Yup, this one was one of those.
Lucky me. -_-
Once upon a time _ more like in the beginning of the twentieth century _ there was an heiress _ well, I guess there were lots of them, but... you know what I mean _ called Louisa Stratton who was in desperate need of a husband.
A fake husband, after all she is rich, why would she need a husband after all?
So... why the need for a fake husband?
Well, poor Louisa has a family from Hell.
Her parents drowned when she was a small child, leaving her at the "care" of an aunt who basically kept her imprisoned until the girl came into the possession of her inheritance, at the age of twenty five years old.
Besides the aunt, there's a cousin _ The evil aunt's son! _who apparently spent a lot of his time trying to compromise or even rape the girl!
For crying out loud.
Now a year later, and having tasted freedom for the first time, she finds herself being summoned home, because she may (yes, she did that) have written that she had married a handsome devil _ aren't they all? _ rich _obviously _ and intelligent guy.
When your family already thinks that you aren't the smartest person in the world, telling them that you married an idiot, wouldn't probably be wise...
Now the family wants to meet such paragon, which leaves Louisa in a bit of a situation.
Luckily for Louisa, Mary Eversong the proprietor of the Evensong agency has just the right candidate for the job...
Enter's War hero Charles Cooper...
Okay, I am going to stop right now with the book description.
This story had everything to work, but unfortunately around chapter twelve/ thirteen things started to fall apart.
The whole romance or attraction ends up being developed full speed ahead which was really disconcerting considering that it involved two individuals that were in the presence of one another for about a day. Two days maximum.
Also, apparently suffering a head trauma may be considered as a prelude for having sex, which was also -_- weird to read...
And after that, it just went downhill with all the soap opera silly moments that ends up taking place.
It goes from, "oh, after this night of debauchery that we had, we'll keep our hands to one another"...five minutes later they're in bed.
Every single day the guy is the target of some sort of attack: with all the hits to his head, I'm surprised he didn't go into a coma -_-
Then there's the "marry me" _ says he, two days after they've met _ that will be followed by "no, I am not good enough for you...
Make up your mind and stick to it, for crying out loud!
They're a boring lot of characters. All of them.
Louisa as the main character is one of the most boring heroines I've ever read about.
She's supposed to be wild and reckless with her shocking modern way of thinking, but I never "bought it". I wanted to see some character development because the girl starts with no backbone whatsoever... unfortunately she ends up in the same way she started as.
As for Charles, he has a sort of wtf back-story that was supposed to make us see him as a hero, but which was in truth appalling to read about. He was a capt in the Boer war, and during a time responsible for a women's concentration camp.
And we are told that there was this girl who didn't want to die as a virgin, so Charles _heroic and noble Charles _ went through the trouble of depriving her of such condition....*deep breath*, but since the girl was in such an unhealthy state _ I just can't _ she dies immediately after of a heart attack....of course being a gentleman he blames himself for having killed her... with his dick..
Why am I not giving one star to this? o_O
Bottom line: this story has one of the weirdest combination of themes.
Yes, through most of it it manages to be idiotic as hell (with all the failed attempts to Charles' life), but then the author manages to show us what it was like to live in such a time especially for a woman that didn't want to comply with her family wishes. The fear of psychiatric internment was still very much alive back then.
For me the story's setting was better developed than the actual story, or even its characters.
Author's Official site