by Julia Justiss, historical (2002)
Harlequin Historical, $4.99, ISBN 0-373-29191-4
Stereotype Susie, meet Julia Justiss. Julia, Susie.
My Lady's Trust makes me want to scream. It's painful. Not because it's bad, but because it is so predictable that the predictability becomes tedious. Tedious soon becomes painful, and by page 150, painful has multiplied into acute aneurysm. Oh, and the hero may suck, but the heroine makes me want to poke my own eyeballs out with a hot spoon. She's so virtuous she makes starch a trampoline thing.
Laura Martin, country recluse, bankrupt noble lady, herbal healer, kind hearted wench, oh the list of painful triteness goes on, is called to heal the wounded brother of Hugh Bradsleigh, the Earl of Bullhockey or something of that sort. Hugh sees this witch and is surprised that she is a lovely "widow" who radiates starch and primness that will drive Emma Thompson into seizures of envy. Why, he'll seduce her! Maybe she'll love his consideration that he will seduce her here in the country instead of in London, where tongues wag, you know.
Laura, who can't say no to everybody, becomes everybody's favorite project, naturally. Nothing's more fun that kicking a soccer ball around, and it's no different here. Beau's sister decides to find Laura a hubby again. Bullhockey Beau balks - come on, she can do no better than having him as her protector! And he says this with a straight face.
When men become interested in Laura, Laura naturally doesn't give these men any time of day. I mean, nice men - how boring. Beau whisks her to London, where he hopes to have her all to himself. But alas, in London, Laura's past catches up with her. Or rather, the hero's extreme stupidity causes her past to catch up with her.
A spineless doormat in danger is Bambi tied to the railway tracks with the train a-coming. So naturally, fickle and self-absorbed Bullhockey will have to come to her rescue. And as they say, may the Lord have mercy on our souls.
Yeah, yeah, the author can write, blah blah blah. Of course Ms Justiss can write. But in this case, she has written a wonderfully bland and extremely tiresome Virtue Pikachu and a boring and supremely self absorbed bullhockey-sucking hero in a story that makes predictability just plain excruciating. Uuuurgggghhh.
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