28 June, 2016

To Catch a Spinster by Megan Bryce #BookReview

The Reluctant Bride Collection #1

Pages -  256 pages
Published -  June 12, 2012
Sold by -  Amazon Digital Services LLC
Genre -  Historical, Regency Romance
Language -  n/a
Sexual Content -  3/5
Series -  The Reluctant Bride Collection, 1 of 4
Stand Alone -  yes


Olivia Blakesley, self-proclaimed spinster extraordinaire, is quite happy with her life. She has her studies and her duties, what need does she have of a husband? With five sisters married she knows the reality does not live up to the promise, and does not need to personally experiment with the state to know she would be ill-suited to it. However, she finds herself envious of at least one aspect of marriage. But to experience the physical side of marriage, one doesn't need a husband, all one needs is the right man... 
Nathaniel Jenkins knows his duty. Marry a young girl from a respectable family and father an heir, no matter how cold the endless parade of suitable girls leaves him. But a shocking proposal from a scholarly spinster leaves him wondering if unsuitable is just what he's looking for. Can he convince this spinster that marriage is the greatest experiment of all? 


The third star is for effort only.

And, the cover is deceptive because snooty Olivia refused to wear the Empire style of dress in place of her out-dated, buttoned-up-to-the-jowls gowns instead.

This is another make-believe via the author's fairy tale notion of juxtaposing Contemporary with Regency.

It says so on the Amazon buy page, and I quote:

Come back to a time when manners are everything and rules are made to never be broken. Come back to a time when men are in charge and women do what they are told...
Yeah, that never happened.
Welcome to Megan Bryce's Regencyland, where ladies with backbone get what they want. Where a woman can thumb her nose at rules and care little for convention, and yet somehow, unexpectedly and most reluctantly, find love. 

My final verdict is no.

Even after I'd read the negative reviews that said I was in for it, I still wanted to read and like this story but couldn't.

I just don't like the idea of trying to fix things that aren't broken or that don't need fixing (or corrupting in this case).

Fantasy is a legitimate genre and romance has a place there -- a thrilling one, I might add -- which should fulfill any need on the author's or reader's part.

Contemporary Romance is about as broad a market as an author can tackle, too.

Then there is the Time-Travel aspect, in which just about anything goes, including plunking a 21st Century body down in any part of our history and running with it.

These three genres would work much better than to decide we're going to twist a legitimate era -- the way we would wring out a soaked rag -- simply to suit the whims of the willful feminist.

Most of us know how life went back in the day and that the need for change proved eminent, but part of the charm in reading Regency/Victorian romance is to discover how a woman of that era dealt with the issues -- from her era's viewpoint and not that of the modern-minded author.

To expect the reader to forgive a Contemporary-written heroine as she ramrods her way through every Regency-era scene is as jarring as it is insulting to even the most objective of intelligence's.

For the first several chapters, I was under the confused notion that Olivia was actually a modern (insert the name of your favorite Jewish female personality here) portraying a know-it-all Regency lady.

As I forced my way through this story, my mind had flip-flopped between my mother (every time Olivia felt obliged to bad-mouth someone or act superior at all cost) and my aunt (every time Olivia mingled with her family), so I know what I'm talking about.

A whining, eye-rolling, slump-shouldered abnakshas froy who simply refused to be bothered by anyone's life but her own.

And after cramming chapter after chapter of self-indulgent whim from a 21st Century female perspective down our throats, the author suddenly decided to make a feeble and quite useless attempt at offering us a possible reason to empathize with Olivia.

Cue another 'eye roll', please.

This is a high-ranked novel to confuses me all the more since it is also loaded with grammar and especially punctuation errors.

The author does not know a thing about Regency England and labeled this as a Victorian.

Nothing is included to make the reader believe that Regency England is where the story takes place (aside from the few attended 'balls', ridiculous gossip scenes, and a mother's overwhelming desire to see her children wed to the right man).

At least work some of the appropriate rhetoric and phrasing from that time period into the text, which might have worked to make Olivia sound a bit less of a prude.

I won't be reading anymore of the author's 'Regency' work, but if you like this kind of thing, there are three more stories in the series.

The Reluctant Bride Collection

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