3 stars but barely made it. This one definitely won't go down as one of my favorites. TBH, I was bored for the most part but it was mainly because I didn't care for our "beautiful and brilliant" heroine. To me, she was every bit silly and clueless as her dumb family. I don't even know what James saw in her, apart from her affinity towards the Bard's work (and her beauty?). She may have wrote some good papers on the Bard but I was bored through and through with her real self.
On the contrary, I LOVED our hero, who I thought deserved a better, and dare I say, more matured woman in his life. Even as I slogged through where Ellen shows her dumb self over and over again, by being a pushover for the half of the story, I lost my patience when she turned down James's marriage proposal for the umpteenth time, reason unknown. I mean for no valid reason at all! After all that he'd done for her, she still couldn't bring herself to come to a decision about his utmost devotion to her. :o I mean, was that part even up for debate? A young, handsome, brilliant, RICH Marquess wants to marry me, who also encourages my interest in Shakespeare, Geography and other things society won't let any gentle lady take part in. Who comes running if he thinks I'm in danger and would do anything to help me and my family so he's also extremely kind. Who already said he loves me... I like him too, but not enough to decide whether I should marry him. Oh geez! From her monologue, all I can say is that she was unquestionably dumb.
It took James's decision to not pursue her any longer (he at least had some reasons, not to retaliate in any way) for Ellen's brain to start working, and finally realizing what an idiot she'd been and how unfairly she'd treated him. Too late Ellen, you've already ruined my fun. -_- *yawn*