Friday, September 29, 2017

The Phantom Lover by Ruby M Ayres

Things have been super busy around here lately--I've been working hard on not one but two big writing projects, which I hope to share good news about shortly! Given this, I decided to leave Richard III till I had the time and energy to savour him properly.

Instead, I'm just going to cheat a bit and repost a review from Goodreads of a delightfully silly vintage romance novel I read a couple of months back. Enjoy!

The Phantom LoverThe Phantom Lover by Ruby M. Ayres
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Oh good HEAVENS.

I always meant to try some Ruby M Ayres, because she is always cited as an inspiration for PG Wodehouse's Rosie M Banks, and the inspired drivel produced by Rosie M always seemed incredibly entertaining. I'm happy to tell you that this book was every bit as daft as I could have hoped, although it might have been improved by a shipwreck and a jewel robbery. It didn't have those, but it did have the most wonderfully idiotic hero you've ever met.

His name is Micky. He falls for the heroine, a shrinking violet named Esther, at first sight as she is heading off to make a hole in the river after being jilted by his caddish friend Raymond. Having restored Esther to a state of non-suicidal life, Micky returns home to find Rotten Raymond heading off to Paris and asking him to deliver one last letter to Esther.

Despite being a preux chevalier, Micky can't resist opening and reading the letter, which turns out to be a nasty heartless missive. Concerned about Esther's mental health, Micky substitutes a letter of his own - a romantic love letter signed YOURS EVER, ROTTEN RAYMOND.

He then proceeds to thoroughly Cyrano himself.

Does it occur to Micky that sooner or later Esther has got to find out that Rascally Raymond isn't sending her letters and pound notes and fur coats? No, dear readers, it does not! When Worthless Waymond marries a wealthy widow and it becomes the talk of the town, Micky ships Esther off to the country so she won't find out.

She does.

She runs off to Paris to confront Ruthless Raymond, and Micky trails along with her so that he can tell her he actually wrote the letters, at which she is justly miffed.

So of course when they all wind up back in London as thoroughly sundered hearts, Ratfaced Raymond tells everyone that Micky was seen in Paris with Miss So-and-So, hem-hem.

To which Micky, who I told you is an idiot, flies into a chivalrous rage and informs everyone within earshot that he and Esther have been married for weeks.

At which point I may have laughed myself sick.

Will Esther get Micky's last love letter in time to patch things up, or will he succeed in proposing to Miss Disposable Third Party and dooming himself to permanent unhappiness? Silly question!

View all my Goodreads reviews!

You can find The Phantom Lover on Project Gutenberg, if you're brave.

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