Tuesday, November 15, 2005
Slightly Dangerous by Mary Balogh
I have found a historical romance author that is not for me. But I’m pretty sure it really is just reader preference and not a reflection on the author’s writing or characterization abilities.
In Slightly Dangerous, our heroine is widowed and poor, ostracized from her late husband’s wealthy and well-positioned family. She is a goofball with huge doses of humor and genuine enthusiasm for life and people. The hero is a ramrod stiff Duke who is unfathomably self-absorbed.
Over the course of the book, we learn that the Duke’s rigidity (and I’m talking about that kind—that would have been more palatable) is the predictable result of too little love and too much responsibility as a boy. Underneath all that pointy condescension is a wry humor and protective streak for our ‘misbehaving’ heroine.
He thaws. She starts to stand up a little straighter and we reach the HEA.
The book was not poorly written. Not at all. I just did not like the characters or the confines they lived within. I have little to no tolerance for being condescended to. And frankly, this starchy hero (starchy even after sex) spends too much of the book doing that. So much so that it really didn’t matter to me when the heroine softened him up. Too little, too late.
As for the heroine, she was a bit too good-natured to be believed (at moments). She took some set downs (as the author called them) that would knock even the most self-confident of us on our ass. In some moments, she suffered as you expect. In other moments, she went completely unaffected. I didn’t buy it. Or I wasn’t reading it closely enough. Which could have been the case because I was in a ‘put off’ frame of mind.
Again. Probably a good book to many. For me, I like a hero who bucks society’s demands (right from the damn start) and a heroine who lets herself feel. And one with the nerve to deliver some set downs of her own.