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Heidi Hart

By day, I'm a domestic violence prosecutor. By night, I read romance to restore my faith in love, relationships, and humanity in general. 

Info Dumps Abound

Scandal in Spring - Lisa Kleypas

I can't get over how much the Wallflower series blows compared to Kleypas's Hathaway series. I had been told if I loved the Hathaways (I did), I'd love the Wallflowers even more (I sooooo didn't). This may be the worst of the lot, since everything interesting about this story actually isn't in the book: it's either backstory that we're told only via ungraceful info-dump, or it happens in the gap between the anticlimactic climax and the formulaic epilogue.


Daisy's father, tired of waiting for her to find success on the marriage mart, gives her an ultimatum: find a husband by the end of the season or marry his protege. We learn from Daisy and her sister (via info-dump) that the protege, Matthew Swift, is an abhorrent, unattractive troll... but when he arrives on the scene, he's so gorgeous Daisy barely recognizes him. We're given no explanation for this apparent transformation, except that Swift has grown into full maturity. (Um, no, since Daisy met him seven years ago, when he was already twenty.) Plus he's witty and warm and friendly, and distinctly untroll-like, of course.


We find out early on that Swift won't go along with Daisy's Daddy's plans: he is determined not to marry because he has a Dark and Dangerous Secret. As the attraction between the two inevitably develops, Swift keeps reminding us of the Secret, but we learn nothing else until the last fifth of the novel, when a Shady Character shows up and info dumps all over the place. And then there's a Horrible Catastrophe where we think All Is Lost... for about 5 pages, until we learn (via another info dump) about the stuff that happened in the aftermath of the Catastrophe, while we readers were stuck sorting library books with a numbly stoic Daisy. Then the book abruptly ends, with the main conflict of the novel nowhere near resolved, but never fear, there's the obligatory epilogue, wherein we get another info dump reassuring us that Swift's Secret is all cleared up, amidst tedious details like how uncomfortable Daisy's wedding slippers are and how hard it is for her to see through her beaded wedding veil.


I was bored stiff with this book and wouldn't have finished it except I have a compulsion to finish a series once I've started.