The Gentleman's Quest, by Deborah Simmons

>> Friday, June 25, 2010

TITLE: The Gentleman's Quest
AUTHOR: Deborah Simmons

PAGES: 288
PUBLISHER: Harlequin

SETTING: 19th century England
TYPE: Romance
SERIES: Follows The Dark Viscount

REASON FOR READING: I like the author, and it sounded great... I do love my gothics!

Christopher Marchant's mood matches the storm clouds that gather above his mansion. Yet when lightning illuminates a stranded beauty he must do as any gentleman would. Although, once rescued, she must be on her way....

But if Hero Ingram leaves empty-handed her uncle will punish her. Christopher is caught off guard by her willful rebellion--and he's sure he's caught a hint of vulnerability in her defiance....

As a gentleman he must protect her and make her quest his own. But as a red-blooded male...? She has awoken him from his slumber!
Disappointing, I couldn't get into this one at all, and abandoned it after about 30 pages. Actually, I kind of knew it would be a DNF after the first scene, when it became clear these people acted as no real, halfway logical human beings would.

Picture this: heroine is on her way to meet a gentleman. She's clearly been ordered to use her charms to get something from this person, and is not relishing the prospect. On a quiet road, one of the wheels of her carriage breaks, and they're stuck. Suddenly, a rider approaches and, without a word, simply plucks her off the ground, and spirits her away. Is she terrified, does she fight, does she panic? From the way it's narrated, it's as if this is the most common thing in the world. The next scene just starts with the heroine saying that she's been deposited with the housekeeper of the house she was looking for, and she doesn't know nor care who her rescuer was, because they haven't exchanged a word. Huh? So she just sat there quitely and allowed herself to be carried away? She seemed quite matter-of-fact about it, as well, so it wasn't as if she'd been in shock. Big WTF moment. Who acts this way?

I decided to give the book a chance and keep reading, hoping things would get better (it did get a review at AARthat sounded nice enough that I actually ordered it from the library, after all) but they only got worse. A lot of blah-blah about murderous cults and dramatic events in previous books, and hero and heroine making supposedly brilliant plans that only made sense in their minds, and I was out of there.

Such a shame, I was really looking forward to this, considering how much I enjoyed some of the author's earlier books a few years ago. So now I can't help but wonder if it's Simmons who's changed or me. Maybe I should reread one of those faves!



SuperWendy,  26 June 2010 at 21:16  

Well bugger.  I'm sorry to see this DNF.  This is one of the backlog of Harlequins I have waiting for me on my Sony Reader.  Like you, I adore a good gothic - so I suspect that's why I bought this one in the first place.  Oh well.  When I get around to it, hopefully I'll have better luck than you did - although yeah, that opening scene doesn't sound too promising.....

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