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Post Traumatic Stress , not romance...
on July 25, 2010
A 15 year old girl is the caretaker for her abusive, addicted father after her mother's death- when he gets very violent she hides in her room, then hears him shoot himself, finds body of Dad after he put pistol in mouth, is "cared for" by a stranger who leaves food for her after he mistakenly curses her for being a grave robber.. fast forward 5 years, she's being abused by relatives who make her pretend to be dead and give her a new name, she fights off her own cousin's attempted rape almost daily, the stranger comes back and asks her to be his whore, she says OKAY! to get out of her situation, he finds out who she really is and gets pissed, forces her to marry him, he then abuses her with intense humiliation, rejection, control, and way over the line insults - she "weeps silently" and makes beautiful sketches for him, and falls in love with this creep. Even the sex is uber creepy- he "pleasures" her but denies himself since he won't allow himself to have kids since he'd feel too guilty since his brother would no longer be the heir, and its his fault since he was born a half hour sooner..oh except for the first time when he though she was whore and got her pregnant.. and she thinks she is ugly or something because he wont even take his manly release with her body.. Then she does not realize she's pregnant from the first time for a long time and of course when he finds out he is really mad even though he did it and then he suddenly thinks its a great idea but hmm, how to convince her he doesn't hate her and despise her since that is all he's been doing, what a pickle for him... She is going insane from his insanity so she sneaks off to play cricket with some kids, he sneaks off after her and follows her and watches her from the BUSHES because news flash he is a PSYCHO ! Meanwhile she blames her self for EVERYTHING, esp. Daddy's suicide, even though his journal shows he was an opiate junkie, and our manly hero is just a hot mess all around. He also tolerates his Aunt's very nasty behavior toward her as well, as if there were just not enough abuse heaped upon teeny little anorexic Verity.
You end up hating him ,really- and you want to yell run Verity RUN. Now his twin brother seemed to get it far sooner and was much more nice, that would have been a great plot twist, leaving the nutbag all alone, while she and the bro had a bunch of cute kids to play cricket with. The formula for a good romance is humor and fun, and to not let the misunderstanding go too long, or for the fear that keeps people from realizing they LOVE each other to manifest as scary behavior. This book will wear you out. And you know Verity needs a quick divorce and some kind of inpatient rehab for her eating disorder and PTSD therapy. I had to read this on a plane, it was all I had- and next time will re- read the Skymall mag instead.