Friday, September 19, 2014

An American Duchess Transforms from Fun, Feisty Aviatrix to Emotional Basket Case

An American Duchess"I never believed in the idea of nobility. Now I understand what being noble truly means. It has nothing to do with a title. It's not even about sacrifice or duty. It's about a passion for your world, one that runs through your blood. It's about loving something so deeply you would never put yourself first."

In the past, I've often complained about romance novels, about how they always end with a couple getting married and the woman with a babe in her womb. So predictable. And is that really a HEA? We all know there's so much more to a woman's life, to marriage.

This story goes that further step, and for that I'll give it a few points, but now I understand why most stories end with marriage. It gets so boring after that. Though it didn't have to be...

I loved the first part of this book, loved the heroine, the scandal surrounding her arrival and the family she is marrying into. I laughed at her shocking remarks to all the uptight women, applauded her stance on women's rights, wanted more of her flying escapades. This was truly a heroine after my own heart....oh--and I grinned when she criticized the English upper class for having inherited their fortune rather than working for it. However, that last bit being said, I was surprised at how she changes after she's wed. It's not like she works for anything either, never did, come to think of it.

After she's married all she does is think about sex, how to get her husband to visit her bed more often, why her husband isn't sleeping with her. That becomes the main focus of her life, of her very existence. And then something bad happens and the story just won't let up on it and the emotional ramifications. I realize it's hard to go through in real life, but to pound on and on and on about it. The experience became too much of the story. The heroine became a ninny.

And then suddenly she declares, "I intend to be the first female to circumnavigate the globe. I can do this. you need three things: guts, ability and money. I do that those things, Nigel (her husband). And I want to the world that I do."

And, poor heart. I got excited for nothing. NOTHING. Oh , there's a brief mention--one sentence--of her flying from FL to NY, but that's all. Instead the story chooses to focus on her just doing something randomly stupid. And then suddenly she's afraid to fly over water, this girl was going to fly over the Atlantic? Huh? So while I loved her in the beginning, in the end I decided she was all bark, no bite.

The first part of the story has so much more going on: a younger sister in love with no dowry, a dowager stuck in the old ways, the question of a brother's sexuality, an uncle who has reason to throw the heroine's mother in much suspense and excitement that all disappears once the heroine marries and her focuses in life completely change.

At the risk of repeating myself, it was a great story in the beginning, but the exciting stuff was over too quickly and the not-so-exciting stuff expounded upon mercilessly: her loss, the duke's old-fashioned values, his shell shock. I am fully aware shell shock is an important issue, but this isn't The Poppy Factory and it was just too heavy and too much for this type of tale/genre.

I also got tired of the back and forth...I love him. I love him not. He loves me. He loves me not. I love him...

I received an ARC of this via Netgalley.

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