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Beanbag Love

I read. I write. I talk about reading and writing. That is when I'm not driving kids somewhere or teaching them. Married, educated, domesticated. I really enjoy the friends I've met through a variety of different message boards and venues regarding reading and authors. I try to take a positive view when I write reviews but sometimes I can't. Those times are few and far between, but they do exist. I'm mostly an old softy, though. I think so anyway.

Currently reading

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
Susanna Clarke
Eleven Scandals to Start to Win a Duke's Heart - Sarah MacLean I can't stand the romance heroine who's hot-headed, stubborn, self-centered, childish ... it's a character type in novels that I simply hate. I knew from the prior two books that I would have a problem with Juliana and boy did I ever.

I have issues with this character type for a few reasons. 1) They're selfish and annoying, 2) It's the kind of thing historical romance authors always do to women who are not English. Especially to French and Italian women. They're always brash and calling everyone "idiot" in their language. Running around being scandalous for the sake of nonconformity. Very annoying and cliche, and 3) Making a heroine this tempestuous hoyden type with so much "passion" (that's what they call it but it's really just spoiled bratty behavior) means the author doesn't ever have to provide a coherent reason for the character's actions. She's just that way so of course she did that outrageous thing. Yuk.

For the majority of this book I was completely annoyed with Juliana. I wanted Simon to just ignore her. Walk away and never look back. She would be hard to ignore, however, always getting in his face. Ugh. Completely selfish. Even when it's pointed out to her that her behavior is damaging to others she doesn't stop. Oh, she might think "wow, I've gotta be more careful" but within two lines she's getting angry and saying "if he thinks I'm scandalous, I'll show him scandal!" Sheesh!

I'd much rather see someone who's trying to do the right things and failing than see someone behave so selfishly. She was pretty unlikable for a good many parts of the book.

But there were moments I could sympathize with her. Her mother, her lack of family, her feelings of isolation. Sadly, I found her the most likable when she was in despair. I should have liked her more before that, but it wasn't until then that she started to mature a bit.

So, by the end of the book I was rooting for the couple. It took a long time to get there. I still recommend this author, but this is the weakest of her books that I've read. The rest are quite good.