Well, it is fluffy I have to grant that..
I had recently won a copy of the author’s newest novel, The Virgin’s Daughters: In the Court of Elizabeth I, and while waiting for that I looked at what else she’d written and found several romances and the library had them so I figured I’d give one a whirl. Big mistake.
Set during the reign of Charles II, Lady Anne finds that her betrothed has offered up her maidenhead to the lustful King. Distraught, she runs to her father for help, and until he can arrange to nullify the engagement sends her off in the protection of notorious highwayman “Gentleman Johnny” (odd choice for a protector, but oh well) and he takes her to his forest hideaway that is soooo well hidden they have buildings and a real life community going on there. Now it is a romance so you know sparks start flying as the two begin lusting after each other, but circumstances keep the two apart and also bring Anne’s fiancé Lord Waverby and her uncle back into the picture.
While I certainly wasn’t expecting high fiction going into this, I wasn’t really expecting such a trite fluffy mess either. Lady Anne was bordering on TSTL, the bad guys were cartoon cut-out villains and frankly our hero was unbelievably wishy washy. I really didn’t get any chemistry between the two, nor could I find myself caring much what happened. But worst of all was the purple prose, of which I’ll give you one example,
“For one too-swift moment, he allowed his eyes to absorb her appearance, the red glint of hair brushed into soft side curls, the bodice pushing up two orbs of quivering flesh like an offering of rich cream custard to the gods.”
At least orb is being used other than describing the heroine’s violet eyes in a romance novel. Skip this, I wish I had. Can I have my Friday afternoon back? Please?