This was the first book I’ve read by this author, and most probably the last.
I generally love Avon romances, but I wasn’t familiar with the “Impulse” line so after reading this I looked it up. It is a “digital first” imprint, meaning they publish books digitally before print. I’m guessing if it does well digitally then it may go to print. They accept manuscripts directly from writers instead of going through the agent process as almost all traditional publishers do. So basically a book that was rejected by HarperCollins or Avon can end up published by the Impulse line. (Bet you didn’t know you were going to get an education in HarperCollins publishing when you started reading this review!)
So, why am I rambling on about all this? I disliked this book so much that now I’ll be hesitant to read anything put out by the Avon Impulse line.
The story is simple; Lady Arabella is approached by a man at a ball, he mistakes her for a courtesan and almost ruins her. Her parents decide then and there to marry her off immediately so the next morning she skips out, determined to have one day of fun before the impending nuptials to someone she is sure is old and joyless.
She immediately runs into trouble, but is rescued by a gentleman passing by. He is the man from the ball and turns out he is in a similar position; he is a Duke and his reputation as a rake has made his parents decide to marry him off. These two obedient children (and they are childish, one of the myriad of reasons for my dislike of the book) end up spending the day together and fall in love.
They both use nicknames, neither admitting to the other who they really are. Eventually they go home to find out they are to be married. I didn’t even bother with a “spoiler alert” here because it couldn’t be more obvious throughout the book what was going to happen. I know every romance has a happy ending, but I want to see the struggle on the way there, and there simply wasn’t one. I found the plot silly and mundane, and the characters were clichés.
The romance genre has fairly specific rules. In its simplest iteration it goes boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy wins girl back again. Happy ending, usually with a wedding, a marriage, a baby or all three. All of that was determined in the first few pages and the rest was just a waste of time.
I really hate writing negative reviews. But I even hated the cover – looking on Amazon, I don’t get it, it doesn’t look like a historical to me. Maybe in person it does, but I read an eGalley on my Kindle so I’m relying on pictures here.
In the interest of fairness, I will point out that this book has 4.5 stars on Amazon based on a lot of reviews, so this is definitely just my opinion. But I found it so off-putting that I didn’t want to read anything for a couple of days after finishing it.
8/15 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch
MAD ABOUT THE MAJOR by Elizabeth Boyle. Avon Impulse (July 21, 2015). ISBN 978-0062322913. 224p.