Saturday, May 19, 2012

Book Review: Scotsmen Prefer Blondes

Ramsey, Sara. Scotsmen Prefer Blondes. Spencerhill Associates, 2012. Paperback. +326 pages. $11.99. Release Date: 30 March 2012.

Full Disclosure: I received an ebook copy of this book for reviewing purposes.

I hate reading a bad romance novel, and I'm afraid this qualifies.  Granted, I'm being a little nitpicky here, and granted, I have to admit, once again, that I judge all Regency romances by Stephanie Laurens, which probably isn't fair.  But I didn't find this book, the second in Ramsey's Muses of Mayfair series terribly compelling.

The general plot is that two friends go to Scotland to meet Malcolm, our hero, who intends to marry one of them, but who promptly falls in love with Amelia, her best friend.  The expected hijinks ensue, though in a reversal of most romance novel tropes, Prudence, who hadn't wanted to marry Malcolm in the first place, is quite angry with Amelia for "stealing" her man.

There is one further complication--Malcolm has political tendencies, and Amelia, unbeknownst to most, writes Gothic novels and satires, a la Ann Radcliffe.  This inevitably causes a lot of problems.

So what's wrong with this book?  It does follow the general pattern of a romance novel well enough, after all.  But the main problem is that I never really connected with the characters.  Prudence's anger with Amelia was so unexpected that it threw me somewhat.  Amelia's concern for Prudence, while mentioned often, almost seemed like an afterthought.

Now, generally, I don't discuss the sex scenes of these novels.  This is partly because I know that my dad reads my blog occasionally, and I'd rather not embarrass him too much.  But this is just completely astonishing here, as Ramsey uses certain phrases in the scene that would make the gals at Smart Bitches, Trashy Books facepalm.

First, Ramsey refers to a certain portion of the male anatomy as a "manroot."  While this does bring to mind certain images of tubers, I don't think that vegetation is necessarily the way you want your reader to think about a man.

It really sucked to be him after he had a lucky shot
that took out the U.S.S. Grissom. Both he and his manroot were
disintegrated by Captain Kruge.
The other part that bothered me came only two paragraphs later, when Ramsey notes that our heroine's "body disintegrated."  First, I heard Darth Vader warn Boba Fett not to disintegrate the crew of the Millennium Falcon.  Then I thought about Star Trek III.

I suppose that it's not that Scotsmen Prefer Blondes is a bad book, necessarily.  It's just not very good, and it's certainly not worth the $11.99 price point that Amazon currently has on the paperback.  If you're inclined to read it, go for the Kindle edition, which is selling for $3.99, because I wouldn't pay more than that for this book.

Scotsmen Prefer Blondes: D+

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