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Intriguing premise; unfortunate resolution
on February 16, 2013
The ending was beyond disappointing, and I could see no way to discuss the reason without revealing what happened. Don't read the final two paragraphs if you don't want to know how the "happily-ever-after" comes to be.
Perhaps this wasn't the best introduction to the author's work. I wanted to lose myself in the story, which left the starting gate in an admirable rush with an intriguing premise, but I couldn't. Told from an omniscient perspective that occasionally dips into deep point of view for almost every character in the book, the writing style is a tad distracting. A couple of plot threads seemed contrived (Heroine kidnapped twice by the same villain? Really?) and one of the Big Questions planted at the very beginning of the story was barely answered, and then off-stage. While the plot didn't seem cliched, it offered few surprises.
HERE COMES THE SPOILER.
Not only did the final few scenes ask an important question that wasn't answered, but in my mind it's impossible to call satisfying or "happily ever after" an ending in which, during the final few pages, the heroine drugs the hero and sneaks in a preacher to marry them while the hero is not in control of his faculties. (The author goes to great lengths to let readers know the hero is unable to object.) That sort of contrivance might work early in a story, but for a romance novel to end on that note is unfortunate. If the hero pulled the same trick, his actions would be reprehensible. The tactic is no more palatable when employed by the heroine.
The author could have gone in many other directions, but instead she chose a consummation scene that, because the hero is drugged into acquiescense, amounts to rape. After Hero recovers his faculties, his final words to Heroine are spoken in anger. Her flippant response, while cute, falls far short of undoing the damage.