StMargarets's Reviews > His Penniless Beauty

His Penniless Beauty by Julia James
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Does anyone remember that TV show Lost in Space? In it a drama llama named Doctor Smith would bleat out, "Oh, the pain. The pain!" when things didn't go his way. He was usually in some kind of pain of his own making and he enjoyed the drama.

This is story about a heroine drowning in that sort of melodramatic pain - whether it is financial pain, bittersweet memories of her courtship with the hero, fear for her future, humiliation for working as an escort, or despair of ever seeing the hero again. It's a sublime pain that slices, stabs, sears and all sorts of other verbs Julia James piles on with a trowel. There is even a guillotine dropping in her mind when the memories get to be too much.

The hero is not much better - the tunnel focus after seeing the heroine across a crowded, coked up room full of hookers and seedy men is only for the girl who almost trapped him into marriage. He had a lucky break - but he can't leave her alone. The pain! Oh, the pain!

He makes up a story of why she needs to be an escort. She doesn't contradict him. (The guillotine was down or something) So he gives her money to leave London so the tabloids won't connect him to her. She stays in his newly-purchased dilapidated manor house while she gardens, befriends the birds and mice who make her a dress . . Whoops. Sorry. Different story.

Eventually the hero gets the whole story of why the heroine said what she said after their first (and only night together) and eventually he finds out what she's been doing for the past four years. (Being TSL for one) Once all those misunderstandings are cleared up, it's HEA time. The epilogue is as hearts and flowers as it gets - and for once, it fits both of them - echoing the courtship memories and the heroine's dearest wishes.

What saves this story is that heroine is a genuine ingenue - even after four years out in the cold cruel world. The author surrounds her with nature imagery from her first meeting with the hero and carries it through the story. The hero had a golden opportunity to slut shame, but he just lectures her like a child about the dangers of men who hire escorts and does his protective alpha thing. He tries to keep his image of her as a gold-digger, but even this self-deluded alpha can't square that with the nature princess purity thing she has going.

Read it if you're in the mood for a fairy tale - where the only jobs someone can get without typing experience are shoe sales or escort. And where Google does not exist for the hero to find out what really happened to her father.



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Reading Progress

September 28, 2016 – Started Reading
September 28, 2016 – Shelved
September 28, 2016 – Shelved as: 2016-hp-reader-s-challenge
September 28, 2016 – Shelved as: angst-by-jilting
September 28, 2016 – Shelved as: angst-by-misunderstanding-lies
September 28, 2016 – Shelved as: harlequin-presents
September 28, 2016 – Shelved as: hero-behaving-badly
September 28, 2016 – Shelved as: print-copy
September 28, 2016 – Shelved as: second-chance
September 28, 2016 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-6 of 6 (6 new)

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message 1: by Vashti (new) - added it

Vashti I could not help chuckling while reading this review,masterpiece by the way.I am now off to meander thru my own backyard in the sweltering muggy heat that is otherwise known as the land of Florida!


StMargarets Vashti wrote: "I could not help chuckling while reading this review,masterpiece by the way.I am now off to meander thru my own backyard in the sweltering muggy heat that is otherwise known as the land of Florida!"

Oh, epic humidity in Florida! I was there in July once. A meander would have knocked me out. :)


Preeti ♥︎ (Romance She Reads) lol..loved the review!
Actually I don't mind some pain at times..but this pain seems more of a back(side) pain than front pain!


StMargarets Preeti wrote: "lol..loved the review!
Actually I don't mind some pain at times..but this pain seems more of a back(side) pain than front pain!"


HA! I enjoyed the story, but I must have been in the mood. I can see why it would get on some reader's nerves.


message 5: by boogenhagen (new)

boogenhagen I really wanted the mice doing the dress thing, I knocked it down a star cause JJ did not give them a cameo - that was discriminatory against cute little mice in my book, so I did a lesser star protest.

Good review :)


StMargarets boogenhagen wrote: "I really wanted the mice doing the dress thing, I knocked it down a star cause JJ did not give them a cameo - that was discriminatory against cute little mice in my book, so I did a lesser star pro..."

LOL - protests going on all over the place these days.


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