Due to a recent genre-shaming incident I experienced, I’ve decided to do a series of four blog posts chronicling my misadventures reading a piece of cheesy historical romance. Since the book in question is about 400 pages, each blog post will cover around 100 pages.
The offender in question is Susan Wigg’s The Maiden of Ireland. Set during the mid 1600s, the book sees a false Cavalier priest go to Ireland at the behest of Oliver Cromwell so that he can destroy a band of rebel warriors. Of course, his cooperation is obtained because Cromwell has the false priest’s young illegitimate daughter and threatens to sell her to a brothel unless he complies.
(One could make the case that certainly Cromwell was a brutal military dictator, but Wiggs turns the man into a villain of Mr. Burns-type proportions. I mean, you can practically hear the man cackling and tenting his fingers. Kind of surprised he didn’t twirl his curly, Snidely Whiplash moustache and tie the girl down to some train tracks, to be honest. )
Destroying the band of Irish rebels involves, apparently, seducing the mistress of a castle (I really, really would love to see this job description on Craigslist) who also might, maybe, possibly be the leader of the rebels. Incidentally, this supposition requires you to ignore the descriptions of a large, muscled, and presumably armoured warrior in a big fight scene, but I digress.
This just about covers the events of the first 100 pages.
As my husband pointed out last night, setting a romance novel during the time of Cromwell’s conquest of Ireland isn’t the best idea, seeing as the Irish still remember the episode less than fondly, to say the least. Systematic ethnic cleansing doesn’t exactly get the romantic juices flowing.
I feel like I shouldn’t have to say this, but if you’re going to set it in a specific (although ill-advised) time period, please, please, please get a historically accurate costume on the cover. The green dress on the cover is general Medieval, at best. You would never see that outfit in that time period. It’s not even close to being appropriate and probably about 300 years out of date, at least.
Also, not really digging how her breasts are *that* close to being exposed. Next time, let’s aim for a costume that ISN’T two seconds away from a wardrobe malfunction, mkay?