Monday, January 17, 2011

The Ruby Ghost by June Calvin

Read For:

Pick Your Poison Reading Challenge

2011 Reading From My Shelves Project
What's In A Name 4
1000 Regency Challenge
ROR Winter Challenge
Buck Stops Here Challenge ($1 on ebay)

Dreams Are Made of This

Penelope Jones is a young woman of reduced means, eager to give her family one less mouth to feed. Seeking a position as governess for the Silverthorne family, she is put off by James Betterton--Lord Silverthorne's notoriously rakish cousin--around whom her unsullied reputation will certainly be at risk. Then she is startled to see a painting of Silverthorne Castle--the exact image that has haunted her dreams since childhood. Still, Penny cannot let some handsome, well-fed roisterer--or some eerily coincidental dream--place her future at risk....

Penny decides to accept the position, hoping to help Lady Silverthorne, who is being haunted by ghosts identical to those in Penelope's dreams. Though she doesn't believe in such things, Penny has to agree that something out of the ordinary is happening at the castle. There are ghosts indeed, and they seem to want to bestow on her a great treasure that a dangerous man intends to steal. James Betterton wants to protect Penny. But first he must convince her to forget her fears about his past reputation...and to accept his love.

My Review:
This is the first June Calvin traditional Regency I've read. This book came out in 2006-pretty much the end of the production of traditional Regency romances. What I didn't realize was that this was also Miss Calvin's last book. How do I know that? Because surprisingly, she announces that this is her last book in the front of the book.

Ok...I found that a bit odd, to say the least. Most of the time we find out a book is an author's last book from the simple matter of their not getting any more published. This "announcement" kind of struck me as more an "I quit" than anything else. 

Why do I bring this up, you might add? Because this book just seemed like a rushed, half finished, unloved book, that's why. The characters are one dimensional, there is almost no thread on continuity to the story, in fact a whole new storyline is sort of "plopped" into the book almost three fourths in! And it made no sense!

The heroine couldn't make up her mind from being Miss Forthright one minute, to completely lying to all her new friends in order to supposedly "protect" a family member the next. But overall, she was just stupid. 

But in all honesty, we could perhaps overlook a TSTL heroine if there was a fabulous hero, right? Well, sadly, he's just not it. He's a reformed rake-but the reader gets the impression that he had to reform cause he's just not smart enough to carry off rakedom anymore :(.

Not even getting into a secondary character, a "dependent Aunt" who constantly publicly insults the heroine in her guests home, and yet they never do or say anything to the Aunt to stop her behavior? That makes no sense in this time period.

Ok-that's enough time wasted on this book. Since I actually went to the trouble of finishing it, I'll give it 2.5 stars, but that's being generous.

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