Reading Backwards

Book reviews by your favorite Git.

The Barefoot Princess

with 2 comments

Christina Dodd
I got mine at the drug store, but you can try
Rating: Hmm
Read: Feb 2006

Ok, so. Here’s how my week has been. Couldn’t take Claritin cuz I have an allergist appointment later. Thought that was why I was stuffy on Tuesday. Turned into a horrific, raging cold thing on Wednesday. So I went to the drug store on 13th for Day/NyQuil, Gatorade, and… reading material. I have masses of books at home that need reading, but I was stuck in NYC with a big gap of misery-strewn hours staring me in the face and nothing but Kafka in my bag. Kafka sucks, so I threw down the $8 (EIGHT DOLLARS?! I spent EIGHT DOLLARS on a PAPERBACK-!? Under 400pgs?! I spent less on books DOUBLE that size!!!) to help allieve the pain.

Good save, but really not worth, yanno, EIGHT FRIKKIN’ DOLLARS. Sorry, I’m finally nearly well and it just kicked in. EIGHT DOLLARS. YEESH!

Anyway. We have here a standard example of The (Modern) Romance Novel. Not a campy bodice ripper, one that’s semi-melded with the chick flick ideal of an independent heroine. It works part of the time.

From the back cover:

Once upon a time…in a kingdom high in the Pyrenees, three young princesses were forced to flee the chaos in their land — vanishing without a trace and lost to their people…until the day a courageous prince can bring each princess home.

Obviously, it’s a trilogy. I happened to come in midway. Princess Amy (Amy-?) or Beaumontagne (Wait, where?) finds herself alone in England in 1810 (Wha-?). Right there I’m having a bit of a problem–Amy in 1810? PRINCESS Amy? Sorry, I’ll stop squabbling now.

She is taken in by a kindly old lady who lives under the whatnot of the Marquess of Northcliff. No, not a woman–the MARQUESS. The English are silly that way. He, however, has sorely neglected his duties as lordling and has allowed the countryside to lapse into disrepair. Thus, our sprightly Miss Amy concocts a cunning plan to kidnap him and demand ransom that will then be used to refurbish the village. This involves poison and a manacle in the lady’s cellar. From his own country home. Touche.

He’s an angry jackass with a miserable past, she’s a sulky virgin with an even more difficult past; naturally they piss each other off no end and want to go at it like bunnies every waking moment for the rest of their lives. Not too excited about that. It’s rather standard.

There were quite a lot of contradictions in terms of characters, and a few logistically (Wait–he sent off for the ring WHEN? Why was the uncle not taxing people to starvation? If he wasn’t then why couldn’t they fix their own damn cottages?) but my rhinovirus-addled mind was able to suspend all that. For a few days, anyway.

It was written rather well, I will admit. Apparently Ms. Dodd has over a dozen-ish books to her credit, so she’s clearly quite good at this whole novel thing. Definately worth a look. Unfortunately, for a historical writer… Who in the 1810s referred to a person as a GUY!? As in,

The guy pretended to be barely conscious. …
“Now-who sent you?”
“I don’t know,” the guy rasped.
“I swear-” Jermyn twisted the scarf. The guy struggled frantically, kicking, gagging and choking.

Nevermind Jermyn’s disturbing violence in this scene (or the fact that he’s named Jermyn–by an Italian mother, note)… they called the dude a GUY. Multiple times! That seems… out of place to me.

I also took particular note of both times Dodd used the phrase “the world whirled around” whoever. The world whirled, did it? Go on, try saying it outloud. It sounds funny. World Whirled. You really can’t expect to get away with a phrase like that, especially not twice.

Unfortunately, I do find myself wanting to read the next one, about Amy’s older sister, the crown princess. HER prince shows up in this to demand information about her, and I must say, he sounds appealing. So does her other older sister’s beau (she had the first book in the series)… a Scottish nobleman. Yum. Alas, this book was published only THIS MONTH. So I’ll have to hope that I eventually remember to look in a year or so if/when the third comes out. NO word on that. Bugger.

Oh yes, and I was most displeased that her bare feet only made ONE appearance, shortly after a bare thigh. Misleading bloody titles!

That said, I think I’m PMSing. My apologies.

Thank you to Amazon for you lovely little “Search In Book” feature. It has saved my ass several times now with these reviews AND when writing essays…


Written by Shen

February 27, 2006 at 6:45 pm

2 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. […] WOT THE FAWK, man-! She NEVER WEARS SCARLET! This is not unlike the fiasco of The Barefoot Princess. Tell me, Avon, do you think we’re stupid? What she wears, and the colors of which, are […]

  2. […] WOT THE FAWK, man-! She NEVER WEARS SCARLET! This is not unlike the fiasco of The Barefoot Princess. Tell me, Avon, do you think we’re stupid? What she wears, and the colors of which, are […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: