Let’s be honest: It’s obvious this book was written and published JUST SO I COULD MAKE FUN OF IT.
- Title: Loving Lady Marcia
- Author: Kieran Kramer
- Series: House of Brady, Book 1
- Genre(s): Historical (Regency – in theory, anyway)
- Publisher: St. Martin’s Press, August 2012
- Source: Provided by the publisher via NetGalley ($7.99 ebook)
- Length: 368 pages
- Trope(s): Instalove, Ruined by a Rake, Reunited, Mistorical
- Quick blurb: “Overnight, I went from debutante to bluestocking.”
- Quick review: It’s pretty much what you’d expect from the title and blurb.
- Grade: DNF
Being in love, she decided, was not for the fainthearted.
I made it to about 30 percent. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it might be (e.g., Lady Alexandra Bad), but it wasn’t good.
All the cover quotes for Kieran Kramer’s recent debut series featured a LOT of synonyms for fluff: Delectable. Frothy. Confection. Better than dessert. All those same words can easily be applied to this first installment in the House of Brady series.
Yeah, yeah, yeah – I KNOW it’s supposed to be goofy and irreverent. But even a “confection” has to have some substance – the whipped cream is supposed to be a topping, not the main ingredient. The Tudor era offers an even better analogy — Henry VIII and his minions were extremely fond of intricate marzipan sculptures called “subtleties.”
Think of it this way:
Too many parodies and spoofs and homages and “inspired bys” rely on “SEE WHAT I DID THERE? HAHAHA!” neon signs and abandon the need for good storytelling. With Loving Lady Marcia, whatever attempt the author made at plotting and characterization is completely stifled by the painfully placed and phrased pop culture references.
And sometimes they’re even info-dumped with gratuitous Regency name-dropping for extra impressiveness!
A servant brought in a lovely tea tray, and her mother began the old, comforting ritual of pouring tea – Daddy’s favorite Irish blend – chatting all the while about Marcia’s siblings. Gregory enjoyed being a man-about-town but also worked with Daddy several days a week on house designs. Peter fancied himself a Corinthian and loitered around Tattersall’s and Gentleman Jackson’s with his friends. Janice had made her debut and presentation at Court several weeks before, and the whole household was at sixes and sevens attempting to keep up with all her gentleman callers; Robert was at home because he was between halves at Eton, and Cynthia was mad for Greek mythology and had asked Mama to call her Andromeda.
Yes, Lady Marcia calls her father “Daddy.” But it’s OK, because “she pronounced it the Gaelic way, Doddy.” But it’s NOT OK, because it’s distracting and extremely annoying. Just because you CAN doesn’t mean you SHOULD.
Daddy told them how lovely his three girls were – almost as lovely as their mother….
ALSO: The family name of the House of Brady is Sherwood.
So you’ve obviously been waiting ever so patiently to learn if there’s a “Marcia, Marcia, Marcia!” in there somewhere, right? Almost, but not quite:
Marcia’s cheeks burned. “No one was in awe of me.”
“Really? Everyone was ‘Marcia, this. Marcia, that.’ And you didn’t discourage them.”
The exchange wasn’t even with Jan/Janice – it was dialogue between our heroine and her jealous former schoolmate.
Ready for a final bite of saccharine sweetness before the closing credits? No? Too bad, so sad. Suck it up, because here it comes:
But they shared a love for their family and a zest for life that bonded them through thick and thin.
Oh, BARF. And for crying out loud, don’t TELL me. SHOW me. Ugh.