Top critical review
13 people found this helpful
Really wanted to like it but the heroine was just too weak, 2.5 stars
on February 28, 2010
In the past I have hugely enjoyed Brenda Joyce's de Warenne novels. This family had brave heroes and heroines and their mates were interesting and likeable. This author's latest novel, An Impossible Attraction, does not meet these standards, instead the heroine is weak and the hero too controlling.
Heroine Alexandra Bolton is a Victorian Cinderella, totally duty bound to her father and two sisters after the death of her mother. To her credit her sisters are kind hearted but her father is a wastrel and a drunk but Alexandra is forgiving of his misdeeds and worse an enabler, making excuses for his actions.
She is set to marry an older gentlemen, hand picked by her father but her plans are interrupted by hero Stephen Mowbray, the Duke of Clarewood, who assists her at a ball when her father proceeds to get drunk. She is attracted to the handsome Duke immediately.
Stephen pursues Alexandra. She is flattered but determined to marry her older gentleman but when vicious gossip causes problems for her she turns to Stephen who is willing to make her his mistress but not his wife. Stephen is duty bound to his estate and in many ways to the ghost of his hard hearted father. I had a difficult time warming up to Stephen as he was incredibly stubborn and arrogant.
Alexandra went through phases in this novel. She began this story as a martyr for her family, then became independent (I liked this part of her story best, when she tried to make it on her own) then back to being an uncertain irrational woman. Several times she shakes and trembles around the hero and this is not in passion but in terrible anxiety. She is almost immobilized with fear around him and cannot answer simple questions.
What I did like in this story was the blooming romance between Stephen's mother and a rough rancher from California. This tale was sweet and the growing feelings between these characters were very nicely written. Theirs was a romance with maturity (and not just because they were an older couple) and respect.
Stephen and Alexandra's romance was rather on the boring side. Alexandra was too frightened of her feelings for Stephen and he seemed distant from Alexandra for most of the novel. I never understood why he liked her and why she was championed so heartily by his family.