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Fairer Than She by Theresa Charles
#1

Written and situated in the 1950s.
Yasmin (age 23) lives with her father, who is the new schoolmaster in Liscombe village, her stepmother and sister (age 20).
Though Yasmin is very beautiful, she has "never yet experienced a lover's embrace". Then at a ball on New Year's Eve she meets Edward Liscombe, Lord of Liscombe House, and she knows he's the one. Dear Edward isn't convinced, however, as he despises all women, but he feels a compelling need to possess Yasmin, body and soul. Yasmin is not shy about telling him her special ability: she has visions. After that Edward keeps calling her a witch. The next day she receives flowers and is invited to take a drive across the moors in his car. That wasn't Edward's sole purpose for inviting her, apparently, as he has a meeting in a hotel with some friends. In a very obvious way, to the reader, he uses Yasmin to swap compact powders with the friend's wife. The name is Liscombe, Edward Liscombe.

At this point I threw the book in the garbage the first time I tried reading it. Then I saw some people's reviews of Theresa Charles' novels and as I'm not like Edward and do believe in second chances, today followed my second attempt. Again I sighed at the silly setup in the hotel, but reading on I got more and more angry at Edward for his abusive behavior of Yasmin and consequently frustrated at Yasmin's unwavering belief in him. She knows she will heal him through her love...
And after that I didn't want to put the book down anymore because it unintentionally was laugh out loud hilarious.

Here's an example:

Quote:"Listen, Margo! I've stood quite a lot from you in the past, and I don't really mind what you say or think about me now. But… and please believe that I’m serious… I will not permit you to insult Edward in my hearing," I retorted, looking directly at her. "If you imagine that he seduced me or raped me, or whatever you choose to call it, in your singularly vulgar mind, it’s a lie. He didn't even suggest it."
"If he had suggested it, I suppose you would have agreed?"
"I don't think so. Not because I should have had any personal objection, but because he would have brooded over it afterwards. He worries too much as it is."
They were all three staring at me as if they thought I had lost my senses.

In fact Edward and Yasmin call each other crazy and idiots all the time and I really think they're right. Edward treats Yasmin very badly, all because some woman in his past has hurt him. Well, boohoo. And Yasmin is crazy for enduring all the insults and manhandling because she knows that's not the "real" Edward. He quotes poetry all the time, so he's really a softie, you know.

Heroes in gothic romances often need to be brooding and tormented, but Theresa Charles obviously chose the wrong way to display this. I'll even go as far as saying that it's dangerous to let a "hero" behave this way. Young girls reading the book may actually believe that they can change horrid boyfriends into loving husbands.

Aside from the spy business there isn't much of a story. It's more about Yasmin's feelings for Edward. This book is neither a gothic, nor a romance, so my verdict is a 1 out of 10 (just because I've had a couple of good laughs)
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#2
I was just asking about this author the other night. What a funny coincidence! LOL
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#3
I know. You made me curious, that's why I began this book again. My review was rather negative, I'm afraid. I think if I'd read this book at age 14 or 15, I'd have liked it a lot better. I've become far more critical over the years.
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#4
I know what you mean. Smile I remember reading this years ago but don't remember much about it. If I recall, something about the psychic angle really appealed to my Mom...but from your description, it doesn't sound like the kind of plot she would like as she hated women in books who were doormats. But something obviously struck a chord with her about this writer.
I loved the old Gothics, but they seldom surprised me and I always seemed to know who the bad guy was going to be from the first chapter. Smile Formulaic but still fun.
I picked up a couple of gothics the other day at a garage sale and I'm hoping I can still enjoy them, but so many years have passed. I hope they still hold the same appeal. I found Room of Secrets by Caroline Farr and A Nightmare Legacy by Jane Corby. Smile
Wow...I think I abuse smileys. LOL Had no idea I use them so much.
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#5
How exciting to be able to go to garage sales looking for treasures! Here in The Netherlands people don't have garage sales. And as I'm in a small village far away from big cities, the opportunities for browsing through second hand bookstores are minimal. Of course I could order through ebay, but I don't want all the hassle plus run the risk of buying a clunker.
I do have some unread vintage gothics left over from my last US vacation, though!
Reviews will follow as soon as read.

Here's one back: Smile
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