The bad thing about reading an over-hyped book is that, if it is not as good as expected, the rating will be lower, in my case at least. But I honestly cannot see why it is so popular. The story and all the elements have been over-used in a regency romance. I could predict every next problem or drama. The only unexpected thing was Callie.
I liked her, in spite of that horrible name. Why every female author gives her heroine the most awful name is a mystery to me. Calpurnia. This may be the winner of all horrible names. Just because she has to bear that name for all her life makes her a heroine (I would know.. my real name is as awful as hers). I like that she was not childish and I pitied her in her misery. She was nice without being too nice, she was proud without being too proud and she was honest.
She is the one that makes me rate the book a bit higher than 2.
But everything was so predictable. Let's summarize:
- Spinster, old-maid, plain heroine
- Handsome, wealthy rake who does not believe in love because of some sad incident in his past life
- Heroine loves rake secretly; he never noticed her existence until some incident occurred, which makes him consider her as "different"
- Hero starts to fall in love with heroine, only that he thinks it is merely attraction, but who gets extremely jealous of any other man who gets close to her
- Both have several passionate encounters, one of which ends with the hero taking heroine's virginity. Immediately after such act, hero propose marriage because "it is the right think to do, and you may be pregnant with my child already"
- Heroine does not want to marry without love; she desperately loves him and wants him to love her back
- There is a wager that involves the heroine, hero makes a bet with another man and eventually, heroine finds it out and there is a misunderstanding and blah blah blah
- Heroine always was considered just OK in her looks (maybe even plain), but one dress makes her suddenly the most beautiful girl in the ball
- And more blah blah that for now I can't remember, but I will eventually.
So it was OK, but not good enough. To think that this book is mentioned in every single request in GR is amazing.