[Written in 2014.]
The only reason I slogged through this more boring than a boring boring book by Julia Quinn is because I’m on vacation and have plenty of free time to read. Also, it started out slightly promising by giving us a hero with exceptional math ability, which, as we all know, is hot.
Now, I’m the first one to admit that my own writing is somewhat lacking in the plot department, but that doesn’t mean I want to read someone else’s novel that has no plot whatsoever. TSOAK had nothing. It was a repulsive romp through a couple weeks in the lives of ridiculously rich, titled people back in 1820’s England ~ people that no one could possibly care about, ever.
The premise is that the brilliant hero Hugh gets drunk off his ass and forgets the cards he previously memorized, loses a game, and accuses his friend of cheating. Hugh is such an arrogant jerk about his “perfect” memory he can’t for a minute even consider the possibility that he messed up. There’s a duel, the guys shoot each other accidentally, and the story begins three years later with their vapid relatives and friends dealing with the etiquette involved in facing the two dudes at various parties and weddings. That’s the plot, plus a stupid twist at the end to create another hyper-charged, meaningless situation to pull the lovers apart for a couple hours.
The heroine Sarah is a silly, selfish girl. She “hates” Hugh even before she meets him because she blames him for the fact that three years ago she couldn’t have her debutante season and snag a husband. Apparently, since her cousin was the other duelist, her family had to stay on the down low for a while. Now she’s an old maid of 21, waaah! Also, major drama ~ Sarah hates playing the piano in the family music ensemble thingie, so will she be able to finagle her way out of the next command performance or not?! Wow, stay tuned. (Geddit?)
Sarah’s a spoiled, complaining princess, while Hugh is a grumpy, self-hating oaf. And the other characters are all fluff-brained people with meaningless lives who flit about from one ritzy estate to another. OMG WHICH CARRIAGE AM I RIDING IN?!? Also, there’s a constant theme of who can make the wittiest, snarkiest comment, and even that gets old quickly because there is nothing of substance happening, ever.
There was no actual interesting math either ~ Hugh keeps quickly multiplying big numbers in his head for people’s amusement. Blah. I’m never reading another Julia Quinn book. While you can’t really expect a romance novel to be deep and meaningful, they are supposed to be diverting and FUN.
Oh, there was serious cake, but even that didn’t save this book. Tragic.
Book cover image is mine. Kiss image source unknown.
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