His Fair Lady
by Kathleen Kirkwood, historical (2001)
Signet, $4.99, ISBN 0-451-20236-8
I have to give this book credit for at least not relying on the same old knight-from-crusades-marry-woman-for-her-lands routine. In this story, Royce de Warrene (even that name isn't original) found Juliana Mandeville when he was fifteen and he stumbled upon the scene of a brutal massacre. Ana is the sole survivor, and traumatized, she couldn't speak anything but her name "Ana". (Or maybe she's asking for bananas... nah, it's definitely her name.) Thinking her a peasant, he leaves her with a couple of strangers.
After Crusades and pumping lots of muscles, our new beefcake and improved hero returns to England an older hunk. He is having a great time enjoying a hero's welcome until an elderly nobleman storms up to him and tells him that that lil' girl long ago is actually his granddaughter, a noble lady. Oops. Royce starts combing the country for her, and finds her just in time before she marries a mere nobody.
After this point, it becomes really hard to sustain any interest in this story. His Fair Lady becomes another story with familiar, overused psychological baggage with the same (lack of) depths. The same old external conflicts, the same old excuses to fight and sulk, and heck, I can even predict the moment of boinking! When a story is so samey to the point that I can almost second-guess the dialogues, there's really no point to keep reading, really. I did, if only out of curiosity to see whether the hero would lose it and choke the whiny, shrieky, petulant healer heroine. I must be delusional to even imagine that would happen.
His Fair Lady starts out promising, but turns into a fair cookie-cutter soon enough. The sound you hear is not wind passing through a cavernous cave, just me yawning my head off in mind-numbing boredom.
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