I hadn't read Joanne Lindsey** before. That's the problem. SO NOW I'm listening to a book that's part I dunno, 170? of the Malory family on tape. The whole thing is hysterical, but I'm not sure it's not supposed to be.
If I'd come across some of these characters who were in past books, I'd probably have a perk of interest. Hey, good to know Uncle P is no longer being held hostage in the carribean and Uncle J made it back from his trip to rescue his father-in-law from pirates, I'd think.... instead I'm WTF? Don't any of these people just raise and enjoy sheep?
What we got is a huge extended noisy family consisting of all the romance cliches in the world, sitting down to dinners with each other. It's as if the oceans of fictional earls dukes and barons all showed up at the house of parliament--no at Almacks--at once. They all are standing around drinking bad lemonade and discussing their adventures as spies, pirates and rakes.
I just got to the part where a man discovers that the young woman who rescued his daughter is also his (unknown) daughter. And what do you know, someone else pipes up with Hey, that's just like Uncle B, who found his unknown son with a tavern slattern in the Carribean.
Every single woman is gorgeous. Each is the most beautiful woman ever, EVER. We're talking a whole busload of fiery eyes, breath-taking figures....it's amazing anyone can breathe when they sit around talking about their kids, what with all the oxygen they suck from the air.
All the men are handsome and command attention when they walk into a room. Not to mention with the flock of alpha males like this, they're constantly getting into fist fights. I imagine the (glorious, strikingly gorgeous) women in their lives would rather they just pee on the furniture to mark their territory than give each other black eyes and concussions. Many concussions. After a while it starts to feel like they're all about 3 years old and I'm longing for some old ugly nanny (please, don't let her be even remotely attractive) to walk into the room and box their ears and warn the next idiot who growls or snarls that he's going to get a time-out and no pudding for you, my lad.
For the sake of the servants and anyone in the neighborhood who wants a peaceful life, these ex-pirates, buccaneers, and rapacious captains of industry should avoid family reunions but it seems like they can't stand staying away from home. They all fall into one anothers arms, eat big meals and have fights and discuss what happened to B who was sold into slavery and found her love in the arms of a rescuer who turned out to be the son of someone's ex-lover's and a disguised duke or earl or barn. I'm exhausted and this is the first time I've come across the clan.
Actually I expect the author has fun with this stuff. I mean she seems to occasionally see that she's got a load of loony on her hands and plays a bit.
Okay, don't mind me.
I'm grouchy because other problems with the book. A flock of inaccuracies. I hate it when my prissy history-police-being is roused, There are too many bits like "he made his illegitmate son his heir to the title" in there. Shut up, I say to that little history police voice, who cares if the ladies don't get up and retire after dinner? What do you give a damn if the unmarried ladies boink with only a passing thought to their reputations? Would you stop worrying about a woman who wears her hair in a braid like a school girl? It looks good that way, okay?
But once it gets roused, my history-police-being is as rambunctious as any pirate-spy-earl-ravisher in this obviously intentionally goofy version of history. Here I am, a reader who just wants to just lie back and enjoy the story, but Victoria (no, wait, it's an earlier setting. I mean George) keeps coming to mind.
And did I mention the overly-touchy, impulsive to the point of TSTL heroine. No? Never mind.
**I don't usually name names unless I'm confident that the author is question is doing beautifully with sales and, anyway, no one will pay any attention to my whining. I think Lindsey's sales are just fine, thanks