Too Wicked To Love
by Rita Clay Estrada, historical (2001)
Zebra, $5.99, ISBN 0-8217-7073-X


Benjamin Drake, the second son of an English Earl, is sad. His twin brother Anthony, elder by four minutes, will get everything now that Da is dead, and Ben, always feeling unloved (Da even marked his ear just to separate him from Tony, and Ben should probably count his lucky stars that Da isn't a Alexandre Dumas fan), is blue because he will have no money!

Awww. He gambles, whores, and laments that he will have no money to start a ranch. See, he doesn't want to be a sheep dude, he just wants to be rancher. But he has no money. How sad. Since Harlequin may not be giving him a cover model contract any day soon, he decides to marry a rich woman to get the money. (What's that you say? "Honest day's work"? What's that? Are you a romance reader that doesn't believe in the English highborn's entitlement to a life of privilege? Traitor!)

Sarah Hornsby, widow (unhappy marriage), is more than happy to help poor, poor Ben find a wife, in return, he will help her with her business. But both will want to drake that horny thing soon enough, but what of Ben's urgent need for money? I mean, such noble quest for easy money, self-prostitution style, is paramount! Can true love break down such noble self-sacrifice? I mean, think of the cows waiting to be slaughtered by Benjamin Drake's Abattoir. What cows wouldn't be honored to be castrated and then cut open from ear to ear by a giant meat cleaver wielded by the hands of a self-made man like Mr Drake? Line up, you cows, and prepare to be made into steak!

Can you tell that I find the whole premise of this story ridiculous? Yes, Ben and Sarah are nice people, if completely deluded and has misplaced sense of proportions about the value of Ben's noble self, but seriously, this story is ridiculous. But people like Anna Nicole Smith may love and even relate to this one. Unlike poor Smith, Ben gets a happy ending and lots of money.

Rating: 54


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