There are lots of reasons why we love men. And there are lots of reasons that sometimes we don’t. Johanna Lindsey’s new book is a virtual litany of the latter.
The Pursuit features page after page of men fighting men, men making snap judgments, men delivering ultimatums, men fighting men, men stoically making incredibly stupid decisions without considering the emotional consequences to others, men fighting men, and men smugly certain that they – and only they – know best, you foolish woman.
In fact, simply by saying that virtually all conflicts are resolved – and caused – by men hitting each other again and again and again, you’ve got a pretty decent plot summary of this book. But, since it is a Lindsey, some love stuff happens, too. Simplistic love stuff – but love stuff it is.
Melissa, the 18-year old daughter of Kimberly and Lachlan MacGregor (Love Me Forever), finds locating a proper suitor a difficult proposition with 16 (yes, 16) uncles there to vet each and every one. Add in the fact that she lives in the remote Scottish Highlands, and her prospects look even dimmer. Clearly, the solution is a London season.
Lincoln Ross, Viscount Cambury, is a young man with an emotionally complicated past, visiting those same remote Highlands. Born in the area, he was sent away by his mother at the age of 10 to live with his uncle in England. Why was he sent away, you ask? Because of an incredibly stupid childhood conflict with those same 16 loutish, annoying, know-it-all uncles.
Of course, Melissa and Lincoln fall in love at first glance. But Lincoln doesn’t know that Melissa is, in fact, the niece of his mortal enemies, and Melissa doesn’t know anything at all about said conflict. With Melissa’s father Lachlan also in ignorance, he gives Lincoln permission (though he doesn’t tell Melissa) to marry his only daughter.
Then, it’s off to London where Lincoln and Melissa happily connect. All is well until those pesky uncles learn just whom Melissa loves. Rocket scientists that that they are, they’re convinced that because Lincoln displayed a temper at age 12 he can’t be trusted with their beloved niece.
Abductions, noble sacrifices, bedside vigils, misunderstandings – hey, it’s all here. And, lest you think those wacky uncles are the only men behaving badly, Lincoln also engages in some really stupid, pointless behavior. But, in Lincoln’s case, we are at least given some emotional context for his actions, though it’s all resolved far too easily in the book’s final pages.
Poor Melissa is an ingénue in the truest sense – naïve, trusting, and far too accustomed to catering to domineering men. Fortunately, though, she does display a bit of backbone in standing up to her family in defense of Lincoln.
Suitable (possibly) for the young adult market – but, frankly, any even remotely mature 14-year-old would find it simplistic – The Pursuit is the first Lindsey I’ve read in years. With this level of disappointment, it will very likely be a few more years before I pick one up again.