September 29, 2015
GGAG Alert!! Gigantic Girth and Growing!!
It's been awhile since I've read a Karen Ranney book. I don't know why, she's not one of my auto-buys and this one was receiving good reviews, so what the hey. I'm always on the lookout for a good read. While Scotsman of My Dreams wasn't a super-duper-fantastical read, I did find it a pleasant one.
What we have in this book is a grumpy Gus hero who is feeling sorry for himself. Yes, Dalton used to be a man about town, a rake (a real one) and he didn't have a care in the world. He was also bored, bored, bored, so what better thing to do than have a grand adventure. His idea of a grand adventure was to journey to the United States and join the fighting going on at that time called the Civil War. What a good idea, huh? Not only did he think it was a swell idea, but his group of idiot bootlickers thought it would be fun too. So, they followed him to the United States and when they arrived they flipped a coin to see who would fight for the North and who would fight for the South. See isn't that a fun idea? Well, it isn't long before Dalton's eyes are opened to the cruelty which is war. He loses many of his friends along with his eyesight. Or most of his eyesight. So, now he's back in England wallowing in self-pity; he can't see, he's guilt-ridden because of his idiot friends who followed him into war only to die. I'm forgetting a very important part of the plot. It seems that the reason our hero Dalton is blind is because someone tried to kill him while he was off fighting for the North in the United States Civil War. The last thing Dalton saw before he passed out was one of his friends, Neville Todd aiming a pistol at him. Well since this is romance, Neville has a sister, Minerva. Ta ta ta dah.
Minerva is looking for her brother; he seems to have disappeared. Most everyone thinks he's dead, but not Minerva. She knows there is only one person who can tell her where Neville is, and that one person is Dalton. However, Dalton refuses to see her because he's wallowing. That doesn't deter Minerva. She breaks into his house and forces an audience with him. She blames him for everything that has happened to Neville, she hatesssss Dalton, but as it soon turns out not enough to avoid his bed. Which leads me to a short rant and a discovery of my own double standards. Minerva isn't a virgin and I really don't care, but she was relieved of her golden gate years ago by her footman/carriage guy, whatever he is. His name is Hugo and he's still in her employ and also helping her break into places. He appears to still have feelings for her, she doesn't appear to have anything but friendship for him at this point - only fond memories of some wonderful passion. Here's where my double standard crept in. I was uncomfortable with her being his employer and having a one-time passionate relationship with him. It dawned on me that I was more uncomfortable with her still being his employer than I am when it is a male having a passionate relationship with one of his employees. I'm going to have to sort that out, maybe after so many years of reading, I'm used to a male employer being a user of his subordinates, than a female employer being a user of her subordinates. Don't know, haven't arrived at any conclusion other than the relationship between Hugo and Minerva made me uncomfortable.
While we are talking relationships, in the beginning of this story I didn't sense any strong chemistry between Minerva and Dalton. Maybe that was due to the fact that it wasn't until chapter twelve that they were together for any long period of time. Long. Let's talk about long things, shall we. I had an OMG moment in this book. In fact, I pinned a note that said OMG. Plus this moment was a biggggg (and I do mean big) distraction. It became a yardstick moment. I'd say ruler moment, except a ruler wasn't big enough. Dalton seems to be the proud owner of a mighty big Mr. Toad. Not only did Minerva's forefinger and thumb not touch while encircling this gigantic beam, but his Timothy Toad seems to be nine sprayed fingers long! Now, I don't have big hands by any means, in fact my ring finger is a size five but when I sprayed nine of my fingers out I had to find a yardstick because I came up with a whopping 12 and 1/2 inches. That converts to 31.75 centimeters. This proved to be a really big distraction to the story. I kept asking myself why, oh why do authors insist on writing about such humongous hero handles? Here's the deal: a woman's love canal is between 3 to 4 inches long. Granted, it does expand to accommodate things that come knocking, but really 12 1/2 inches, that's a lot of expanding, a lot of arousing. Yes, it does expand to expel little children, but usually that takes hours and hours of pain to stretch that much. Plus, that's expelling, not oh baby bring it on. Authors, please... If you don't want me reaching for a yardstick make those hero handles normal. They don't have to reach up to the sternum to satisfy! Talk about heartburn!
Back to the story. Except for the major distraction of Toads and yardsticks and sternums I found this a pleasant read - not incredibly fantastical, but pleasant. The chemistry between the couple was lacking in the beginning and then when they do become involved another subplot came along and diluted the chemistry that was starting to form. They were apart too long to begin with, which lessened the time allotted to romance. This is a standard romance, nothing earth-shattering, maybe something for a plane ride. It was ok.
Time/Place: 1860s England