Reviews

The Naked Gentleman by Sally MacKenzie

I absolutely cannot top that title.

Miss Margaret Peterson is unwed and in her early twenties. This is quite scandalous, given the day and age in which she is living (and no, I can’t quite tell you). She rubs shoulders with the ton, but doesn’t share their idiocy. So what does she love? Horticulture. And botany. And far off adventures to gather foreign plants. In short, she doesn’t quite fit in. She doesn’t necessarily want to marry, but when she realizes she has to, well…she starts pulling eligible men into the shrubbery. Alone. At night. But, honestly, only to learn about plants and property! This doesn’t go as planned when Bennington, a plant lover himself, tries to become her lover as well. She’s rescued by dashing, handsome, horticulture enthusiast John Parker-Roth. Meg and John do not get along.

Sally MacKenzie

I think you can see where this is going…

There’s a moderately funny story behind my choice to read this one*. As I’ve shared, I am a horticultural librarian. About two years ago, I developed a fiction collection in our otherwise scientific library. The Naked Gentleman made the cut without my ever having read it (the lead characters were both horticulturists, what more can you ask for in a library like this). As of November, I’d yet to pick it up, but I wanted to read during my lunch break and I had forgotten my book at home. My coworker suggested this one, as a joke, but I’m never one to turn down a challenge. So I accepted, and I read it. And it wasn’t that bad.

I’ll be honest, the best part of romances of this nature are the naughty bits, for lack of a better term. Not for what they teach, or for inspiration, but for all the creative terms I learn. Quim or rosebud, anyone? I’ve been known to snort laugh while reading historical romances. It’s not lady like.

My coworker who read it before me gave up halfway through. She said there weren’t any interesting parts. Now I know what she meant. It’s a rather chaste romance**. Admittedly, there was one part that had me giggling. Poor Miss Peterson is rather naïve. During an evening stroll through a secluded garden, she witnesses a man put his head under a lady’s skirt. She has no idea why anyone would do that and no one is willing to explain it to her. She never does find out…

I would file this under lunch reading gone wrong, except I did take it home and finish it. And, as stated above, it wasn’t that bad. Parts were even cute. There’s a recommendation that’ll have you chasing down The Naked Gentleman, no?

What have you read when you’re in a bind? I swear some of the oddest reading gets done when you just want to read something, but there’s not a suitable book to be found…

*Really, as I reread the above, it’s not particularly funny at all.
**This is a quip only Colorado librarians will likely get. We were talking about the book, which doesn’t circulate all that often, and discussing how the book went out via interlibrary loan quite frequently. I finished reading the book, told my coworker she didn’t miss anything (as the only sex occurred a month after the couple married), and she says “no wonder the book gets sent to Colorado Springs so often”. I laughed.

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  • Kate

    I must admit that when I saw the title of your post and the accompanying pic I thought “Why is Rory reading that?!” Ha! Ha!
    Even though I don’t know the good people of Colorado Springs, your point about the inter-library loans did make me laugh (out loud).

  • http://consumedbyink.wordpress.com Naomi

    I’ll read just about anything when I’m in a bind – even really boring stuff like instructions or the backs of cereal boxes. Nothing as funny as this one sounds, though (not that I can remember, anyway). :)

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