Friday, March 17, 2017

What I Read in February 2016 Part II

What I Read in February 2016 Part II . . .

Declaring Spinsterhood by 
 Emma Bailey has once again been the bridesmaid at a wedding - this one for her younger brother. Her nosy family members feel free to ask her about her love life and push her to marry and have a family. Her mother even sets her up on blind dates after Emma has already said no. She had her heart broken once and ins't ready to be hurt again. The only thing she can think of to stop her family in their tracks is to declare spinsterhood. Her best friend Brian thinks she's so brave and strong and is fully supportive. The only problem is, Emma has just realized her feelings for Brian. How can she be a spinster and have Brian in her life? The only thing to do is continue with their friendship.

I loved the concept of the story but it was very poorly executed. Emma only decides to declare spinsterhood as a reaction against her family's meddling. She makes a poor job of it though. Her epiphany comes way too soon and the rest of the story is filled with misunderstandings and more family meddling. Then there's the tired love-triangle plot and some random drama thrown in for good measure. Are there actually families like that out there? I can see Uncle Richard but her mother was so nosy and involved. A mother should want her child to be happy no matter what and stand by her decisions. Emma is an adult and a business owner for goodness sake. She's almost 30 which isn't that old. Brian's family is better but his mother has some weird methods for getting what she wants.

I disliked Emma very much. She's whiny and self-pitying. Instead of declaring spinsterhood because she's happy being single, she's constantly whining and complaining. She's a successful businesswoman and should have the confidence to stand on her own but she doesn't. She's a poor judge of character. She poo-poohs self-defense and goes for a gun instead but self-defense may have been helpful for a moment before she found her gun. She was sometimes cruel to Brian. The one thing I did like about her is that she's strong in her resolve not to sleep with a guy she isn't sure she's making a commitment with.

I found Brian a little creepy. The only character I really liked was Kath. She's strong, confident, loyal, and fun. 

Hopeless romantics may not see this book in the same light I did. Spinsters beware and do not read this book. Also, who uses the word spinster anymore?

This book has a mild Christian element. Emma is a preacher's kid and going to church is a big part of her life but this doesn't appear to be a specifically Christian novel.

This isn't a squeaky clean read but it is clean. There is some sensuality in the story. 

The Eligible Miss ElliottThe Eligible Miss Elliott by Victoria Hinshaw --Regency Romance

Miss Rosalind Elliott enjoys the quiet life in Bath with her grandmother. An orphan and an heiress, Rosalind has no interest in the fortune hunting men who court her. While accompanying her grandmother and her grandmother's pet spaniels to the portraitist, her life is turned upside down when she encounters Captain Philip Caldwell, late of his Majesty's navy and her childhood playmate and tormentor. Rosalind's grandmother and Philip's great-aunt Isiline used to be the best of friends until a bitter feud tore them apart. Rosalind's grandmother forbids her from speaking to Philip, who has a rakish reputation. When Philip helps rescue one of the pups, Rosalind takes matters into her own hands and soon the two are conspiring to get their elderly relatives to make up, but they must meet in secret. Rosalind can't wait to see Philip again. He makes her heart flutter. Philip agrees to meet Rosalind again and again, but is he really meeting for the sake of his relative or does he want to see Rosalind in her own right? Rosalind is warned away from Philip due to his reputation and presumed lack of fortune. Is he just another fortune hunter or should Rosalind put her trust in him?

Yawn. This is one of the most boring Regency romances I've ever read. There's not much plot here. Rosalind and Philip meet in secret for a few moments, they are physically attracted to one another and work to get their elderly relatives to make up. The big misunderstanding isn't so big and there's another complication where the hero decides to fall on his sword (metaphorically) for the heroine. The feud between the old ladies is wrapped up too quickly and the rest of the book is devoted to Rosalind and her feelings for Philip. It ends very abruptly and I was expecting more. The dogs were cute and livened up every scene they were in. I liked the Bath setting and this book shows why Jane Austen hated the city so much. It was full of sick, elderly people gossiping about ancient scandals and pretentious social climbers.

Rosalind is an OK heroine. She's pretty much perfect. She's rich, beautiful and kind to old people, children and animals, which is why Philip loves her apparently. He is a good looking, alpha male with a sense of humor, a sense of honor and is kind to old people and animals. This is why Rosalind loves him and trusts him. Philip is probably supposed to be a Hereresque hero like Miles in Black Sheep or Damarel in Venetia but his story is not that developed. He was the youngest son, got a reputation, etc. etc. and decided he didn't care what people thought of him. Rosalind decides she doesn't care what others think either and she trusts Philip. They're just SO BORING together.

There wasn't enough substance in this mediocre novel for me. I'm sorry I made the library waste money buying it.

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