Friday, November 21, 2008

The Bumblebroth - Patricia Wynn


Mathilda, Duchess of Upavon, had reason to be alarmed. Her fifteen-year-old daughter was the object of attention from the notoriously handsome embodiment of every female's fantasy: Lord Westbury. Since scandal had shadowed Mattie's own life when she wed at sixteen, she vowed her daughter would not make the same mistake.

In truth, Lord Westbury's cursory call upon the schoolroom girl was all part of a lavish, under-handed plot to reclaim some land. But after one look at the lovely mother, his lordship began some scheming of his own....

So the first book I'm going to write about it's not special, not great, not really awful, just an ordinary book, like most of the books we usually read...
When I started reading this book I had two things that attracted me. First there was the seldom encountered plot where the heroine is older than the hero. Great! This should be quite interesting! After all, I do have a problem when reading romances: The Heroines Are Too Insipid!!! So, I try, and try, and hope to find a heroine that doesn't bore / annoy me to tears. I thought that an older heroine, who has lived her life should prove to be a more interesting character than a 17 years old virgin! But I digress...
The second thing was the title itself. English not being my first language, I have to confess that I didn't know what a “bumblebroth” should mean, but it caught my attention anyway.
And so the book starts with 2 strong assets, my frame of mind was quite positive. But I only had to begin the book...
On short, the 2 main characters begin their relation, she thinking that he wants to woo her daughter, so in order to avoid it, she spends a lot of time with him – and of course, starts liking him a lot. He, on the other hand, is attracted to her from the first moment - she is beautiful after all.

What I liked about the book is that their relation is quite simple – two people meeting, liking each other and starting to develop a relation (the main focus is on the heroine who has to learn her own valor and how to assert herself like the duchess that she is). So, not much melodrama where there is no need for it – a thing that I usually like.

What I did not like... okay, here we go:
first the heroine. She is a duchess of 35 years, and she behaves like a virgin of 19. Although technically she is older than the hero, in no part of the book we get to see her behaving like someone older than 20. She has no spine at all, she is ruled by her entire household, she wears clothes that were at fashion 15 years before (ahem, which is a good thing according to the hero, because they make her body more alluring :)), her entire behavior is unbelievable for her age and status! This fact just ruined the whole book for me – I hate it when authors don't stick true to their premises.
There's so little about the hero's thoughts, and most important – we can't imagine why he falls in love with the heroine! Excuse me, but the fact that she's very beautiful is not a reason! The fact that she lets everyone rule over her because she's to sweet to know otherwise is not a reason either. The fact that she loves her daughter and would do anything to protect her is only natural and again not a real reason. So why???
And well, he calls her “duchess” when he addresses her, even on official terms. Now I don't really know much about it, but the correct term is surely “your grace”, and being addressed as “duchess” borders very much on disrespect in my opinion...

In the end... I think the book is recommended only for those who either love the genre too much, or are through with complicated plots and want a break with an easy, non complicated relation that develops (somehow) into love ...

Grade: 2.5 /5


Ana T. November 21, 2008 at 2:24 PM  

Great review Ioana! I'll stay away from this one. ;-)

WhiteLady3 November 21, 2008 at 7:24 PM  

I still haen't read much of this genre but I think I'l dodge this one.

Ioanna November 22, 2008 at 6:48 PM  

Hey, I remember I liked that book! The older heroine was a definite plus! Yes, she was not very confident nor an outgoing/ forceful personality, but that has to do with her personality, not her age. After all a 17 year old might be quite confident and forceful (and stay that way at 35), and someone else might be more reserved, insecure, both when young ad when older (it is in the genes). :) However it is ages since I read it, so maybe if I re-read it now, I might not like so much. And the hero calling her 'Duchess' does not sound correct or natural. Hmmm... I see that I had given it a 7, so I liked it more than you Ioana. I think in my earlier years of reading Regencies I might have been less strict on occasion. The 'Duchess' is -1 point on its own. :)

Ioana November 24, 2008 at 1:06 PM  

Yes of course the personality is a very important issue, but I refuse to believe that in 15 YEARS a person will not grow up, develop a backbone... Some have a more forceul personality from an early age - no comment on that, but even those change a little with the passing of time (take for example the heroine from "private arrangements" by Sherry Thomas). So at 35 a woman should at least behave in a mature way...
Okay, so the heroine has lived with older persons all her life, has allways been coddled and guarded after, but please, in 15 years (7 I think since she became a widow) you have to change a little... Take a look about yourself, you're not living in an enchanted land, you have a daughter growing up beside you, what are you, a pudding?! :)
So, no forgiveness from my part!



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