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Pauline's Fantasy Reviews

Reviews of fantasy books, plus some mystery, sci-fi and literary works, and my random thoughts on book-related matters.

Currently reading

Dragon Queen (The Memory of Flames, #5)
Stephen Deas
The Splintered Eye (The War of Memory Cycle #2)
H. Anthe Davis, Erica Dakin

The Taming of Annabelle

The Taming of Annabelle - Marion Chesney,  M.C. Beaton The second in a series of sub-Georgette Heyer Regency romances about the six daughters of a country vicar. This one is actually much better plotted than the first, depending far less on increasingly unlikely events and a very stupid heroine. Not that the heroine here is a paragon of thoughtful intelligence; she's actually pretty silly, and selfish and small-minded to boot, not to mention immature, and frankly it's hard to see what the hero sees in her, apart from the big blue eyes and blonde hair.

So the plot, such as it is, consists of the heroine marrying her sister's fiance's best friend because she's in love with said fiance and wants to get her hands on him, somehow, and spite her sister at the same time. The best friend then sets out to gently and indirectly win her affections with a great deal of subterfuge. And of course things go wrong along the way, problems which would be resolved in a moment if the hapless pair would simply talk to each other. But this is all part of the game with a book like this. The romance genre would practically disappear overnight if ever it became compulsory for hero and heroine to explain things to each other.

I enjoyed this one a lot better than the first in the series. I actually felt sorry for the heroine at some points, and wished she would just burst into tears and show the hero how much he was upsetting her. She wasn't a particularly likeable character, but she had to grow up very quickly. The hero was fairly charmless, as well, behaved quite stupidly at times and neither of them had any outstanding qualities,apart from being very beautiful, of course, but I felt they deserved each other. Big downside of this book is the author's habit of dumping her research into it wholesale. I can see the point of details about costumes and furnishings and the like, but entire paragraphs about the historical or social background, devoid of plot relevance? Not interesting, and a big irritant. So I didn’t have to wrestle with my conscience over whether to give such a piece of fluff more than three stars.