure, cannot lie and must tell the truth. You found me out, sirrah - ah ah eek, eek, sob.
Anyway, Spencer then starts treating her like a bag of dog dung. He hates being taken care of by her, but oh, he can't move or eat or do anything, so he will make lots of vile insinuations to her instead. Again, any heroine with a brain that's bigger than one brain cell will just walk away after telling this jerk to drop down dead. Why bother nursing a man whose presence, if found, will threaten everyone she loves on this island, and a man who is calling her all sorts of names to boot? But Roselyn, Romance Heroine Virtuous and Pure, she endures. And endures. And endures.
Finally, Spencer gets up. How about a "Thank you for saving my life"? Hah, dream on! He will make her hate him, bla bla bla. He will force her to be his wife and make her love him so that he will then dump her and humiliate her like she did him, bla bla bla. "Me tell, you woman shut up and listen!" is his game, moronic insipidity's his middle name. And Roselyn, Romance Heroine Virtuous and Pure, endures and even blames herself for walking away.
And you know what makes me mad? Other than Roselyn, Twit and Brainless? Spencer is equally at fault for this mess. He doesn't want to marry Roselyn at first, but because he couldn't displease his parents, whom he loves, he will take it out on this then bride-to-be unseen, driving Roselyn to run away. And now, he is blaming her for everything wrong in his life. And Roselyn, Romance Heroine Virtuous and Pure, lets him. It's her fault! She should have never run away! She should have endure!
Hey, what can I say? Well, if anything, Spencer and Roselyn are perfect for each other, that I must hand it to them. Now here's hoping they will make each other so happy that they will exile themselves to their island to boink themselves to death and hopefully, never ever grace my reading episodes ever again. Twits.
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