June 29, 2015
"Am I blue, am I blue
Ain't these tears in my eyes telling you
Am I blue, you'd be too
If each plan with your man done fell through"
After rereading The Kiss by Sophia Nash, all I can think of was that I must have been in the
mood for boo-hooing in 2008. A-g-o-n-y. When I read The Kiss in 2008 I gave it a very high mark; however, I have found that it now contains one of my least favorite tropes: "I love you but I cannot marry you." Oh, the pain.
The characters in this book were so full of moaning, groaning, poor me, that I really wanted to scream at the pity party that was going on. Someone send in the clowns, oh wait, I don't like clowns either. Someone send in the Marx brothers.
Georgina was the steward's daughter, and her best friends when she was growing up were Anthony, the future Marquis of Ellesmore, and his cousin Quinn. These three did everything together, they were the bestest of friends and had many adventures. However, there was a dark side to their friendship, or should I say a many-faceted emotionally-layered side to their friendship. Georgina loves Quinn, Anthony loves Georgina and is jealous of Quinn. Quinn thinks of Georgina as a dear friend. Somehow during one of the threesome's many adventures, Georgina is seriously injured - she is crippled or her leg is twisted or something. Anyway, she limps. Quinn takes the blame, even though we find out later it was really Anthony who was at fault. Because Quinn is blamed for Georgina's injury he is banished, goes off to war, falls in love, marries and in so doing breaks Georgina's heart. Boo-hoo. Somehow, Anthony talks Georgina into marrying him and on their wedding night dies from an overdose of some kind of drug - after the marriage has been consummated - or so Georgina thinks.
Well, the villain of this piece is Anthony's mother - a Disney villainess if ever there was one. I could see those black tentacles just slithering around her. So, she forces Quinn to go out to the country estate to evict Georgina from Anthony's home. She doesn't believe Georgina and Anthony were really married. Just so you know, Quinn is now the Marquis of Ellesmore, his wife is conveniently dead and he has a nine year old daughter. Well, Quinn has never been overly fond of Anthony's mother so his intention is never to kick Georgina out, just to see what is going on.
When Quinn arrives not only does he find Georgina but a bevy of other widows ensconced at the estate. These women are members of the Widow's Club and all have books of their own. After reading The Kiss, I probably won't go back and read the others because I was just too irritated by the poor-me-I-can't-marry-you-because-I-love-you routine - although I can go to bed with you, not use any protection and then turn you down over and over and over again when you propose. This trope is used too much now and I grow weary of it.
The other problem I had with this story was I wasn't sure what was up with Quinn. Spoiler - while everyone believes he was really really in love with his wife, it is revealed that while that may have been true in the beginning of their marriage, it didn't take long for his feelings toward his wife to cool. It is revealed later in the book that she betrayed him with his cousin Anthony and that his daughter probably isn't biologically his. So, his feelings for his wife have gone down the tubes, to say nothing of his feelings for Anthony. When he is confronted again with his longtime friend Georgina he is also confronted with all kinds of warring feelings - guilt, love, friendship, passion. For me, Quinn was toooo much of a cool customer. It took him too long to admit any of his more tender feelings for Georgina. And then there's Grace.
Grace is one of the widows. She also happens to have had her feelings stepped on in the previous book when she fell for the hero of that book. Now, supposedly she is Georgina's friend. However, she reminds me of a frenemy. First of all, she came across to me as a pretty bland woman who has a hidden sharp tongue. Most everything she said to Georgina had some kind of a gibe attached to it - something like "oh what a lovely yellow dress, yellows not your color is it?" She didn't say that, but she could have. Anyway, she has her eyes set on Quinn. She does question Georgina over Georgina's feelings for Quinn - but anyone with half a brain could see that Georgina and Quinn were in love with each other. But Grace disregards these signals and slithers into Quinn's life. I found her to be a pretty shallow character and could feel no sympathy for her when Quinn and Georgina finally made their feelings for each other known. I also have to question Quinn's ability to maneuver swiftly from one woman to another. His motto is "when one woman turns you down, take up with another."
In the end, The Kiss didn't live up to my recollections - the poor-me-I-love-you-too-much-to-marry-you was irritating. There was too much boo-hooing and angst. This was actually quite a depressing book.
Time/Place: Regency England