Never Resist Temptation - Miranda Neville Mon dieu, this book is strange. And not in the good, "Wheee! Look at all the crazy things the author threw in here! It's so crazy it's fuuunnnnn!" way either. No, Never Resist Temptation is a typical cookie-cutter Regency romance. Spunky heroine with the self-preservation skills of a blind and deaf puppy, angsty hero with debilitating mommy issues, a card-carrying villain who totally fails at all villain-y things, misunderstandings dropped all over the place, an incompetent Bow Street runner, a shady guardian whose ugly soul is showcased by his fat gut and flabby jowls, French people with French ties to the French revolution, gay pastry chefs. The only thing it lacks is a secret baby plot. Thank you, Miranda Neville for avoiding the secret baby plot. The strangeness of this book has more to do with the writing. The formatting made very little sense, sections and chapters just dropped off abruptly, and sometimes the head-hopping made me dizzy. Oh, and also, the hero got a boner for the heroine when he thought she was a young boy.

Some things just can't process.

Jacobin Le Oui Oui Bonjour (or as Neville calls it, de Chastelux) ends up working in one of the Prince Regent's households in Brighton as a pastry chef. Naturally, she acquires a job in the kitchen by dressing as a boy. And why is she in such a precocious disguise? Because her Uncle, some baron or other, gambled her away in a card game to the Earl of Storrington. Instead of becoming an unwilling mistress, Jacobin flees to work as a pastry chef. As a boy. It's never revealed if she intends to remain a boy forever, but this is the story as it's told, so go with it. When Jacobin's uncle ends up sick from poison at one of the prince's dinners, she runs again in fear that the authorities will discover her womanly bits and arrest her (for murder, not for the womanly bits). Unfortunately, Fate has decided that Jacobin's only refuge is as a cook named Jane Castle at the estate of the dreaded Earl of Storrington. Fortunately, Anthony, aka Lord Storrington, is a total hottie with a body. He's also an asshat of the first order, but RACHEL, this is a romance. Your heart is supposed to melt. Anyway, stories intertwine and fail to make a lick of sense, but it all comes down to Jacobin and Anthony. Is she too French for his staid English balls? Or will they create a perfect French pastry of love?

Jacobin isn't that bad until she becomes Anthony's personal doormat. He gambled for a PERSON. Who the fuck does that? And who the hell falls IN LOVE with that? Between Anthony's manipulative asshat stylings and the way he mopes around like, "My mommy didn't love me enough because she DIED. She dismissed my favorite nanny. A POX ON ALL THE WOMEN!" Then to read all of the long sections dedicated to his boner over Jacobin as a woman and a boy ... I had no patience for any of this.

I could forgive the ridiculous story, though, because once I climbed out of the fever I was in when I bought it (no joke), I realized that I was in Insta-Romance Avon Land. The story was never going to do anything besides piss me off, and I decided to keep reading for the pure WTF spite of it. Sadly, the disjointed pace of the book and the fragmented sentences made an enemy out of me. Some of the phrasing made me O__o until I was afraid my face would stay that way. For instance, I just turned to a random page in the book and found this: He himself had consumed a couple of those puffy things and raised his glass in a silent toast to the cook. - Page 94. "He himself ..." Then there was the text's aversion to commas: In one way at least the dinner had succeeded beyond expectations. - Page 94. I could do this for days: Waiting crouched in the shrubbery, she shivered with cold, but her information had been correct. Sure, the sentences aren't AWFUL, but they definitely aren't pleasing to the eye or the mind. The only good thing about the abrupt chapter endings was that they saved me from further tediousness described in the characters' conversations or inner-monologues.

At least Neville added some kinky action with the pastries. Granted, that enabled a pathetically awkward moment in which Anthony squeezed a dab of cream on his peen and shocked the hell out of virginal Jacobin. I clutched my pearls a little when I read that. And I laughed. A LOT. She never licks it off, and I'm left to assume that Anthony walked around with pastry cream on his peen for the rest of his days.

Filthy, FILTHY book!

A massive edit could make Never Resist Temptation tolerable. Alas, this is the finished product. Sick Rachel is never allowed to pick out a book again.