The Wicked Wallflower - Maya Rodale

May is a very busy month for me in the first place, but when you add a graduation of a very important person (my step-son-- WOOT!) on top of everything else, it's unmanageable. Well, at least as far as my reading is concerned.


Anyway, once I actually rememberd that I finished this book sometime in the swirl of this weekend, there was only one thing of note worth typing about. It is this:


Sticking to commonlyagreed upon societal boundaries within historical romance is important.


Although I love a great, creative story and have even been known to adore historical romances with modern voices, I really had a hard time with this story in particular. There was inappropriate phrasing (lover boy?), and crazy situations (the Fortune Games?), but most distracting was the appalling lack of adhering to the constructs of propriety.


Staying true to the time period in regard to propriety, like having chaperones, for instance, is really very important to making a great historical romance. If we do away with those boundaries for the sake of the story then it's just a contemporary romance in petticoats. And...that's not what I set out to read.


Forcing our hero and heroine into stolen moments, 'breaking the rules' by climbing into windows, or dancing scandalously close creates dynamic tension. It's not something that can be experienced in this day and it's exciting. If there is room for creativity in historical romances, it's to creatively find NEW ways to break the rules, not disregard them all together.


So, that's my beef with this book. I really hated that Emma was allowed to travel by carriage alone with her affianced Duke, and then further able to attend an entire stint at a house party with absolutely no chaperone. Who cares if they stole a couple of kisses. No one was watching.