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The Suitor Mass Market Paperback – 1 Jul 2002
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THE SUITOR isn't better than HOW TO KISS A HERO--it stands on its own and is really completely different from any book that is (probably) coming out this year. And I mean that in a good way.
Katherine is still self-centered, proud, arrogant, and completely insufferable when the book begins, which is what makes her so much fun! And Alain, the "suitor," is appropriately dashing and romantic, etc. I could definitely sympathize with Katherine throwing herself at him :)--I would have done it sooner than she did! The poems and gifts that he sent her were sooo romantic. Sigh!
While I did love this book, as usual, there were some things that I didn't like or thought could have been improved upon. Alain's character, for example--while Katherine is very well-drawn, we receive almost no insight into Alain's character at all! At the end of the book, I had no idea what he was all about, which was very disappointing, as he could have been interesting. But, to be fair, Hingston's style is to tell the story almost completely from the heroine's point of view, and I started this book expecting that to be the case. It was still disappointing, though.
Also, what is up with the title of this book? Alain is hardly a suitor; more like a highly inappropriate dalliance. And then, of course, there's the completely ridiculous excuse for a plot, but to be honest that didn't bother me at all. It is a romance novel, after all.
Despite these few things, I still loved THE SUITOR. It's funny, interesting, romantic, and original. If you're looking for a charming, can't-put-down read for the summer, then I would highly recommend it.
Fellow readers, the protagonists surprise us because they aren't the typical characters of Regency books. They surprise us because they're real people, and we're left to wonder, "Why aren't Regency books more diverse?" Granted, they have their curmudgeons and crazies, but they all fit an overused mold. Regardless of the era, people's spirits remain complex and brilliantly varied. In the Suitor, Ms. Hingston breaks out of the mold and celebrates the human spirit's capacity to pursue true happiness.
Katherine is the sole heir to an ancient dukedom. Devastated by her father's recent marriage to a commoner, she holds on to her pride through insufferable arrogance. Determined to shake Katherine out of her conceit, the schoolmistress recruits an irresistable man to win and break her heart. Enter Alain, a free-spirited, deceptively nonchalant ex-count from post-Revolution France. Their affair begins and ends quickly, but their romance blazes across class and space. Katherine throws out the trappings of her rank in pursuit of the romance of a lifetime.
Brilliant, brazen, and subtle, this is a book to keep.