A Useful Affair, by Stella Cameron

Cover ImageFinished 8-24-09, rating 2.5/5, historical romance, pub.2004

“You are extraordinary,” he said as if he hadn’t heard a word she said.  “I have never seen hair quite the color of yours.  Not red, not brown, not blond.  Amazing.”

Hattie bent over her paint box.  What would such a man see in her?  And why would he go out of his way to flatter her when he could have almost any woman he fancied.  And he knew she was married!  Unless he had an ulterior motive…Surely not.

Chapter 3

John Elliot, the Marquis of Granville, escaped from being murdered at sea and managed to also save his small cousin, although not her parents.  As the two escape to Bath John plans revenge against Bernard Leggit by having a very public affair with Bernard’s wife, Hattie.  Hattie is is 40 years younger than Bernard and was forced to marry him to save her parents and she thinks an affair with John might suit her purposes as well.  The two do not count on falling for each other or how dangerous and twisted Bernard really is.

I did not care for this historical romance even though I picked it off my shelf because I was in the mood to be swept away and off my feet.  I did not like or feel any sympathy for John or Hattie.  They were cold fish to me and I never did warm up to them.  There were a lot of characters in the book and there was quite a bit going on, but I was bored.  I almost gave up on it a hundred pages in, but I have a hard time doing that.  I will say that my reading pace picked up not because I couldn’t wait to get to the next page, but because I couldn’t wait to get to the last page. 

Now that I’ve bashed it I can say that it earned a 2.5 because the plot was decent and I liked the secondary character, Snowflake.  The insipid writing (see quote I chose) dragged the plot down but I did want to know what happened and there was one secondary plot that was a payoff in the end.