A Rebellious Bride
by Brenda Hiatt, historical (2002)
Avon, $5.99, ISBN 0-380-81779-9


A Rebellious Bride, hmm? There are a lot of "R" words I can use to describe heroine Miss Quinn Peverill, including a politically incorrect synonym of the state of mental handicap, but rebellious in definitely not one of them.

In fact, Quinn is a heroine that is very faithful to the Codex of Unoriginal Dingbat Heroines Who Rush Headlong Into Trouble, Screw Thinking, We're Intelligent Spirited Women Who Want To Marry For Love - Let's Run Away With No Clear Plans In Our Head. Brenda Hiatt just hasn't been the same since Harper and Hearst merged. In fact, A Rebellious Bride has everything but the kitchen sink in it, just like her last book for Avon, it feels as if Ms Hiatt is trying desperately to cover all grounds possible.

Whatever her motives, what she is doing is not working with me. At all.

Quinn is an American heiress in London. Just like that werewolf in Paris, only ten times more grotesque. Apparently "American" being the new catchphrase for "dim-witted recklessness", Quinn doesn't fit in and hence wears boy's clothes at night to run around saving helpless little maids and doing other acts of courage. I'm amazed at how she can last ten seconds outside her house, judging from her latest inept escapade that ends up with her and Lord Marcus Northup being compromised.

A fake engagement ensues, where our heroine's Daddy is pleased, because he knows that his daughter marrying a stranger as a result of coercion is the true path to her happiness. Stop smoking those weed, Dad. Quinn, vocally declaring that she will marry only for love, doesn't tell anyone as she sneaks away, and dashes headlong into the seedy harbor with full intention of getting a boat back to America NOW. She hands over her money to some thugs, get sold to a madame, and has to be rescued by our hero, who is also now the new Saint of Seven Dials... oh never mind.

Quinn still wants to marry for love, even if she is sure that she loves him, he doesn't love her, so oh, so how, people? Well, Quinn, stopping and thinking for once before acting will be nice. But no, look, there she runs off again! And there he goes to save her from another "American" debacle! In the end, Quinn marries Marcus after he has saved her for (I hope) the last time, and America throws a public holiday for being well-rid of another potential statistic in the annual roadkill count.

Well, I'll just say this: if a story revolves around a heroine running stupidly into danger and then needing help, don't expect me to care. In fact, don't expect anything from me unless you want me to wish for her gruesome death. A story that moves because of the heroine's stupidity and the hero's tired, inexplicable need to spoil and pamper her is not exactly my cup of tea. And all those talk about her young age and innocence and her buxom body and all those "a girl, no, looking at her breasts and curves, a woman - ah, not a girl, not yet a woman or something, or what the heck, it's Britney Spears!" vibes, I'd also decline. Maybe Bob Dole's, er, dog, might want to take a peek, though.

Rating: 56


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