Scoundrel in My Dreams by Celeste Bradley

If you are at all uncomfortable with issues such as assisted suicide and confining someone against their wishes, this book may not be for you.

I had some major issues with Scoundrel in My Dreams. One of them is the hero. John/Jack Redgrave has some really major problems. Normally when a hero has problems they are problems that can be fixed and, if not for the handy-dandy epilogue, I would have my doubts about this particular man. Yes, I’ve read romance novels with some pretty unsavory heroes in them, but this one didn’t set very well with me. This hero is really unsavory and it’s not that he is some mad killer-slasher-stalker, he’s just a tad bit bipolar for my taste. He confines the heroine, Laurel, in an attic for the entire book, without even the benefit of a candle. I found the whole confinement storyline just too creepy. My mind kept drifting to the recent Dugard case, and really that isn’t something I need to be reminded of in a romance novel. It isn’t as if this is the first romance that ever had a kidnapping/confinement plot in it… no, that’s been going on for years and years. But this one was just too icky. That’s the best word I could think of for how I felt.

Then we have the assisted suicide. Once again the hero. I believe this was thrown in to explain why John/Jack was the way he was, but gee-willikers, it just gave me the heeby-jeebies. Yes, we’ve had lots and lots of heroes that are Gloomy Guses, but usually we know in the end that they are going to be saved by the woman they loved and all will be right with the world. But in Scoundrel in My Dreams, I just didn’t get that feeling.

And then there was John/Jack’s epiphany. It seems that he has loved Laurel (the woman he locked up) forever. Oh sure, he courted her e-v-i-l sister, but you see he only courted the e-v-i-l sister so he could be near the good sister, but he didn’t know at the time that was why he was courting the e-v-i-l sister. He even had the best sex of his life with the e-v-i-l sister, or the woman he thought was the e-v-i-l sister, but really it was the good sister, the virgin 17-year-old girl who knew more about sex than Hugh Hefner. But he didn’t know it was her. He thought it was the sister he didn’t like. Of course, his hating the e-v-i-l sister probably explains why he wasn’t jealous of all of her swains hanging around. I really didn’t buy his epiphany. I think I might add Jack to my worst hero list.

And then we have Laurel. I’m sure I don’t have to say it, but here goes: she luves Jack forever…or at least since she was 17…has the best sex ever with him, we get to read this in flashbacks. Anyway, she ends up pregnant, is locked up by her e-v-i-l parents, is told the baby dies, finds the baby, is locked up by the hero…and stills loves him – sort of. She is planning on kidnapping her child and running off to who knows where. That means she is going to take the three year old (going on nine) away from people who love her and by the way in the last book this same three year old (going on nine) was hung from a roof and almost killed. So, kidnapping this child shouldn’t really be traumatizing…Puleese!

And, then there is an irritating secondary distracting lust/love story going on with the servants. I will admit, though that I did like the butler Wilberforce.

I’ve read some glowing reviews on this book, and wondered about my perception, but I really developed an aversion to the hero in this book. There were just too many uncomfortable plot lines going on and even though these are standard Romanceville themes, in this case they didn’t set well with me. I love romance books and it isn’t my goal in life to rip into one…I think romance books are much undervalued in the land of literature. But sometimes I am very disappointed and this is the case here. The hero was too unbalanced and I didn’t feel that he was redeemable…he was downright chilling.

Time/Place: Regency England and the last in a series
Sensuality Rating: Hot


Tracy said...

It sounds like both the hero and the heroine are kind of messed up and perfect for each other! lol

Thanks for the review - I'm not much for kidnapping scenarios so I think I'll pass on this one. :)

Melissa said...

Definitely a yuck factor to this book.