** spoiler alert ** 2.5 stars
Beware of GIFs and spoilers!
I don't know why I keep going back to these books. While I may not particularly enjoy all of them, they're like a cup of hot cocoa and chocolate chip cookies on a frigid winter day. Comforting but bad for the waistline? I think I lost track of that simile ...
The point went somewhere that way.
A Rogue for All Seasons is an okay book. I didn't throw in the towel out of boredom, so 10 points to Sara Lindsey for building a well-paced narrative. There's quite a bit of sex, too, and I know that some people like that. While reading, I gladly took the sex over the heroine's angsty navel-gazing. It made the time go by faster.
Henry Weston - heir to a viscountcy and golden-haired hunk - decides he needs some direction in his life. His sisters and best friend are all leg-shackled, their own love stories laboriously chronicled in the two other books in the series, and Henry feels unfulfilled with his aimless life. So he decides to start a horse stud to give him some direction. But no one wants to finance him because he has a scandalous reputation! What else is a historical romance hero to do but strike up a "pretend courtship" with the wallflower his mom makes him dance with at all the balls?
The lucky wallflower is Diana Merriweather, Keeper of the Feelz and grand-daughter of a duke. She adores Henry, of course, but doesn't want a love match because her mom once got an urge to bang the stable master, married him, and made children with him, only to see the marriage crumble when the kids were young. Diana agrees to Henry's masquerade because his attention might attract some boring suitors for her to spend a loveless life with in the future.
You see where this is going.
I wish Henry's character had more development. Every time I got the slightest glimpse into what causes him to change his outlook on life and DO something for a change, Diana gets all ...
... and scares the scene away.
When Diana's parents decided to split, she overheard and was heartbroken when her father said that he wanted to keep her brother and not her. Now, in adult-speak, her dad meant that he thought Diana would have more opportunities if she lived with her mother and grandparents, who were, after all, a duke and duchess. Understandably, Diana's child-brain translated that as "WAH! HE DOESN'T LOVE ME!"
And instead of comprehending the complexities of her parents' marital woes with maturity, Diana continues to perceive it EXACTLY THE SAME as an adult. Because she thinks all love is doomed to fail or whatever, she refuses to trust Henry. Characters with trust issues can be interesting and sympathetic, but not Diana. She sucked.
The story about Diana's parents is marginally more interesting, which explains why I was so disappointed when the conclusion of their story was tacked on in a rushed scene near the end. After ALL THOSE YEARS, they have one conversation and kiss and make up. Bullshit, I declare. BULLSHIT.
Here's a GIF that I just found today and HAVE TO USE. It sums up my impression of A Rogue for All Seasons ...
It has its charms, but I'm convinced it's mostly bad for me.