Saturday, April 27, 2013

A Counterfeit Betrothal, by Mary Balogh

Rating: 1/5
Publisher: Dell
259 pages
Source: LibraryThing Early Reviewers

Description: Lady Sophia Bryant has no intention of marrying anytime soon. Her one desire is to reunite her parents, who have been estranged for fourteen years. Surely, if she happens to announce her betrothal—even a false one—they will be forced to see each other. Devilishly handsome Lord Francis Sutton seems perfect for such deceit, always agreeable to games of passion in which he has nothing to lose. The trap is set—if only Lady Sophia can keep her foolish heart from falling prey to her brilliant snares. (From the back cover)

Review: Full disclosure, I only skimmed the last sixty pages of this book, because, by then, I didn't give a rat's ass about any of the characters.

Romance novels, by current definition, end on a happily ever after(HEA) note, so they really need to shine in characters and/or plot. Given this book's rather straight forward plot, we needed characters way less flat than Sophia and Francis, sorry, Lord Francis* turned out to be. They were forgettable and lacked any chemistry what-so-ever.

Sophia's parents were a bit better, but what interest I had in them was killed by watching them make no effort towards solving their problems for about a hundred and ninety pages. By the end of this book you will know that, 1)Sophia's parents have lived apart for fourteen years, 2)They only had five years of happiness, 3)They still love each other, because these three things are constantly brought up and seem to dominate her parent's inner monologues. Neither of them seem to realize that bringing point three up in a conversation is a good idea. Instead, we get the literary equivalent of watching paint dry.

Then there's the method she uses to bring them back together. *SPOILER* Because unplanned pregnancies solve all problems.

*This character, and only this character, was so consistently referred to as "Lord" in the narrative, that if this book didn't have a copyright date of 1992, I'd swear her NaNoWriMo word count was a bit short.

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