Red Roses Mean Love, by Jacquie D'Alessandro

>> Tuesday, April 22, 2003

Some quick impressions of the books I read last week. Oh, and no, I'm not that nuts, I almost didn't read while in Paraguay. Just a couple of pages before going to sleep, when I wasn't too tired. The bus trip was another matter, however. 20 to 22 hours long, as I've mentioned, so it was read or die of boredom. I finished 2 books on the way to Asunción and 2 more on the way back to Montevideo.

First book was Red Roses Mean Love, by Jacquie D'Alessandro.

Orphaned and abandoned by her fiancé, Hayley Albright is determined to care for her younger siblings even if it means having to give up her own dreams. She doesn't expect to ever find love or get married...until one moonlit night when she saves the life of a mysterious stranger.

Lord Stephen Barrett woke up gazing at the face of an angel. He was alive. And safe, for now, from the killer stalking his every move. Allowing Hayley to believe he is just a tutor of modest means, Stephen stays on for reasons of his own, never anticipating the passions Hayley would stir in his cold, wary heart. Her innocence is pure seduction. Her touch is sweet temptation. And suddenly the man who has everything is willing to risk it all--for a woman who has nothing to give...but all her heart....

This one was a C for me. Too cutesy, basically. It doesn't get a failing grade because there were elements there I enjoyed, like the sexual tension and the friendship between Stephen and Justin, and it was an easy book to read.

However, I'm afraid there were too many things that made me go "oh, puh-leeze" and roll my eyes. Hayley and Stephen were stereotypes. Hayley was so goooood, "Oh, we're starving, but my sister has to have pretty dresses!". I thought she was a bit of a dingbat (thanks Mrs. Giggles for the word!). It also irritated the hell out of me that she kept making excuses for Stephen's bad behaviour: "He's repulsed by me, I'm such a wanton!", "Oh dear, what did I do? Stephen seems angry at me!" She never thought what a jerk he was being, just berated herself for making him angry. Such a victim!

And this, ladies and gentlemen, brings us to that snobbish idiot, Stephen. Oh, he has the best intentions, but he treats Hayley like dirt most of the time. Kisses her passionately and then ignores her in order to avoid temptation, flirts with another woman in her face, just to let her find happiness with another man, or some such rot. And don't get me started on the way he lectures her because her household doesn't function in a way he approves, or the way he keeps thinking "I'll have to visit my mistress when I get to London". Yeah, he thinks of her as "my mistress", not by name, it seems she's just an object for him, not a human being. Yuck!

Enough? I could also mention the 2 bickering old men, the little girl who loves tea parties, etc. None of these made me go "awwww", they just made me think "Kill them now!!".

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