For Love Alone
by Shirlee Busbee, historical (2000)
Warner, $6.50, ISBN 0-446-60532-8

Shirlee Busbee is one of the more readable writers of the old school romance style, at least that's what I thought. I enjoyed her last book Lovers Forever and it's a long wait for this new one, For Love Alone.

But me, I can barely stay awake after a few chapters. This book is so crammed with the same old, same bore material. It's really disappointing to see authors like Ms Busbee stuck in some sort of time warp. Really, upgrading is the way to live in the new century, you know.

The plot is the usual. Virtuous heroine Sophy Marlowe has a husband so evil he comes off as Yomesty Sam soused on drugs and alcohol. He raped her on the wedding night, forces himself on every willing harlotty maid in the house, and holds reckless debaucheries downstairs. And Sophy, Good Woman she is, sleeps with a pistol. She's ripe for sexual healing ala cliché by hero Ives the Viscount Harrington.

They meet when she's now a widow, chased after lusty, bad men of the Ton. Like a shining star, Ives, the one true good Regency hero, saves Sophy from being framed by a French spy called The Fox. They marry, even though Sophy's mother is responsible for Ives' brother's suicide (no good woman in romance but the heroine, you know that!). The Fox is connected to Sophy, of course, so now both of them have to Boink, Save The Country, and Be Merry.

French spy named The Fox. Yawn. So many French spies called The Fox. Why not The Pig? Or The Emu?

Soldier and nobleman hero. Yawn.

Virtuous heroine with bad, abusive ex. Big big yawn.

Heroine terrified of sex and thinks that all men are evil. Tepid, formulaic sexual therapy from Dr Harrington. Oops, almost fell into a coma there.

The writing is quite funny too. Her heart bangs in her chest, and she doesn't just have a mouth, she has a fine mouth. And this is just two of the many arch, airy-fairy prose that peppers the story, making the book really awkward reading on my part.

For Love Alone, I'm afraid, fits the definition Boring down to a tee.

Rating: 30

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