An Unbelievably Silly Book,
By A Customer
This review is from: My Darling Caroline (Mass Market Paperback)
I know the guiding principle of romance publishers is "publish anything or perish," but even so, this book reaches some new level of publishing chutzpah. The "Reader from Boston" is absolutely on target, but I'd like to add the following, abbreviated list of the myriad problems with this book:
1. The hero is unable to be anything but blunt and straightforward.
2. The hero possesses such skills in the art of duplicity and subtlety that he's able to insinuate himself into the highest realms of wartime France's government. A terrible case of split personality?
3. At the time of the story, the hero has been spy for 6 years, has come home while Napoleon is imprisoned at Elba and returned to Europe before Waterloo. This would take about eight years.
4. At Waterloo, the spy magically becomes a field officer, and in the three days of Waterloo almost starves and learns how to live and eat with every sort of human being. Right.
5. Seven years before the time of the story, the hero's sister escapes their abusive mother and flees to America. The hero won't acknowledge the sister or her husband because the sister has hurt him by leaving him, the hero, to the tender mercies of their horrible mother. The hero was 27 years old and afraid of his mother, while he was under cover in France? The timeline for all these events is so out of whack, I don't see how anybody could have missed it or overlooked it.
6. The hero has an illegitimate child by a French whore. The child is dumped on his doorstep and while under cover, the hero sends the child to his estate in England to be raised by servants. No one notices the child is deaf, until the heroine shows up. After one, brief encounter, the heroine deduces the child isn't troubled, but deaf, and within about two and one half months teaches this four year old manners, cleanliness, how to communicate and how to spell and read. Right.
7. The heroine is a genius mathematician who is thrilled because her husband essentially asks her to balance his checkbook? Right.
8. The hero is also some sort of genius scholar (He majored in "French Studies" at Oxford around 1800? Right!) who overlooks a recent, single, very large deposit in his banking account and multiplies a number by 3 instead of 300? Weird.
9. The heroine is a botanist of such amazing skills that in the space of about three months, beginning around September, she rejuvenates a neglected flower garden, and it is a garden of such beauty, the characters are enjoying this remarkable floral display in November, and she's worried that her husband has picked her roses (in full bloom, by the way) sometime in late January or February. A genius, indeed.
10. The characters move between the United States and England with amazing ease during a declared war between the two countries (the author's put so many other things in the story, however, taking on the War of 1812 might have been daunting even for her).
If you can suspend reality long enough to ignore these types of gross errors, you may enjoy the book. Otherwise, save your money.