1 star

Historical Romance Review: Charlotte by Amanda Douglass

Charlotte, Tower & Leisure Sales Co., 1978, cover artist unknown

From the back of the book:

Lovely young Charlotte Bourne was the apple of her father’s eyes and a belle of New York society. The onset of the War Between the States introduced her to young Liam Brady, whom her dissolute brother Richard had hired to serve as his substitute in the Union Army. Liam and Charlotte fall deeply in love, but before they could marry, Charlotte had to come to terms with her turbulent feelings for the two other men in her life. The raging Civil War echoed the conflict in Charlotte’s heart…

1 star

Rating: 1 out of 5.

Charlotte is…

It’s…

Well, it’s a book.

The best thing about this circa 1980 mini-bodice ripper is the Newport cigarettes ad in the middle of it:

 photo Newport ad.jpg

Charlotte takes place during the Civil War in New York City beginning 1863 or 1864 (both dates are given). For a historical book, it’s historical, but for a romance, the romance is lacking.

This book is only 239 pages long, but the hero doesn’t make an entrance until page 144. And he is Missing-In-Action for most of it. The back blurb tells you the entire plot of this dreck.

The first 100 pages or so mainly focus on the heroine’s brother, Richard, a debauched reprobate who parties for days on alcohol and opium binges, sleeps with a married actress, has a threesome with a teenaged bargirl and her 33-year-old mother, participates in the Draft Riots by beating up cops and burning down an orphanage for young black children and deflowers the new virgin maid. He’s an asshole, and the only point I kept reading was to relish his eventual comeuppance. Which he got, but it wasn’t horrible enough.

As for romance? I wasn’t kidding when I said there was none.

Forget about this one. I already have.

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