Title: Corbin's Fancy
Author: Linda Lael Miller
Genre: Historical Romance
# of Pages: 311
"When a traveling carnival left Fancy Jordan stranded in the rugged Washington Territory, she thought her luck had run out. Alone, penniless, she welcomed a most intriguing offer--to live in the home of Jeff Corbin's brother, and coax the wounded, withdrawn Jeff back to health and happiness.
But a villainous attack on his ship had hurt only his body--a far deeper sorrow tortured him, heart and soul. For as the beautiful gamine fell deeply in love with this handsome, brooding man, she faced a phantom rival...one that only the most splendid, most hearfelt passion could conquer."
Review: I'm really glad this was not the first Linda Lael Miller book I read. It would have put me off her books forever. Usually, I find her books engaging and well written, with good character and relationship development. Not so with this one. Though it may have been well written, the characters were not at all fleshed out. And their relationship definitely had issues. It was altogether too unrealistic. I know it's fiction, but there has to be a bit of realism to fiction, too. It has to be just a bit believable...
The main female character, Fancy Jordan, is fired from the traveling circus she was with and is almost immediately offered a job by Keith Corbin, a pastor. She is to be a companion to his brother, Jeff, who suffered burns when his ship was set on fire. Keith wants Fancy to draw Jeff out of the inner world he has hidden himself in. Within two days, it seems she's successful. Jeff goes outside for the first time in a long time, picking a fight with his brother and calling Fancy a slut. The brothers don't end up fighting, as Keith will be late for church. Instead, Fancy and Jeff have sex. And then Fancy runs away. Fancy is very insecure about herself and prone to jealousy, stemming from her insecurities and lack of self confidence. The story is basically Fancy and Jeff arguing, making up, having sex, and then doing it all over again. They did not get to know each other at all, even after they got married. They each claimed to love the other, but all they really seemed to have going was sex. Also, the antagonist of the story, Temple Royce, whom Fancy has been running from and who is Jeff's enemy, is dealt with in an unsatisfying way. After all the times Temple is mentioned and seen in the story, the ending was very anti-climatic. It seemed like Temple was there just so there could be a villainous character in the never. In the end, it seems the author got tired of writing and just wanted it to be over with.
So, to sum it up: I found problems with the characters and the ending. Plus, the plot wasn't very original.