April 15, 2016
Would’ve, Could’ve, Should’ve
Have you ever wanted a book to work so much that you just keep on reading? Maybe the need to finish is because one has been a fan of the author for so long that one ignores the passing of time and the missing freshness that was once present in their books. Maybe the need to complete the book was because one of my allll time favorite funny books was written by this particular author. (The Tenacious Miss Tamerlane.) Maybe I was hoping for another great fun story, after all the heroine in this book was so irrepressible that she just made me smile. There were a lot of reason’s I wanted to finish A Scandalous Proposal. I wanted this book to work for me, but sad to say even with one of the funniest, perkiest, breath-of-fresh-air heroines I’ve seen in a long time, she just couldn’t make this story any more than an average tale. I thought about my disappointment for a long time and I think one of the biggest problems I had was with our hero Cooper Townsend. He was just no match for our zippy heroine Daniella (Dany) Foster.
Dany was just a delight. She was what one might consider a spunky heroine, but in a good way. She was the type of heroine who would spell disaster to most romance heroes. This could make for some really fun times if we had the right kind of hero. I adore a hero who stumbles, struggles and basically has a hard time with the female lead. An arrogant hero would be fun to watch. This doesn’t mean the hero has to be an alpha bonehead, but I think the story takes on a life of its own if the hero was really arrogant – a stuffed shirt – someone who is alllways right. With that kind of guy the sparks should fly off of the page. Cooper just wasn’t stuffy. He wasn’t arrogant – he was just bland. Cooper was the weak link in this book and that’s toooo bad because he could’ve been so much better.
Maybe you might be interested in the plot. Well, it revolves around everyone in England being blackmailed and Dany and Cooper try to find the blackmailer. Well, not everyone in England was blackmailed. Dany’s sister, the Countess of Cockermouth (yes that’s the name) and Cooper were. Cooper was being blackmailed because everyone thinks he’s a hero and he’s not – or was he? The Countess of Cockermouth was being blackmailed because she wrote some indiscreet letters. (Never put anything in writing.) She also thinks her husband, Oliver, was tired of her and she’s boo-hooing about that throughout the book. The portion of the book dedicated to the sister was another missed opportunity for making this story into a great farce. Maybe if less space had been allotted to the gathering-of-series-characters there would have been more time to develop other secondary characters. But as it was there was a giant get-together of all the other primary heroes from the other stories and their wives and their aunts and their dogs. And, they all had a plan to find the villain. Word of warning, don’t blink or you might miss the villain.
Villain. Spoiler! This was one of those villains we only hear about. In fact I don’t think he even talks in this one. There might be one scene where he breezes through, but mostly he was talked about and dealt with completely as an afterthought. The absentee villain syndrome has the feel of a rush to get to the end of the story and go on to the next one. I wonder if middle books are similar to middle children.
Bottom line – loved the heroine, but she’s not strong enough to carry the entire book on her own. The hero was weak, the secondary characters not fully developed and the villain almost invisible. This was not one of Ms. Kasey’s better books and I was very disappointed because I had such high hopes.
Time/Place: Regency England