A Perfect Rogue
by Martine Berne, historical (2000)
Zebra, $5.99, ISBN 0-8217-6848-4

Oh my head. I feel a severe migraine coming on. I will try not be too mean but A Perfect Rogue is horrible. My migraine is because every other sentence ends with an exclamation point. Like this! And this! Yes! Isn't this irritating! Look ma, I'm shouting! Ugh!

And apart from that, the heroine is one of those horrid, backbone-less women who just refuses to do anything apart from saving doggies from being roadkill. Throughout the whole book Caroline Smythe pretty much just stands there and acts waifish and pathetic. And she succeeds in the pathetic part.

While saving doggies, she almost gets run down by Lord Damien Reston! Naturally, our heroine collapses and has to be nursed back to health! Miss Smythe has been sexually harassed by her past employer (she's a governess) and needs a man to teach her to Love And Trust Again! Damien takes pity on our penniless, helpless, hapless, spineless woman and hires her to be companion to his sister! And love blooms between them, but oh, he is engaged to someone else!

Can love triumph?!!

Sorry about the exclamation marks - I'm feeling quite grouchy so I am hoping some readers would get migraines and share my misery too. Back to this book, while Damien loves Caroline, he somehow forgets to disengage himself from the Other Woman. So Caroline believes that no man could love a woman like her, so she therefore will drive Damien back to the arms of the other woman so that he will be happy ever after!

And if she can't have Damien, oh, let her spend the rest of her life in miserable solitude, with only memories of Damien's body and - uhm, touches to warm her twilight years! Damien, oh Damien, she will give up everything for you! Her heart, her body, her soul, her happiness, everything! Damien! Damien! DAMIEN!!!

If you're sobbing piteously by now, I think this book will meet your requirements for a good read perfectly.

And may I add that Damien has no problem moving on with his life engaged to that other woman while Caroline is pining away like a really sad puppy? Until someone tells him that the epilogue is nigh and he has to ditch that other woman or readers would demand their money back. It is really tragic to see a woman degenerating into one truly pathetic, pitiful mush for a man, really. Caroline, go home! Now!

Rating: 22

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