In Bed with the Duke by Christina Dodd

To all of the peasantry, it's time for the pitchforks and torches!!
OMG! Where to begin? After a four year hiatus into Contemporaryland and Paranormalville, I was so looking forward to In Bed with the Duke by Christina Dodd. So, I lovingly opened the book. The time period was 1849, not my favorite, but I can deal with it... I started to read and what do you think I see right there on the first page, line nine (yes, I counted)?

Well, peasants let me tell you. The hero Michael is bored bored bored because he's attending a ball that is an "exact clone" of all the others. Exact Clone!!! Exact Clone!!! Clone!!! Clone in 1849? Well, now wait a minute, let's not fly off the handle.

Don't become one of those irritating historically accurate people. Maybe that term is being used legitimately. So, after about a half hour of research, I came across an article from the Medical History journal written by a Professor Ursula Mittwoch. And, do you know what that article was about? "Clone: The History of a Euphonious Scientific Term." Who'd have thunk it? Who writes articles on one word? Well, evidently Ursula did. So, here is the shortened version of what I found: Clone was borrowed from the Greek word Cron in 1899 by a Herbert Webber (it means twig.) In 1905 the "e" was added. And, in 1968 the definition of Clone was expanded to include "A group of genetically identical individuals." Close enough to a ball. (By the way, interesting article.)

So, I started ranting to my better half about being thrown out of a story in the very first page. He suggested I give the book a chance, that maybe it was just a fluke. Although he did question the necessity of using "exact" and "clone" together.

So, I plunged in... Oh dear... another pet peeve: the mythical kingdom. Every time I read a book with a made up kingdom, I always think of that old Bob Hope movie "Where There's Life," which is about a country called Barovia, has a secret society called the Mordia and is populated with Grubitch, Zavitch, Krovoc and Grimovitch. However, the movie didn't take itself seriously, unlike this book.

I can overlook many things, I can even overlook some of my pet peeves. However, what I cannot overlook is a romance that isn't a romance. Please, someone tell me how can the heroine fall in love or lust with a guy who wears a mask, is covered in white powder, wears some kind of a sheet thing, she can't see his eyes and he never... ever... says a word. I mean, really, what is there to love or even find attractive? He might as well be a coat rack... same thing. I just didn't get it.

Then it got worse. We have forced seduction, angry sex and rape or whatever you want to call it. And this was from the good guy... the hero. Which is why I suspect the villain was such a nasty piece of work - he had to be made to appear even crueler than the hero. This book was filled with some extremely brutal things. I was transported back to the bodice ripper days and it wasn't a happy trip.

Needless to say, I was very disappointed in this book and probably won't buy the sequel. So, if you want to read a Christina Dodd book, read one of her early ones, the ones where she seemed to care about what went into the making of a good romance story.

Time/Place Early Victorian England
Sensuality Rating: Hot if you think forced is hot


Delia said...

Kay, we are all so proud of your research skills! Yaaa! As to the sheet covered, powdered, non-speaking hero (he's not a Klan member, is he?), the attractions is: pheromones.

Tracy said...

Oh man your review made me laugh. See, I would have read the word clone and been saying: nope, no such word back then and left it at that.

I'm sorry you didn't like the book but I loved your very funny review. Especially the coat rack and Bob Hope references. :)