The Italian Duke’s Wife AKA : The Dick And The Doormat.
Well… Here is how it went. I took back books to the library yesterday. I am doing research on the human brain, and how we could turn into wild animals. So far, I have not had much success in proving that theory. But.. They have a little book nook where they sell books. A quarter for paperbacks, so I am all over that. I got this little gem. I also got 25 more little gems, but that is for another time. Anyway, I liked the cover. I am a cover slut. So as my husband dove into ‘Occult Paris’, I dove into ‘The Italian Duke’s Wife’. By Penny Jordan.
First, the story.. “‘I will pay you one million pounds’, (use the Austin Powers’ Dr. Evil little finger while you say it) ‘to become my wife for one year. The marriage will not be consummated…'” (Said the man selling you oceanfront property in Arizona).
Italian Aristocrat (and castle asshole)Lorenzo,Duce di Montesavro, needs to marry,and English (Doormat)Tourist Jodie Oliver seems the ideal candidate of this convenient arrangement. (Her car broke down on his driveway, that’s pretty convenient, don’t you think? An eligible heartbroken doormat breaks down on your drive, as you race your black Ferrari down, angry because you are being forced to find a quick easy woman who will marry you so you can keep your fortune away from the money hungry hands of your uncle’s widow, who has slept with you and broke your heart in the past.) (That is a super long sentence!! ) – her vulnerability is especially appealing to Lorenzo. (yeah, this is a dream come true. A woman appears in the nick of time, and she has a gimp leg that she constantly uses as an excuse for her inability to keep a man. And well…. she has nothing really more to offer except that she doesn’t want his money. Perfect!) – But when he unleashes a desire Jodie never knew she possessed, Lorenzo,(The Italian Stallion) is soon regretting his no-consummation rule….
Just admit it Lorenzo, you had no desire to ever fulfill the no consummation rule that you put forth. The moment he found out she was a virgin he did everything he could to make her feel stupid and “untutored in the ways of love.” I am getting ahead of myself. The entire story unwraps on his driveway where the two love birds scream and yell at each other telling their life story in the process. Really? When I get into an almost fatal crash with a stranger in a Ferrari I will make sure I use this tactic to get things rolling. He goes in, and yes, asks her to marry him, right there on the spot. He sees her slumped shoulders, her sad forlorn features and says,.. this is the girl for me!
Thats the only image from the comic book of the same title I could find for this scene. I am sure there is more..
So after they yell and scream and set wedding arrangements, What? They head on back to Castle Asshole… (Castle Castillo). So anyway, the story progresses to lots of scenes where Lorenzo, our hero, spouts off about how awesome he is and how totally subservient and uneducated in the art of love, she is. Then, if she begins to get a backbone, he picks her up and carries her off to a bed to show her how dominant he is.
Here is the cover from a few years earlier.
I am usually not this picky, the problem is, I liked the book. Penny Jordan kept me reading the story. She is a damn good writer, as in keeping you interested, and It pissed me off that this one was obviously smashed together to make it less than 200 pages. She made the Italian Stallion overly rude, aggressive and plain mean. But that does not mean she couldn’t keep your eyes glued to the pages, mine were! Glued! Agh! So frustrating! I feel like I did the women of the world a disservice for reading the way he treated her. But, I could not look away! Like a bad car accident. You just keep staring!!
Here is one of my favorite quotes.There were a lot, but writing them down makes me angry.”‘A skilled lover has it in his power to create a full flowering of even the most tightly closed bud.’ (This takes place on the driveway, mind you…)
A shock of tingling awareness quivered through her belly as Jodie absorbed the meaning of his astoundingly arrogant statement.
‘Not that many young women are tightly closed buds in this day and age’. Lorenzo added sardonically, as he watched the colour come and go in the pale face that was so shadowed with tiredness.
‘Modern women have claimed the right to their own sexuality,’ Jodie responded fiercely. ‘They do not-‘
‘It doesn’t sound to me as though you have been very effective in claiming yours,’ Lorenzo told her derisively. ‘In fact,if I were to make an assessment of it, I would guess that your experience is extremely limited–otherwise you would not have lost your man to another woman.'”
Again… That is in the driveway. He just met the poor doormat!
So the story goes on….in the driveway as you learn all about the hows and whys of both of their lives… in the driveway….
Does he start to become nicer? A little towards the end of the book when he finally decides she is not a whore like all women are, and that he will let her have the privilege to father his children. Gosh.. Thanks you wonderful wonderful man!
I didn’t see where he grew up much during the story. Penny tried to redeem him by telling us that he helps poor children with programs, gives prosthetic legs out like candy, and that he gives money to lots of charities. That is why Jodie decides he is an okay guy. Neither of these two seem interesting. Lorenzo will be bored to death with Jodie before the months end unless it becomes a fifty shades thing,and then I give it a month and a half before he runs out and gets himself a mistress, while Jodie learns the art of flower arranging. Jodie will probably drown in a puddle of her own self loathing tears in less than a year, at the rate she is going. Hey, maybe he deserves her.
To put a cap on this review, Penny… I hope you keep writing. I am sure that Jodie was much more interesting before Harlequin cut your story into shards. ( I am guessing here). I still loved to hate this one. But… Lorenzo, you are still a dick.
I have been told that Penny Jordan passed away in 2011. Thank you so much,Vml Wong for letting me know the sad news.
Here is the Manga version cover.