Cheeseball rating: Three cheeseballs, many eye rolls
Authenticity of Spirit (or are these characters and situations believable): UNbelievably annoying
How hot is it: Not
Hero: arrogant, condescending
Heroine: Impetuous, reckless, shows poor judgment, bossy, managing
Why did I read this novel? Honestly, I would have stopped much sooner if I hadn’t been planning on writing this review. The Bath Quadrille is more traditionally written than my favorite regency novels. But it wasn’t the writing style that bothered me so much. Rather, it was the constant bickering. (We need a subgenre under regency that covers this particular relationship between characters – love to hate?) I never understand romance novels about two characters who dislike each other so much that all they do is fight all the time. That is not romantic. But what about the physical passion between the two, you may ask. Ugh. What is it, hate sex? Trying to get the upper hand? Manipulation? I just don’t care. I’m tired of all the fighting. I will pass.
So, Ned and Sybilla had a misunderstanding a few months into their marriage. Sybilla leaves and moves back into her crazy father’s house, and Ned lets her. Whenever they do meet, all they do is argue and bicker. He does try to make nice eventually, then tries to seduce her. When she resists, he threatens to assert his “husbandly rights.” Nothing more romantic than threatening rape, right? Here is a direct quote from Ned: “Are you trying to delay the reckoning, my love?” He also threatens to box her ears, and although he has never physically harmed her in the past, she thinks he’s probably serious. Awesome. Way to get me to root for these two.
Honestly, neither of these characters is particularly appealing. He’s an arrogant misogynist, she’s managing, repeatedly shows some serious lack of judgment, and is annoying. She has nothing better to do but meddle in her family’s lives, he seems to have nothing better to do than try to control her. I’ll pass. These two deserve each other.
T: I don’t even know why you chose to read this one, you always complain about the ones where they argue! I, however, think I’d probably read this book because sometimes it just bothers me when people are charming and nice all the time.