Thursday, June 16

The Secret Desires of a Governess by Tiffany Clare

(love the cover, as a side note...)

Oh my. Where to start? This book was confusing and awkward with poor writing and terrible character development. I struggled to continue reading, even in the beginning. The awkward sentence structure and unusual word choices made the book difficult to read. Each time I began to become absorbed into the plot or romance some uncomfortable phrasing or word would jar me and pull me straight out of the book. The poor writing was also seen in the several inconsistencies that ANY editor worth his or her salt should’ve caught. For instance, on page 153 Clare writes:

      “He looked down at her as he opened her chamber door. Kicking it closed behind him…”.

Then, two pages later, when the door should STILL be closed, she writes:

      “With a deep sigh, he walked over to the door and shut it.”

Ahem?!?! He already shut the door. I was paying attention, being the astute, observant reader I am – and any author or editor should have noticed that obvious mistake. And there were other mistakes just as bad as that in this book. The same kind of stupid, stupid, STUPID, incredibly annoying mistake.

That alone could’ve killed it for me. But there was more, dear readers, than just the lack of knowledge of the English language and awkward, jarring sentences. The heroine is inconsistent – she’s all 'preachy' and moral one moment, claiming there more intimate attractions are ‘wrong’ and then the next moment proclaims she has no ‘maidenly reservations’ about getting undressed in front of him. Right, Miss Abigail Hallaway. Clare also makes our heroine’s first accident into a really big deal, and consequently the heroine is pretty concerned (rightfully) that someone is trying to kill her. But then Clare writes about how the heroine is confused that Elliot Lord Brendall (our hero) is so concerned about something so ‘insignificant’ as her injury. There were so many times I wanted to shake Abby, who is frankly annoying and almost TSTL, that I ended up just putting the book down. Our hero’s character was no better. He was boring, one-dimensional, with too many weird insecurities and strange thoughts for my taste. He also almost never talked to the heroine (about anything), for the first 61% of the book – which is all I made it through. I'm all for silent, gruff, and brooding (totally my type) but this was NOT a well done silent hero.

The plot was really no better than the characters. It’s confusing and hard to follow - a collection of small snippets of strange scenes that don’t stimulate the reader’s imagination or create a feeling of suspense. The ‘catch the would-be-killer’ plot was not intriguing or well-written. The whole book had a sadistic, paranoid feel to it that was infused in every character except Thomas, be they major, minor, living, or dead. It’s hard to sense anyone’s motivation for… well… anything. The characters just don’t have the depth necessary for the reader to connect. The romantic plot was terrible, not enticing, and just as confusing as the rest of the book. I almost stopped reading because, their first official time together, he says ‘I’m sorry’ before taking her. You know, if you were really sorry you wouldn’t be doing it. I understand this will probably work its way into the ‘my mother and wife and every other woman I’ve ever known or loved has gone crazy’ part of the plot, but it was so ridiculous. About two pages later the heroine throws a temper tantrum over discovering that the hero, while sharing her bed, has not entrusted her with every little embarrassing detail of his life and is now deeply hurt. TSTL. Really. Come on. I hate little, immature snits like that, which are unfortunately a very common device in romance.

Finally, let’s talk about creepy words that romance authors use to describe the male and female anatomy that get so much viewing in the genre. I’m sure we’d pretty much all agree that ‘mons’ is a really awkward word to use, right? However Clare takes it one step further – she doesn’t use mons, she uses ‘cunny’. CUNNY?? Like bunny? Great, now I’m thinking of a fluffy white thing with a bushy tail and fur. If that’s what your girl’s hoo-ha looks like, you need to get her to the doctor, stat. Or find her a better razor. And why on earth would you call the lady’s cum ‘dew’ or her clitoris a ‘little pearl’. NO! STOP! Please, stop using creepy and unnatural words to describe our va-jay-jays and the other various things that go on down there, and call them something attractive. Lord. Cunny.

 I really have nothing positive to say except that the little boy, Jacob, is abso-frickin-lutely adorable. I read the last hundred pages of this book just to get to see more of him. Best character of the book. By far.

A Quote:

“I’m the youngest of three.” She smiled at him, hoping he’d return the gesture. “My main objective as a child was to see how much I could get away with before my father reprimanded me.”

“Sexy”ness rating: Has sex. Not hot. Unless you like ‘cunnies’ with dew and a pearl.

Overall Rating: DNF

(completed 65% or to page 221 – I stopped when our heroine threw her first temper tantrum over the hero not telling her he couldn’t read or write. Gee, maybe that embarrasses the man a little – especially since you’re his son’s teacher and are exceptionally literate – and so he kept it from you? Why are you making this into some huge ‘I opened myself up to this hurt’ moment???)

Bottom Line: Poor use of the English language, creepy phrasing, and terrible character and plot development make this book a never-to-read. Ever.

Pages: 341
Published: 24 May 2011
Genre: Historical

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