rulesgentility* Sigh. No. And again, no. The Rules of Gentility is supposedly a regency romance spoof. Supposedly lots of people like it and found it entertaining. I didn’t.

The story line is familiar, as it is meant to be: a young woman of slightly inferior birth, but with a very handsome dowry has come to London to catch a husband. She’s silly, vapid, and agonizingly stupid. She has a decent heart to her, I suppose, but that hardly makes up for the rest of the reasons not to like her or at the very least, not to care about her.

Naturally, young rake of impecable family line, but second son so no money, comes along and is attracted to her vapidness. They’re thrown together, have a little dandling on the water closet, and he takes her to visit a high class whore house, along with his sister and a girl who tries to eat her weight in sea food and of course, they are welcomed and the whore ready to get it on with all four. Um, no. Young rake meets older rake. Young rake leaves the scene overwhelmed by his strange desire to put aside his rake, maybe leave it in the shed. Old rake moves in and she engages herself to him. Young rake rescues her in the nick of time. They live happily and hornily ever after. The end. (Oh and don’t forget about the ex-mistress and his wee bastard child living happily down the lane, or the night they all platonically, share a bed).

It’s too much for me–with nothing tying any of the events together.

For being as shallow as this book is, it certainly took far longer to read it than it should have. I attribute that to its being written in first person–of more than one person. I was forever going back to see, wait, what? Oh, he’s thinking again. Got it.

I’ve only read a handful of regency fics that are not an austen or austen-derivative, so I don’t know the “formula” as well as some other reviews seem to imply would increase my enjoyment of this story.

I disliked The Rules of Gentility. I realize that it’s billed as a spoof, but in my mind there is a difference between making fun of a format/model and just a very poor story. Maybe I missed something. Maybe I was in a pissy mood when I read it and therefore, less likely to be entertained. But blech. The writing isn’t bad. I realize that the whole purpose was to make the contrived plotline pop so we could all giggle at it thinking of the “serious” books this one is supposed to gently poke fun at. But the contrivance was too contrived, or maybe just way too underdeveloped. I often found myself wondering, well what happened to this or that or so and so–who never made another appearance or we never got an explanation. The whole thing felt like parts of the book were missing.

Just skip it… there’s no caveat of “but read it if you like…” Nope. Just pass. There, I’ve just saved you 4-5 hours of your life. Can I have my 4-5 hours back please?