I’m not exactly sure what the sexy Earl of Tallant did, but it must have been pretty bad for him to get saddled with Ms. Doormat herself.
Nicola Cornick’s THE EARL’s PRIZE should have been called THE EARL’S PUNISHMENT. I cannot imagine any man, in his right mind, considering the heroine a prize. She was a joke! I felt sorry for the hero...yes, she was that bad!
The hero: sexy "rake" who is more honorable than he looks; he saves his sister from being ruined; loves the heroine and doesn't deny it, despite having his share of issues.
The heroine: argh! Amy Bainbridge, is oppressed by her suffocating and obnoxious mother and is forced to pinch pennies, as her brother, Richard, lives it up, gambles, keeps a mistress...you name it, he does it. Although Amy is not at all pleased, she takes it and just sulks and polishes furniture. One day she finds a winning lottery ticket and (get ready for this) believing it Richard's, she tries to give it away to him...argh! Yes, despite the fact that he gambles everything in sight; despite the fact that she hasn't had a new dress in years; despite the fact that she's eating fruit stew for dinner (yeah, I didn't know one could make that, but she was eating it...). MORON!!! Her reasoning? It's not hers and it's the right thing to do...how about YOU'RE FUCKING STARVING, BITCH, AND YOU NEED TO EAT A STEAK???
Honestly, I didn't understand why the hero, a heck of a male specimen, would even be sniffing her skirts...the woman was beyond stupid! Not only that, she was constanting attacking Tallant for being a gambler and wastrel, even though she doesn't really know shit about him...she works on appearances and gossip and, since he spent a night gambling with her brother, she assumes he's steering the youth of Britain down the wrong path. Impossible woman! She always believes the worst of him. This really started to get to me after a while and I couldn't understand how the hero could just take it and not tell her to fuck off.
I didn't dislike the hero though..even though I wanted him to leave her to die a spinster. Somehow the heroine held most of my disgust...she did redeem herself towards the end of the novel when she asked for a kiss from the hero and admitted her feelings for him...that was nice and unexpected.
However, that alone was not enough to save the book! I flipped through most of it. It had potential...it would have worked had the heroine had more of a backbone and perhaps let her mother and brother have it!
Why the need for moronic doormat heroines? Dear authors, we readers are not stupid. We love intelligent and funny heroines, who don't just sit there, look pretty and act like mentally challenged twits. I'm sick of mental pariahs gracing the pages of romance novels with potential...this is not the first time I've run across an Amy Bainbridge. I'm sure everyone's read a book with a heroine whom you literally wanted to hire a hitman to kill. Anyone want to warn me off any books with doormats as heroines? Please...I don't think I could take another one.