Pomp(ous) and Circumstance

Wow.  Just wow.  I rated Jude Deveraux's The Raider as receiving three out of five stars on Goodreads, but I was being generous.  I didn't care for this book at all.  I didn't like the lead male character and didn't enjoy the plot.  So not good.  Despite being part of the Montgomery series, which I've enjoyed, this one takes place in America instead of the UK.  I think I'll stick with the British ones from now on.

Raider is set in Colonial New England and focuses on the homecoming and re-immersion of Alexander Montgomery into the town he grew up in.  When he arrives he is recovering from a gunshot wound and is dressed up in a fat suit and garish clothes.  This sets tongues wagging about him being fat, lazy, and a perpetual drunk.  The image is only perpetuated by Jessica Taggert, the most beautiful, unattainable, and tomboyish girl in the entire town.  Also during this time, the British have essentially taken over the town and are wreaking havoc on the citizens:  confiscating goods, commandeering ships, putting people in jail for treason.  Alex decides to do something about it an takes on the persona of a masked raider, hence the title.  Of course everyone loves the Raider and despises Alex; none more so than Jessica Taggert...at first.  Soon Alex and Jessica become friends and much more.  Needless to say their friendship is riddled with lies and manipulations that eventually worm their way into the open.
It sounds promising, right?  Alas.  I liked Jessica's character.  She was plucky, courageous, smart, and independent.  I didn't like Alex's character.  He was whinny (even when he was the Raider), manipulative, kind of inept, and not very convincing as either himself or the Raider.  That's pretty bad.  In addition, the struggles with the townspeople and the rest of the Montgomery family were not fleshed out and the situation with the British was mediocre at best.  Overall...I should go back and change my rating on Goodreads...

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