by Christine Wells, historical (2007)
Berkley, $6.99, ISBN 978-0-425-21832-7
Scandal's Daughter is Christine Wells' debut historical romance and my god, it is such an annoying read. The hero is one of the biggest babies I've ever come across.
The story is a familiar. Yeah, yeah, meet Sebastian Laidley, another one of the insufferably whiny privileged white males that have a title and all the money and time to enjoy life, only to throw orgies and then complain that life sucks. He hates his father and spends all his time defying the man even when the man is dead for some time now. As he spends his time complaining that orgies are boring and his life sucks, his dying godfather announces that he wants Sebastian to marry the man's daughter Gemma Maitland. Sebastian doesn't want to marry, of course, since his parents had an unhappy marriage, blah blah blah, so he intends instead to postpone his upcoming nuptials by trying to find Gemma an alternative suitor instead. Gemma is a country lass who is... well, I'm sure you know the type, since this story doesn't try too hard to be original. He falls for her in the process, so the suspense comes from whether Sebastian can pull his head out of his anal cavity long enough to smell the fresh air and see some sense.
The problem here isn't Gemma. She's actually a lovely and sensible lady despite her familiar trappings of clichéd traits and background. No, the problem is Sebastian. This man is insufferably whiny to the point that I have no idea what is supposed to so attractive about this man. His money? He spends his time in the story whining that his life sucks and he doesn't want to fall in love, but when he falls in love, he decides that he has to drive Gemma away from him because she's too good for him. I agree with him about the part where she is too good for him, but I'm not giving him any slack there because he is always making everything about him. Besides, given that he has a tendency to stick it to all kinds of whores and tarts, I can only imagine the wonderful strains of herpes that he will give his blushing bride as a wedding gift.
Maybe I'm just too old for this story. Perhaps were I a fresh-faced teenage girl, I may look at Sebastian and go, "Oh, the poor woobie! I must strive to prove to him my virtue so that he will realize that I love him!" But at this point in my life, all I want to do is to take a broom and whack Sebastian hard in the backside several times until he wails for his mother to come save him. That man is really such an irritating baby, I have no idea why he's even allowed to live past page ten.
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