Lady Lavender by Lynna Banning

I picked this one up because I enjoyed the author’s contribution to Happily Ever After in the West and thought I’d try her out at full length.

Regrets… I have a few…

In a way, I wasn’t actually surprised to dislike the book. It is, after all, a Harlequin Historical, and they almost never seem to work for me (unless it’s by Carla Kelly.) And this book fails the same way HH books generally do: way too much navel gazing. An entire book based around a flimsy conflict like a hero swearing off love after a fiancee jilts him almost 20 years ago is bad enough. Having to read almost 200 pages of the both of them wondering what their feelings are is just tedious. For every page of dialog between the hero and heroine there are 10-15 pages of the hero idly contemplating how he wants the heroine but is afraid of being hurt or the heroine wondering if she’s a fool to get involved with a man who’s afraid of commitment. These exact qualms are pondered over and over again, ad nauseam. Boooooooooring.

To top things off, there’s an undeveloped sub-plot involving a villainous minor character bent on raping the heroine for no discernable reason other than to provide opportunities for the hero to ride in and play white knight. Sexual assault as a cheap plot gimmick always rubs me the wrong way. It’s so trivializing and irresponsible.

I think this is going to be the penultimate Harlequin Historical for me. I own one more to read, and after that, I’m done with this line. It sucks. D-

~75,000 words
Published January 18th 2011 by Harlequin Historical

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