by Gaelen Foley, historical (2011)
Avon, $7.99, ISBN 978-0-06-173396-3
Gaelen Foley's My Irresistible Earl is the third book in a series which portrays the members of the Inferno Club as aristocrats who are trained in skills that combines the lessons taught in masterclasses by MacGyver, Bruce Lee, and the X-Men. These guys are super saiyan hardcore, people. These guys are actually members of the Order of St Michael the Archangel, trained to thwart the evil plots of the Prometheans, and really, all that's missing is these guys pulling out their rings and summoning forth Captain Planet to save the day. And, of course, they do all this while pretending to be sex maniacs having orgies and what not.
So, let's meet our hero, Jordan Lennox, the Earl of Falconridge. Twelve years ago, he was attracted to Mara Bryce, but because he's, you know, a superhero, he decided to leave her, without a word, after she asked him to marry her. He wasn't sure whether he wanted to go back to her, and besides, he was convinced that leaving her would be good for her as she would "stop playing the coquette and grow the hell up" (his own words). Mind you, he's thinking of a woman he is wildly infatuated with. I can only imagine what he thinks of the women who rolled up their eyes at him and told him to go hang himself.
Mara was a desperately unhappy young lady then, hoping that Jordan, whom she'd fallen in love with, would save her from her emotionally abusive parents. When he pretty much ran out on her and never sent any word back, she married another man. She had a kid with him, and was desperately unhappy in that marriage too. Now, she is a widow, and then Jordan comes back.
Jordan claims to "despise" her. When he came back a year after he left her, she married another man, so really, she had failed his test (his own words) and he now knows that she is a flighty tart! He was right to leave her! And now, he will leave her again, pouting like a kid and storming off silently, leaving Mara to wonder what the heck has just happened. Really now, how old is this brat again? Twelve? He can't leave her, however, as his mission for his brotherhood requires him to stay close to her. Oh, the pain! How can Jordan bear the heartache?
And that's my problem with this story: Jordan. He's crazy. That guy has serious issues about women, I tell you, and it's really tragic that they can't read his mind because he seems to expect them to. He doesn't talk to them, but he gets irrationally angry and blames them for all kinds of nonsense when they don't behave like he expects them to. Jordan does experience some remorse each time he puts his foot into his mouth and hurts or humiliates Mara, but awareness rarely translates to action.
He is particularly obnoxious early in the story, and while he does mellow down a bit later on, the fact that he can easily become that stupid doesn't inspire confidence in me that he's going to be a decent husband for Mara.
It also doesn't help that he is as whiny as can be. He is practically fighting for the love martyr of the century award. He reels Mara in, and then kicks her away for her own good, reels her back in, repeat and rinse. All this while, he's moping and pouting because he has to give Mara up for the sake of his band of brothers. I can only take his nonsense for so long before wishing that he would just man up and cut off ties with Mara for good. No, he instead has to spend the whole book whining that he'd like to get off but somehow his rear end is just glued to this chamber pot filled with his personal melodrama.
It's not like there is no precedence to these guys marrying and still being what they are, so at the end of the day, Jordan is just being a first class moron that won't shut up. It's always all about him, him, him, him, and him. Ugh.
Poor Mara. For the most part, she's just confused by this twerp, and rightfully so, as Jordan expects her to be his personal Jean Grey - mind-reader, mother, lover, and sexbot in one hot body. She has her moments of dubious intelligence, but on the whole, she's a pretty decent heroine who deserves better than the crybaby she's stuck with. It's hard to feel sorry for her, however, since she voluntarily goes for the crybaby in question.
Like the author's usual style, this story has a plot that one should never take seriously. Come on, we have a bunch of Earls and Dukes and what not playing covert superheroes - historical authenticity or accuracy does not live here, so move on, professor. Half the time I have no idea what is going on - there are a crazy assassin, some legendary scrolls with great and dangerous secrets, and other stuff that makes this book (and this series) the closest one could get to being a fantastical alternate world historical romance without having to go steampunk. I could have a blast here.
I could, but then again, there's this obnoxious whiny crybaby constantly moaning at my face. Won't someone be a dear and kill that thing for me?
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