Friday, May 13

Lost in Your Arms by Christina Dodd

Book 5 in the Governess Bride Series

Enid MacLean, our heroine, is admirable – but not in a remarkable way. She didn’t stand out from the other hordes of romance heroines, which is partly why this book is barely better than average. She started out beautifully – strong-willed and a wonderful caretaker, but rapidly progressed into a mostly vapid and uninspiring heroine with the same internal battles every heroine has – but really with little cause. Our hero, MacLean, was strong, inspiring and almost picture-perfect but for the really mean, cruel words he said towards the middle (that may have smacked a little of verbal abuse or MacLean’s bruised pride. At least Enid’s not the victim type).

The story begins with Enid working as a caretaker for an invalid, older woman – when she is called away to a man’s estate to care for her husband, who has been severely injured in an explosion. While most wives would be fluttering with concern, Enid is unhappy with her husband’s intrusion into her life – after all, it’ll be the first time she’s even seen Stephen MacLean in eight years. Reluctantly she goes and cares for him – and the love story progresses from there as MacLean begins to heal and improve. Soon, MacLean wakes and finds himself without his memory – no knowledge of who he is or why he was in the Crimea, where the explosion occurred. Long and short, after some love-making and a fire (a real one, not the combustion of their passion) he and Enid set off for his home in Scotland where the conclusion of the drama, the discovery of the villains trying to kill MacLean, and the rest of the love story occurs.

The characters were witty, even if sometimes annoying and not true to themselves. The repertoire was amusing (if a little confusing at times when the reader doesn’t quite know what’s going on yet). Why on earth, you ask, should this book get such an average rating? Why, Rose May, Why?  

First, *****BIG BIG BIG BIG BIG SPOILER ALERT: READ AT OWN PERIL***** I strongly dislike those stories where the woman has sex with her ‘husband/former lover’ and decides she loves him despite all his past problems – and then discovers he’s actually the brother/twin and not the husband/former lover. And then marries the brother/twin. This is what occurs in this story, when Enid finds out that her ‘husband’ that she’s caring for is not actually her honey-bunches-of-oats but his cousin, Laird Kiernan. I dislike these stories because they reek of the notion that people are all bad or all good. Usually, the former lover was a disaster and a mean-spirited alcoholic gambler and the replacement is a moral, strong, sexy beast. I dislike this because it squawks of the idea that change is impossible in a human being – because it can’t REALLY be the former lover lying in the sick bed because he’d be a rat. I also dislike these stories because… well… it’s weird to marry the family of your former husband/lover. I mean, for some people it would be less weird or not weird at all. But these stories freak me out – like do you need to have sex with all the manny-pants in the family to decide which one you’ll marry? I know, I know, that’s not the point of the story. Just my opinion, dear blog readers. *****END OF BIG BIG BIG BIG BIG SPOILER ALERT*****.

Second, the plot line was, in its essence, unrealistic. Which is annoying, because I like to live vicariously through the heroines - or at least escape into an alternate reality - and I can't do that if I'm constantly being thrown by how silly the plot or drama is. For being thrown into unexpected situations, MacLean is surprisingly prepared at all times (maybe he was a Scottish boy scout?) even when he really shouldn't be. Also, some of the plot twists don’t make sense – why would the villain, who had access to the cottage in which MacLean was staying the entire time, wait till the end to kill him or steal his stuff? The book was fun to flit through as long as you didn’t look too closely – which I tried not to do.

Favorite quotes: 

“There is nothing worse than a female who has logic.” (MacLean)
“Unless it’s a male who has none.” (Enid)

“The fastest way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.” (MacLean)
“The fastest way to a man’s heart is through his chest. With a dagger.” (Enid) 

“Of course we [the males] understand. She’s having a babe. It’s a natural occurrence.” (MacLean)
“That is what men don’t understand.” Celeste shook her head sadly. “They say it is a natural function. They even think they have something to do with it.”
“We... Something to do with it? Yes, we do,” MacLean spluttered. “I’d like to see you do it on your own!”

 “Sexy”ness rating: Sexy – really, pretty gosh-durned sexy. J

Overall Rating: C+

Bottom Line: If this is a kind of plot line you like, then you’ll most likely love this story. She writes this well, the characters are sorta great-ish, and the plot is slightly unrealistic but still suspenseful and fun. All in all, its average but perfect for a light read where you don't want to delve too deep or make things too complex.
Pages: 384
Published: May 11, 2004
Genre: Historical

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