Friday, August 10, 2007

"Beauty and the Beast" by Hannah Howell

"On the eve of her wedding to the heir of Saiturn Manor, the stunningly beautiful Gytha is shocked to learn that her betrothed, a man she barely knew, is dead. Now she must marry the new heir, Thayer Saiturn, a battle-hardened knight known as the Red Devil...

With a face scarred in battle and a heart broken in love, Thayer has no interest in marriage. But not even the Red Devil can break the promise his foster-father made years ago and soon finds himself married to a woman whose exquisite beauty and sweet innocence intrigue him. But can his new bride look beyond the scars to find a hidden passion and undying love locked deep inside him?"
Ah, the good old days, when marriages were all about property and had little if anything to do with love. Sigh. I don't ordinarily read this sort of book, an out-and-out romance, but I was headed off to the beach with my friend for some much needed R&R, so I grabbed it. The description didn't sound too bad, so why not?

In the end, the "why not?" is that it IS a romance. Basically, boy and girl meet, must marry, then spend the rest of the book trying to get the other one to admit that they love him/her. There's a bad guy (an uncle) trying to kill Thayer, some bad guys who turn out not to be so bad, and the good guys who look like bad guys but of course have hearts of gold. There's a happy ending and much romance (OK - sex) and 336 pages later it's done. It wasn't awful, but it wasn't great, either.

I guess the description threw me off, because the way I read it, Thayer is quite ugly. Hideous, one might go so far to say. But when I read the first description of his appearance in the actual text, I was disappointed. He has a few scars (if memory serves correctly, only one of those is on his face) and - GASP - he has red hair. Lots of red hair. Uh, excuse me, but RED HAIR makes him ugly? Sheesh. I thought they weren't that shallow back then, but seems I was wrong.

The romance was OK, not the best I've read. The whole book was OK I guess. Grab it if you're into historical romance, leave it be if you're not.

No comments: