“The Accidental Princess”, by Michelle Willingham

Bad news, everybody.

I pretty much liked this one.

The year is 1855. Lady Hannah is a poor little rich girl whose life is dictated by her controlling mother (she isn’t allowed to have desserts even). Her parents want her to marry Outwardly Perfect Rich Guy, who is actually Evil Rich Guy. He kidnaps her from a ball in order to force her to marry him, but she’s saved by a penniless soldier who had been there as the guest of her brother.

Scandal! And she’s still going to be forced to marry the jerkass. He locks her into a room, but she brains him with a candlestick and jumps out the window with the penniless guy (he was keeping an eye on her because noble).

Of course they are enflamed with passion, etc etc, but she can’t marry him. Instead of being sent back to fight, he’s sent to accompany Important Dude of Fictional Germanic Country because excuses. She happens to be sent along with them for part of the way, to get her out of the way of scandal.

So turns out Michael is maybe the prince of Fictional Germanic Country instead of the guy who has been called prince of Fictional Germanic Country! Say what! Everybody wants to kill him! Hannah says FUCK IT! and celebrates her little bit of boatly freedom by FUCKIN IT! He also gives her a whole bunch of desserts and thinks it’s awesome that she loves them. I kinda <3ed that a lot. Fuck yeah desserts!

She decides to help him figure things out and pretends to be his wife while they travel to Fictional Germanic Country.

He is the prince of course, so that’s all nice and good. But Hannah is kidnapped! Evil Rich Lady Who Was Former Mistress To King Sweyn (Sweeeeeeeyyyyyyn) is like OH NO YOU DON’T SUCKAH! because dammit her son should be on the throne. This doesn’t make the most sense ever, since I don’t see how that has much benefit to her as she has lived in England for 20 years and her son doesn’t know she’s his mom or anything, BUT we are informed that She Be Crazy. So okay.

Anyhoo, Hannah says FUCK IT! and removes her boatload o’ petticoats in order to jump out of a moving carriage then run through woods. And the Faux Prince is not a bad guy so he goes and helps save Hannah. Michael kinda shows up eventually and he doesn’t get his new soldiers shot so that’s nice.

Ummmmm so they finally decide that they must get married because lurve and they do. Faux Prince stops one last plot against Legit Prince, just because.

That’s about the gist of it. The plot is not the least silly thing, but it does have an actual plot which is more than I can say about the other ones I’ve read so far…

I actually really enjoyed the characters! Michael and Hannah are pretty great! Hannah even alllllllllllmost touches her lady parts while thinking about his hotness, which I have decided is my fondest desire for a romance book. I suppose masturbation isn’t romance, but I would think it nice to include!

The sex is basic, of course, but it’s all about her and her pleasure so that’s nice too. It’s not perfect, it’s still a little heavy on PIV, but how can one avoid the Wang All-Mighty? Queer romance, maybe.

But they are both nice people who are of modern sensibilities without it being really anachronistic. So I rooted for those crazy kids, I did. AND HE WASN’T A GROSS CREEPFEST! It was pretty much all consent and respect, all the time! W00t!

Grade: H for huh, clearly I need to get some books that involve Vikings

The $10,000,000 Texan Wedding, by Judy Christenberry

So I read The $10,000,000 Texan Wedding.

Gran (is there always going to be a sassy grandmother?) stipulated in her will that Gabe, the Rich Handsome Dude Who Left Small Town Texas, must marry Katie, the Headstrong Poor Country Girl Whose Father Died And Who Must Take Care Of Her Forty Siblings.

These crazy kids dated in high school, and were in luuuuuuuuurve. Gabe proposed (at 18, yeah good sounds great) a couple of weeks after Katie’s dad died. Anyhoo the book makes it clear that the dude was a selfish douchenoozle, and he’s SUPER ANGRY RAWR FOREVER at Katie because she said there was someone else so he’d go away since who wants to be saddled with Hardworkin’ Poor Chick With No Father? He like doesn’t even know she’s put half of her siblings through college by now all on her own because her mom is useless. Self-sacrificing because FAMILY!

Also his mom hated her.

So he went to Dallas and became Rich Handsome Lawyer with a supermodel fiancee for a minute.

Then Gran: she’s dead. She’s forcing him to marry Katie or NO MONIES WHAT!!! I WANT MY MONIES!!!!

He comes rushing back to Small Town That Has A Creepy Fixation On Marriage and verbally abuses Katie a whole lot and it’s really fucking scary as fuck. But he still loves her! And she still loves him! Even though she now has her own super successful business and he keeps coming and and yelling at her or making it difficult to work at her super successful business (WTF WTF WTF). Because tingly lady parts.

Did I mention the town is really weird about marriage? Because it is. Everyone is married and SO SUPER IN LOVE and BABIES BABIES BABIES and hahaha hurrah LIFE IS THE EASIEST BECAUSE WE’RE WELL OFF AND I HAVE THE BEST MAN/WOMAN AND BABIES BABIES BABIES woooooooooooooooooooooo rodeo. But Gabe and Katie will never have teh childrens (*eagle tear*) because they only love each other but um they think the other one hates them or something. I don’t know.

Then Gabe’s mother comes to town toting the fiancee he had 7 years ago! Haha what! Gabe’s mother is a screeching harridan cartoon ladyvillain! But Gabe’s father shows up and is like I CAST THEE OUT! And divorces her finally, because she’s screeching harridan cartoon ladyvillain. Hurrah!

Gabe and Katie decide to get married because then he can just have his damn money okay? And Gabe’s thinking like “I WILL MAKE HER BE NOT-SHAM MARRIED TO ME!!!” and Katie’s like “I WISH THIS WAS A REAL WEDDING.” Ugh whatever. Katie decides she will seduce him because dammit she wants a year of seXXors even if he’s going to ditch her after that.

So on the honeymoon she does that, after Gabe’s like had a boner for a week straight all through the wedding and flight to Colorado Springs and is determined not to bug her.

*THROWS HER ON BED*
*FADE TO BLACK*

Another book with no actual sex in it. Not that sex would be good, because lady flowers and yearning members aren’t good, but it’s just weird. Who are the poor starved women who read romance novels with no sexytimes?

I’m falling asleep writing this because it was so boring. In conclusion: they finally talk and see they’re in love so no condom now my friends! Yes she gets pregnant immediately. Ughhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh babies. Shut up about babies!

*PERFECT TEXAN LIFE ENSUES*

Grade: Z for zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz and EW for verbal abuse and creepy possessiveness (I forgot that bit. It’s creepy.)

Twice Promised, by Maggie Brendan

Twice Promised is set in Colorado, 1888. Cora and Greta travel to Central City to be mail-order brides. Turns out it was actually the brother who wrote to them and got them both to come on false pretenses! Classy!

Eventually the brothers decide to each pick a chick based on the pattern on a cup of tea. OH NO turns out everyone loves the wrong person! Hijinks ensue! Also there is a robber-turned-good-boy (thanks, Christianity!), a sassy grandma, and a dog.

Anyhoo, I’d just finished reading Mansfield Park before reading this, so the comparison was really interesting! In comparison, Christians today seem super insecure and do a lot of insipid talking about how god is totally great and something something bible whatever Corinthians wazza wazza wazza.

Fanny Price is not going around talking about the bible and God’s Plan For Her, even though she IS a total drip and religious. Austen’s ladies have better things to do than spout Christian buzzwords and saccharine crud about how the Lord Is Good. They show instead of tell, you. Whereas, for example — Cora also left her family because of her religion. They’re like “Hey, daughter! Stop doing nice things! Christianity is DUMB, DUMBO!” Sounds likely! Not cartoonish at all!

Also I forgot — Greta was engaged to the 3rd brother, but nobody realized it for some time. Fiance’s dying words were to tell her to marry his brother. Sure! Cool!

Basically the whole driving force of the story is that everyone loves the person they weren’t Officially Courting, and no one wanted to say anything. Okay! Makes sense!

It does fade out on their wedding night, which seems cheap, but I’m sure it was Beautiful And Meaningful. Still, wasn’t that bad, which is more than I can say for some things I’ve read.

In conclusion, this book was not very exciting, but they do all kiss and feel funny in their pants, so I guess that’s something. It’s not like they’re fuckin’ in Austen (aside from Maria or Kitty, of course, but we can’t speak of them in polite society). This book is far less into propriety, actually. Pretty much the Christian bits seemed utterly unnecessary to anything in the book other than letting you feel good about yourself and believe you’re reading something that’s somehow godly instead of just some generic romance (with NO RAPE! I’ll give it that!).

Rating: 1 solid meh, but thanks for the lack of assault, Maggie Brendan!