Sunday, February 18, 2007
Two for the Price of One
Normally the concept of TWO FOR THE PRICE OF ONE grabs and holds one's attention. We immediately rush to the store eager and willing to buy as many goodies as possible. TWO FOR THE PRICE OF ONE is usually a good thing. It wasn't the case with Eloisa James' PLEASURE FOR PLEASURE. At least, not for me. Once upon a time, I tried reading an older James' title...something with the word DUCHESS in it..yes...yes..it was DUCHESS IN LOVE. I couldn't get through the third chapter. So much was going on that I didn't feel much of a connection with the lead characters and if I don't feel that connection right away, like any good girl with a short attention span, I will close the book immediately and send it right on over to my local Used Book Store.
I felt the same way with PLEASURE FOR PLEASURE, but unlike DUCHESS IN LOVE, I actually loved the book's premise, that of a woman with low confidence who allows a friend of her family's to help her gain it. Josie Essex is called the "Scottish Sausage" by a member of the ton and now finds herself unable to find a husband. She thinks she's fat and wears outlandish corsets that only serve to...well...make her look like a stuffed sausage. She soon stops wearing the dreadful garment and with the help of the Earl of Mayne, a close family friend (who has been linked to all of her sisters), she tries to get the attention of the bachelors of the ton...or something like that.
It seemed like a good story, but I never realized that the lead characters would share their book with the hero's sister and younger lover. What a mess! I found myself disliking the lead characters' story soon enough and wanted more and more of the other (which I thought deserved its own book). The heroine was a big knucklehead and I honestly didn't understand (I never do) what the hero saw in her. He was almost 20 yrs older than her...apparently saw her grow up and that really disturbed me. Yes, I know that back in the day age differences weren't important, BUT I live in 2007 and in 2007 it would gross me out to discover that Bob Saget or John Stamos was dating one of the Olsen twins. Might have been acceptable for that time but so was not bathing and I don't see much mention of that in these novels.
But I digress...besides the little age issue I had with the novel, I couldn't get over how fast the hero went from being head over heels in love with the woman of his dreams (oh...did I mention he was in love with this French prude...possible lesbian?) to immediately wanting the heroine all to himself. Tha f*ck? It made no sense...it was too quick; there was no time for the hero to even get over the other woman. Perhaps had the heroine been depicted as a woman of the world, an Angelina Jolie type, I might have seen why and how the hero could fall so in and out and then right back into love so quickly. Sorry...I know Angelina Jolie, I've seen most of her movies, Angelina Jolie was in a movie I watched last night...Eloisa James, JOSIE IS NO ANGELINA JOLIE!!! And the love story you depicted for her was beyond unbelievable; it simply bored the shite out of me!
Now for the second love story, that of the secondary characters, Mayne's younger sister and the darling Darlington, the man who is the cause of Josie's low self-esteem (he's the one who called her "Scottish Sausage" to begin with), I enjoyed this one. I really did. Of course, I would have loved to see it developed further. We were merely given a few love sessions and then instant love on the part of Darlington for the beautiful and sexy Griselda (I hate that name!). It was easy to see why the two would fall in love though...they were cute together and I absolutely loved Darlington's wordplay. I was only disappointed I couldn't read more on the two.
I wish James would dedicate her novels to one couple at a time. Has she ever done this? I've not read many of her books. DUCHESS IN LOVE turned me off. I had to read this one though because so many people spoke fondly of it. James' is a great writer, I'll give you that. It's obvious she's no dummy, but her style doesn't suit me. It actually makes me quite sleepy...and frustrated...and anxious. Chapter 1 and 2 were dedicated to the leads; Chapter 3 to the secondaries; Chapter 4 back to the leads and so on and so forth. So much alternating really pissed me off. Everytime I'd get into one love story, the author would take a break and give me another one. Argh! Frustrating! Too much was going on in this novel and I developed a headache soon after starting it. By the time I finished it, I had a full blown migraine. I think I'll pass on the next one and if I do ever decide to give the author another chance, I'll make sure to take a Tylenol Migraine.