Actual rating: 1.5 stars generously rounded up to 2
There are some spoilers.
This novel centers around Ralph Truitt, a man who's been wronged many times...moreActual rating: 1.5 stars generously rounded up to 2
There are some spoilers.
This novel centers around Ralph Truitt, a man who's been wronged many times — and his misfortunes are far from over. Mind you, Truitt isn't a saint, but in this reader's opinion he doesn't deserve what happens to him in this novel. It all starts when Truitt puts an ad in the paper looking for a "reliable wife". But the women he comes to marry is anything but reliable. (She's also a faithless scheming bitch, but more on that later.) Catherine Land is a woman with a plan and a mission. She is to marry Ralph Truitt, then slowly poison him until he dies and she becomes sole possessor of all his possessions. After this she will reconnect with her lover, Tony Moretti. But Tony Moretti is actually Antonio Truitt, Ralph's non-biological son. (Sounds like a soap opera, doesn't it?) Catherine and Antonio (or Tony, whichever you prefer) set all of this up. You see, when Catherine saw Ralph's ad in the paper and showed it to Antonio it raised all of his old hatred for his father. He saw his father's loneliness as the perfect why to not only get back at his father but also to kill him. All he had to do was get Catherine to do his dirty work. So, Catherine marries Ralph and soon after she is sent by Ralph to get his son back. Ironic, yes, but Ralph wants to make things up to his son and try to undo his wrongs. (Also, the author is trying to incorporate twists into this sex-filled mess called a novel.) As you can imagine, when Catherine goes to get Antonio lots of fun adultery ensues. But Antonio is also angry that Ralph isn't dead yet. So, Catherine returns to Ralph without his son and then the poisoning commences.
A Reliable Wife could've just as easily been titled The Misadventures of Harlots. Everyone has sex on the brain 24/7/365. And if they aren't thinking about sex, they're having it. It truly never ends! And none of it is sexy, either: there is adultery, rape, and even talk of sex with an unconscious partner. I don't know about you, but none of that interests me.
Catherine is probably one of the most deplorable characters I've ever read about. Among many other blunders that I won't bore you with, she deludes herself into thinking that Antonio loves her when he's clearly only using her as a means to kill his father.
Somewhere around page 140 I began to skim the hell out of this. I quickly grew tired of the endless talk of the characters getting high on opium and morphine in both their past and present and the minutiae of their endless sexual excursions and reminiscence.
The very fact that this is a #1 New York Times bestseller just reaffirms my belief that that list is crap and there's a lot of people who will forever love trash.(less)
Ever since Pearls and Pelisses, a popular ladies' magizine, dubbed Lord Nicholas St. John "London's Lord to Land", he's been chased by practially ever...moreEver since Pearls and Pelisses, a popular ladies' magizine, dubbed Lord Nicholas St. John "London's Lord to Land", he's been chased by practially every marriageable woman in the city. In an attempt to free himself from the ever persistent women of London, he takes an offer to track down his friend's sister who has left the city for reasons unknown. This, of course, leads him to the doorstep of Lady Isabel Townsend. Thus begins what is to be one of my favorite historical romances of the year.
Since reading Nine to Break When Romancing a Rake when it debuted back in March, I've been eagerly anticipating its sequel; of which I was not disappointed.
There's so many great things to be said of this wonderful historical: First off, the writing, as with the first installment of this series, was superb. For me, if the writing isn't good, I most likely won't finish the novel I'm reading. But, fortunately, Ms. MacLean's writing is very vivid as well as highly entertaining. She does a wonderful job of bringing the characters and scenes of her novels to life with stunning clarity.
Which brings me to my next topic: the characters. Lord Nicholas St. John was certainly a formidable hero and a great counterpart to Lady Isabel; he's handsome, witty, and definitely a fierce and sensual lover.
The secondary characters were also very good: Rock, a Turk whom I believe is quite aptly named, was a character I enjoyed a lot and would perhaps like to have for myself. *grin*
All in all, I thought this novel was very good; my only problem with it was Lady Isabel's actions in the latter part of the novel. I thought she could have been a little bit more understanding and forgiving towards Lord Nicholas; basically I thought that she was rash in her decision making. That being said, I thought her actions and choice of words when apologizing to Lord Nicholas were enough to make up for her earlier blunder. And the ending itself was very well executed and quite adorable. I will be earerly awaiting the release of Ms. MacLean's next historical, Eleven Scandals to Start to Win a Duke's Heart (Release: April 26, 2011), featuring the dashing Duke of Leighton and Lady Juliana.(less)