Friday, March 18, 2011

I'd Rather Hang Out with the Wallflowers

Because You’re Mine
By Lisa Kleypas

I’ve always been a fan of Lisa Kleypas’ historical romances, especially the Wallflowers Series. I’ve also always liked any story set in a theater, so I thought that Because You’re Mine would be right up my alley, as it is one of the books Kleypas set in the Capitol Theatre. And I liked it, but I didn’t love it.

The basic premise is this: Lady Madeline Matthews is being forced into marriage with a much older man who can most politely be described as a boor. He has no interest in Madeline as a person, and a great deal of interest in a wife who will be seen, not heard, and produce children regularly. Madeline’s parents are less than sympathetic, so she decides to run away from boarding school and find some obliging man to ruin her. The object of her plan is Mr. Logan Scott, the most well know actor in England. Logan is immensely talented and incredibly handsome, and since absolutely everyone knows what depraved creatures actors are, she figures getting him to have his way with her will be simple.

Well, not so much. Madeline succeeds in getting employment at the theater and in catching Logan’s eye, but he has standards, and they do not involve seducing innocent young ladies. So Madeline continues to work as secretary to Logan and his partner and to just generally be an all around Girl Scout, all the while trying to move forward with her plan. The two develop real feelings for one another, but since Logan has some trust issues due to a previous relationship, and Madeline does not want to reveal her true feelings, there is a great deal of misunderstanding and plain old bad behavior on both sides. This leads to quite a few plot twists before the happily-ever-after, and some of them work better than others.

Overall, I liked this well enough to finish it. The premise was fun, the secondary characters quite interesting, and the hero had good reason to be tortured, angry, and untrusting. I also sympathized with Madeline. However, both Madeline and Logan behaved so childishly at times that I really just wanted to slap them. Madeline went the martyr route, while Logan played the self-destructive, self-pitying drunkard. Spare me. If you really like Kleypas and are just looking for a quick read, this is fine, but if you haven’t read the Wallflowers quartet, start there.


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