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An Exotic Heir (Merry Men Quartet Book 1) Kindle Edition
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This is a clean romance and a really interesting read. The Calcutta setting is refreshing. The author gives us a hero who grapples with his mixed race in a way that is vulnerable and realistic. The heroine, too, encounters her own personal difficulties as a woman who wants to be more than just a prize with a generous dowry.
The way in which the author handles the theme of revenge provides some interesting twists. For the most part, I enjoyed this couple very much. They experience their own levels of emotional difficulty and manage to help each other out, even as they struggle to find their HEA together.
Cassandra Renwick is from a moderately well-statured English family living in Calcutta, India, where her father has a position of prominence. She was sent to London for a “Season” to “come out” with her cousin, but was deeply humiliated by a member of the Ton, Lord Felbridge, who thought she wasn’t deserving of him. Cassandra flees back to Calcutta in shame. This begins Cassandra’s journey into negative feelings for all men.
At Cassandra’ s welcome home party, she meets one of her father’s employees, Julian Ritchie. Julian has an English titled father (who abandoned him and his mother) and an Indian mother who raised him alone with pride and honor. These two immediately become enamored with each other, but Cassandra’s mother will have none of that!
Julian has worked for Mr. Renwick for years and is an exceptional employee. He has repeatedly been looked over for promotions because it is well-known that Mr. Renwick does not think Indians are educated, logical or worth more than servitude. Julian dearly resents this and vows revenge on the family.
The adventures Julian and Cassandra sneak away and share increase their bond, but the secrecy continues to eat at their happiness. Also, Julian has confided in an English friend about his true intentions.
When Cassandra finds out Julian’s deception, she runs back into London society and vows revenge on Julian. In the meantime, Julian has family issues and pronouncements.
The journey to these two reconnecting and working out both their differences and preconceived notions takes several interesting turns. The outcome, although expected, is all the sweeter because of the awakening of those around them. This is a lovely, sweet story.
-Reviewed by Cynthia
Just because they didn't have sex does not mean it is clean. Physical encounters that include fondling are outside the generally defined standard of "clean" for romance novels.
Plus, the so-called hero is a despicable cad. I did read the synopsis, but have seen similar plot lines where the hero vows revenge in the heat of the moment but almost immediately regrets his pettiness and moves past it, and thought this would be the same, but no. I had to roll my eyes when [SPOILER] the H takes the h to a temple with sculptures inspired by the Kama Sutra, and then when she gets upset about it, the author writes: "It was true that he was trying to make her fall in love with him, but he would never do anything to hurt her." Really???? He's using her, trying to make her fall in love with him in order to get revenge on her mother and the rest of English society that has spurned him, and "he would never do anything to hurt her"???!!! Utter nonsense.