And I have a few reasons. Most of them dealing with the fact that this book bears an unhealthy resemblance to Brighter Than the Sun by Julia Quinn. Which happens to be one of my favorite romances.
1. Hero's name in TNM is Charles. Hero in BTTS is Charles.
2. Heroine's name is Emma in THM, Ellie in BTTS.
3. Hero in both off-handedly proposes to the heroine because they want/need to get married quickly and get it out of the way.
4. Both heroes are threatened with violence shortly after meeting the heroine. In TNM, a porcelain dog is thrown, in BTTS, Ellie drops Charles.
5. Both heroines are vicars' daughters. And both have another woman worming her way into the family. Who happens to be a widow.
6. Both heroines are considered spinsters.
7. TNM has a page where the hero says 'splendid' several times. Which is another JQ book. Okay, so nothing wrong with the word, but after I was already comparing it to BTTS, it drove me nutty.
I'm sure there may be more instances for comparison, but these were enough to make me defintiely compare TNM to BTTS. And The Naked Marquis definitely suffers from that comparison. The heroine is dimwitted and stupidly naive. At least in BTTS, she was intelligent. The banter that was such a delight in Brighter Than the Sun just falls flat when done in The Naked Marquis. Emma's reaction to the other woman was incredibly stupid. At least Ellie in BTTS has an intelligent mind.
What's more, I remembered all this. I'm notorious for not remembering details in books. But well, BTTS is one of my favorites. It's one of those books that you can just pick up and flip through and read a scene or two while enjoying the fabulous writing.
And all these comparisons happened within the first 47 pages. I had to put it down after that. I just couldn't read any more. It was an insult to my intelligence and I just couldn't stand to read such a stupid knock-off.
Thank goodness I got this from the library instead of buying like I'd planned. No more Sally MacKenzie for me. The Naked Duke was just so-so, so this book on top of it has made me cross her off the list.