Historical Romance

Hero of My Heart book cover
Megan Frampton
Random House Publishing Group: Loveswept


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In Megan Frampton's Hero of My Heart, we find ourselves in a rustic tavern where Mary Smith's virginity is being auctioned off by her half-brother. The hero who purchases her is a totally wasted Alasdair Thornham, Marquess of Datchworth. Yes our hero is a full time Marquess, and a part-time opium addict. The way he sees it, he can rescue and marry the Vicar's daughter (that's Mary), set her up in London, then go off and kill himself because he's got those secrets that make him anesthetize himself, and he's clinically depressed, and an opium addict to boot. Mary's been drugged, but once she's aware of what's going on, she and Alasdair come to an understanding. They come to a platonic understanding, until they start doing it like bunnies. Seriously, sex on every other page. Mary is anachronistically sexually aggressive having had a crash course taught by her recently married friend. Not that Alasdair objects. Ironically, her aggression flips the 'traditional' model of the purchased virgin. If you don't read historical romance, you might not know that this is a subgenre that always has a rapist with a heart of gold. Don't believe me? Go read Kathleen E. Woodiwiss's original bodice-ripper that started the whole explicit romance craze: Flame and the Flower. Not that Alasdair is a rapist.

This road trip to Scotland and back to London would qualify as a Griswald vacation, given all the problems that come up. There's her brother and his cousin, and his cousin's Opiate-pushing doctor, plus a highwayman, grouchy innkeepers, a disappearing coach driver, and murder and mayhem and blackmail and theft. Everyone has a public persona and a secret agenda. Even the vicar died living a lie. Did I mention sex? THere's also the sex, since opium eater Alasdair decides he's going to replace his addiction to opium with an addiction to Mary.

The book started off with a certain traditional historical romance feel, but something about it loses steam for me. Is it because of character inconsistency or is it something else? I am not certain. The book had issues. I don't think these were big issues, but they exist:holes in the plot, and underdeveloped characters, antagonists who do not present much of a conflict and are easily overcome. I was ready to be emotionally invested in the characters, but they just didn't suck me in. (Biting my tongue against the obvious joke here. Mary Smith, behave yourself.) I do believe the story was a little green, and could have used more development. But if you're a forgiving reader, and like a historical with plenty of explicit, thorough, well-choreographed sex, you will probably give this book a high rating.