Secret Desires of a Gentleman - Laura Lee Guhrke

WARNING: GIFs, spoilers and a grumpy BAVR!

I'm confident that Sarah will agree that this Guhrke Buddy Read was as inspiring as a root canal.

You guys. This story is fucking boring. Who are the assholes in this again? Right. Phillip the snobby marquess and Maria the pastry chef. Their love does not move mountains. It may be able to move ant hills, but that's only because the ants would be annoyed by their incessant yammering and leave.

If I had to choose one thing that I found interesting about this book, I would probably decide on The Million Ways That Phillip is a Giant Asshat. Maria is immaterial to this rant because I actually felt sorry for her. She's just trying to sell her pastries or whatever, and Phillip keeps barging in and telling her to go away, like he OWNS THE ENTIRE WORLD or something.

Phillip is basically the preppy boyfriend in every 80s movie that ends up royally screwing over the ingenue. This is him in my imagination:

Phillip doesn't give a shit as long as he stays waist-deep in fashionable sweaters.

To make an incredibly long story appropriately short, Phillip's the self-flagellating type of "gentleman" who gets a boner for Maria, the daughter of his family's chef, when they're teenagers and ends up bitching at her to deal with his feelz. Twelve years before the story takes place, Maria attempted to elope with Phillip's younger brother. A 19-year-old Phillip wisely stopped the disaster in the making, not through imparting them with wisdom or telling Maria that he wanted to eat her pastries (in a sexual way), but by paying them both off just like the villains in 80% of star-crossed lovers stories. When Maria opens a bakery next-door to the lodgings where he is temporarily living until his home renovations are finished, he does the sensible thing and attempts to evict her.

And in the whole story, through all of the vapid yimmering and yammering about Phillip's hate boners and Maria's fucking baking process (and the pointless conversations - GOOD GOD, the pointless conversations), Phillip never proves that he isn't an elitist, snobby piece o' crap. He barely even apologizes, and Maria decides to accept his proposal anyway because her friends thought it was weird that she didn't want to marry a rich marquess who treats her like garbage. Also, she discovers a secret of Phillip's that proves that he loves and respects her.

What is that secret?

Let me tell you.

When Maria was younger, she had a ribbon that her dead mother left to her. Maria was POOR at that point, okay? She didn't have lots of ribbons, especially ribbons from her DEAD MOM. And there's all this talk throughout the story about how Maria cried and cried about losing the ribbon and how everyone looked for the damn thing but couldn't find it.

So where was the ribbon all along?

Phillip stole it.

Phillip, a goddamn marquess, STOLE a teenage girl's ribbon.


And he keeps it for years, even though he knows that Maria was heart-broken over losing it.

That's why Maria knows that he loves her. Because he's a heartless ribbon thief. Bravo, douchebag.

Stay classy.