Ruthless (The House of Rohan #1) by Anne Stuart
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
I've read Black Ice by this author and if you're in the mood for a heroine that has next to no backbone and a hero that could just as easily be the bad guy, then I'd recommend it. I thought I give this a try to see if a change in category from suspense to historical would help her romance evolve a bit more. Unfortunately that just wasn't the case.
I should say first that there were quite a few good things about this story, especially the nice little side romance between Lydia and Charles. They had many sweet, lovable qualities that were plainly absent for Elinor and Rohan, our main couple. If they had had a bit more of the spotlight I would have been happy.
Elinor has some poor self-esteem (and not without reason the way her mother treated her) and Francis is a connoisseur of all that is sinful (but not truly you guys, because he draws the line at children, duh!). Elinor is in dire straights because her mother has slowly run their family into the ground as a fallen women going crazy from syphilis, ewww. When her mother escapes one night, she has to rescue her from one of Rohan's crazy parties. They meet and the rest is history, unfortunate and predictable history.
Some of my favorite snippets for everyone's enjoyment:
After we've learned about Elinor's tragic past, we get this gem,
"My sister will be safe and well cared for if I get in your bed?"
He laughed,. "Acquit me of be quite so gauche, child. I have innumerable women to satisfy my carnal urges."
The ice vanished and she was hot, hot in shame. Of course he didn't want her. How foolish could she be?
APPARENTLY VERY FOOLISH!! Why shouldn't a guy basically holding you captive not want your body, what's wrong with you (read: what's wrong with this author).
Next up this gem comes straight from Rohan whilst trying to woo Elinor to sleep with him, but then again who would be able to resist him after this Jersey Shore-like argument:
"Indeed Madame is waiting for me and she tends to be quite insatiable. I can only hope that I have not stayed away so long that three men have taken my place."
"Darling, it takes that many to replace my skills."
Be still my beating heart, I think he means business, rawwwr!
Then we have to have the tough (but really kind) love of a hero to make our heroine see the light of her mistaken ways:
"Someone restrain her," Rohan said in an unconcerned voice. "Without hurting her," he added, and the footmen took her arms and forced her back in the chair, careful not to be too rough. She sat back, knowing when a battle could not be won.
WTF, Rohan even has to get footmen to do his dirty-work. Clearly the heroine should sit back and relax because she's at the mercy of a crazy man.
Then to top if all off, our hero is such a romantic that just in case Elinor is diseased he's still willing to try those newfangled condoms for the first time, just to be with her. Isn't that romantic!
Ugh, I don't expect these books to be perfect, but I am SO tired of seeing the same plot constructs. Yet when I do find the ones that rise above this it makes it all worth it.
Copy Source: Ebook Purchased