Monday, April 12, 2010

Bartaldi's Bride

While driving to her godmother's home, Clare picks up Paola, a 17 year old heiress who is running away from home to elope with her older boyfriend, Fabio. The story sounds very suspicious, so Clare goes to confront the man in question but instead meets Guido Bartaldi, Paola's guardian and fiancĂ©, who assumes Clare is in cahoots with Fabio and has kidnapped Paola. Eventually the misunderstanding is cleared up, and Guido employs Clare to be Paola's companion. Her job is to not only prevent Paola from running away again, but also to help prepare her for marriage to Guido.

The story had potential, but Guido's deception was just silly. I understand that there needed to be some deception initially to get Clare to agree to moving into his house. I think it's quite understandable that she didn't want anything to do with Guido or Paola after being arrested for kidnapping. However once it becomes clear that she's got the hots for Guido but doesn't want to be involved with a man planning on marrying someone else, it is surely time for Guido to 'fess up and admit he doesn't intend to marry Paola. Instead, he gets mad at Clare for thinking he is the type of man who would keep a mistress on the side. When she confronts him about his woman in Siena, he admits there is one, but refuses to explain, again getting mad that she would think him capable of keeping mistresses whilst planning to marry his teenage bride. When the truth about his lady in Siena came out, I couldn't see why he couldn't have been upfront with Clare about it from the start. Clare on the other hand, has this whole background angst story about how her first lover married a rich girl but wanted to keep her on as his mistress. For some reason she needs this to explain why she doesn't want to get involved with a man who is busy planning his marriage to someone else.

Eventually we discover that Guido pretended that he was going to marry Paola to keep her safe from gold diggers, but Paola is actually not an heiress at all because her father gambled away all the family money. Wouldn't the fact that Paola has no money be enough to keep away the gold diggers? And why was Guido courting Paola, buying her little presents and so on?

This book pretty much sums up my addiction with trashy paperback romances. The plot is tissue thin and full of holes, yet somehow I couldn't put it down.

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