Hilaribad: The Raider by Jude Devereaux

Jude Deveraux continues her beloved Montgomery saga in America with this dramatic, passion-filled tale of rebellion and love — a breathtaking adventure to be savored all over again — or discovered for the first time!

The Raider

In colonial New England, the British are hunting a fearless, masked patriot whose daring foils them at every turn. He’s known simply as the Raider.

Jessica Taggert, a proud-tempered beauty, thrills to the Raider’s scorching midnight embrace, but despises Alexander Montgomery, the drunken town buffoon.

In truth, the cleverly disguised Montgomery lives two lives…and only his triumph over the hated Redcoats will free him, at last, to know the full pleasure of Jessica’s love.

Source: GoodReads

This is sort of a weird one to read. Honestly, if we’re going to be objective it deserves one big fat star, if even that. It’s pretty horrible with bad characterizations, bad pacing, and a feeling of the book not being completely resolved—because I would’ve liked a little more fall out after the reveal—when it ended. BUT, BUT this is one of those cases the tropey goodness of the romance ran out and made it an enjoyable crack read. The thing is, I don’t know if I’ll be able to read The Raider again but for the couple hours I read it in total exhaustion. Man, it was hilaribad and the sort of book you’re not exactly proud about reading or enjoying.  But it’s such a train wreck and you can’t help but continue reading it.

So, the main premises of this story is that the hero is like a Zorro figure in the colonial days and disguises himself as a large dandy. Of course because of this hijenks occur, especially since he’s attracted tot the hot shrew in town.

Yeah, it’s about as cringe worthy as it sounds especially since I didn’t understand how the idiotic heroine would think that the hero was the complete moron he portrayed when she touched him and could obviously feel padding not fat—but, but, yes the it’s fiction excuse comes in here.

Honestly, it was a neat set up and I do enjoy these tropes but the execution was quite hideous. I think one of Devereaux’s issues which is why I can never completely get into her books is that her characterization is so weak. Give this to another author: Judith McNaught, Lisa Kleypas, etc. and it could’ve been a “wow” book for me. Not that the book has it’s fan base, I came across it several times in recommended books BUT the characterization really was lousy.

Jessica, our heroine, is probably one of the worst female leads that I’ve read about in awhile. She is whiney, mean, and cruel, and not in a loveable or redeemable way. I think her being thrown in dirty water was suppose to be her “punishment” for basically making Alex the town’s punching bag but it didn’t work. I still hated her. And for being portrayed as being such a shrew in the beginning, her revenge against Alex when she found out about his secret identity was weak at best.

Alex—uh. I hated him less than Jessica if that’s something. Well, I did until he made his little sex ultimatum—either have sex with me or be raped. Seriously. And his whole reason for keeping up the charade after they got married was weak. You know, the book would’ve been more interesting if he revealed himself to Jessica post wedding and they had to keep up the charade. But nope, the reveal was put off so long I actually didn’t really care when it happened.

Like I said it was bad. But very entertaining, this time around. I’m actually looking for some romance novels that handle this trope better than this one. Surely, they have to be out there. However, if you want to be entertained by pure ridiculousness give The Raider a try. You’ll at least be cringing and snarking for a couple of hours.

Overall Rating: A C/C- but a very entertaining one.  If it wasn’t so entertaining though it would’ve been a total flop.

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