Fiction: “Devil’s Bride” by Stephanie Laurens

I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to finish another book. And this book, of all books! What was supposed to be a quick, easy read turned into an interminable month of reading ten pages and then falling asleep. Even last night, when I had twenty pages to go before the end of the month, but no, I had to be tired.

[In all fairness to myself, I did work more than twelve hours yesterday, and on top of that, came home only to get stuck in my driveway because while Crazy Plow Guy may have plowed the school’s parking lot a gazillion times yesterday, my Plow Guy was home watching the finale of The Bachelor. I’m guessing. Because I had about four tons of slush to shovel before it froze into stalagmites and made my driveway as impassable as the Gates of Mordor. Yeah, I used Lord of the Rings within spitting distance of The Bachelor. Look at me, being all Joel McHale-ish.]

ANYWAY. The plot of this? … Do you really care? A woman named Honoria is a governess for some hoity clan in Derbyshire or whatever (I’m not looking ANYTHING up, by the way) and on the way back home, takes a shortcut through the woods, where she happens upon a murder. No, really, she sees the dude shot. As she goes to help him, this tall, dark ruffian type dude shows up on a big horse and recognizes the shot dude as his cousin, so he takes his cousin and her back to the woodcutter’s cottage, but the shot dude dies in the night. Meanwhile, heaven forbid that an unmarried lady stays in a one-room cottage with a tall, dark ruffian type dude, so Dude tells her she’ll marry him. Honoria says no, that won’t be necessary, I’m going to Africa to be a missionary or some nonsense, but he doesn’t care and …

Look, long story short (TOO LATE!), they end up getting married anyway because she not only falls in love with him, but wants to experience “the pleasure he promised” or, again, some such nonsense, the prose is all purple and flowery and shit and here’s what really bothered me (besides the rampant misogyny, when was this written? Wow, 1998? I expected an original date of, like, 1979 based on the fact that the dude wants to turn his wife into a sexual slave [but in a good way, I’m sure]): the fact that Honoria and Devil (because his real name is Sylvester, but everyone calls him Devil, and don’t get me started on his other cousins’s nicknames) agree to work towards catching the murderer of the dead cousin, but there’s like, a hundred pages in the middle where all they do is have sex. And I’m sorry, I was promised a murderer, not incredibly long and flowery love-making scenes, let’s get to the violence already!

So that’s where I’m at. The next few books I’ll read will, hopefully, be chock-full of violent goodness. Y’know, if I can get enough time to actually read again.

Grade for Devil’s Bride: Twilight Stars


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