I was actually telling my friend that I felt like I lost my mean reviewer edge because I have just been four- and five-starring everything in sight. What's wrong with me? I wondered. What if I just now love ALL THE BOOKS? What if I've become one of those pod people who just five star everything like they've never known despair? And then this book came along and I was like OH THANK GOD I'M STILL AN ASSHOLE.
Victoria Holt was actually my first foray into gothic romance and when I like her books, I really like her books. But also, all of her heroines are the same heroines and they're all weirdly prudish and uptight. Which fits the times, I guess-- but I like heroines with a little more personality. Prudish and uptight can be fun if the heroine has some bite to her. Which is why I tend to gravitate more towards Mary Stewart and Phyllis A. Whitney now when I want to go old skool. I just like their heroines-- and settings-- better. Whitney's are particularly fun because she has books set in places like Japan or the Virgin Islands because she's actually been to those places.
BRIDE OF PENDORRIC is a REBECCA knockoff. I don't particularly mind books that are derivative as long as they're good. While I don't think this is a bad book, I do think it's a boring one. The heroine is very milquetoast, there's no chemistry between her and the hero, and she reacts to things the way an alien might react to things if they were briefly shown a YouTube video on Humaning 101 before being laced into a petticoat and plopped down to Earth. I think I'll give this one a miss.
2 out of 5 stars