Review for Say You Love Me, by Johanna Lindsey:
Hoo-eee! Talk about one smooth read of romance novel. Say You Love Me is about Kelsey Langton, an orphaned aristocrat who sells herself as a mistress to the highest bidder in order to save her family from ruin. Derek Malory buys her, more as an act of chivalry than anything else, but is quite happy to exert his master-ly rights, too. The two get on like ham and eggs--with plenty of hot sauce--and their fall into love is a natural and entertaining progression.
Yes, Derek and Kelsey are well-matched, and though I adored them both, they were too perfect. Kelsey is innocent and noble, willing to sacrifice her future for her family. She's like a man's wet dream, the perfect mistress--compliant and uncomplaining, and totally hot. Likewise, Derek is chivalrous and responsible, and though the two are a lot of fun together, I found myself almost jealous of their perfection, instead of cheering for their happiness.
The convenient ending only furthered this sentiment--surprise revelations resolve all obstacles to marriage, and none of it seemed too contrived. Those privileged, lucky brats.
There were other flaws--Lindsey digs a deep hole with a truly monstrous villain, and a story of victims so horribly violated, that she can't adequately resolve the plot within the confines of a romance novel. It was too disturbing for such a light read.
There was also too much of the other Malorys. Fine, they're a great cast of characters, very funny, and interesting. But she spends so much time reminiscing about their stories (written in previous books) and showing off the happy couples, that I flipped through a lot of pages. I neither knew nor care about those people.
So even though the book was a breeze and a joy to read, and though the romance was perfectly paced and the couple perfectly paired, I give this book only a B. But despite its serious flaws, I highly recommend it.
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