- File Size: 674 KB
- Print Length: 211 pages
- Publisher: Carina Press (March 25, 2013)
- Publication Date: March 25, 2013
- Sold by: Harlequin Digital Sales Corp.
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00APEYANY
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Not Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,037,326 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
Harlequin Digital Sales Corp.
Price set by seller.
Lord of Secrets Kindle Edition
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|Length: 211 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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I've read the other critical reviews of this book, and while each highlight a piece of what I found so frustrating, in the end I think they give this book too much credit. (Except a different 2 star review, which completely missed the point of the hero's big secret and said some really harmful things about it.)
I forgot how much I hate the "Big Secret" trope, so part of this is on me for bothering to pick up the book in the first place. This book took it to the extreme: the heroine doesn't learn of the secret until the 85% mark. So the main characters spend most of the book attending to superficial concerns, not advancing either the plot or their character arcs. In one infuriating scene around the 30% mark, the hero is almost ready to confess what he sees as his big sin, but the heroine blithely dismisses the conversation and doesn't take his fears seriously. Then she spends the rest of the book wondering what's wrong with her marriage and never seeing the trauma clearly eating up her husband from the inside.
Again, content warning: child abuse and suicide.
Most readers are going to pick up how serious the hero's trauma is from the first hint of foreshadowing. I spent the whole time reading with a knot in my gut. Of course it's child sexual abuse. Of course it's an older woman preying on a boy grieving his father who died by suicide. In fact, just as the hero is finally opening up to his wife, in a conversation she botches again by leaving the room, the hero actually attempts suicide himself. Remember, this is all happening in the last 10% of the book. We never get to see the hero go through any kind of healing process. He's spent his whole life up to this point blaming himself, and hasn't even started to see his past clearly. Because the book abruptly ends after the revealing of the secret and the consummation of their marriage, the book implies that all it will take to heal the hero is the love (or the vagina) of a good woman. That's not remotely realistic or satisfying.
This is the reason why I feel this author does her readers and her characters a disservice. This kind of trauma is too big to be trivialized as some plot device or puzzle to be solved. I hate it when authors write major trauma into their characters' backstories without bothering to engage with the impact of that trauma and all the work people need to do to heal and recover their mental health.
So he has a big, ugly, unforgivable secret that has colored all his perceptions of his past and prevents him from making her his wife in truth. She feels very much at sea in her new role and his rejection isn't helping matters.
His position remains adamant, creating a constant refrain in his mind of 'I am depraved and unworthy, so off to bed you go alone, dear.' It was 'I can't tell her, she'll hate me,' for much of the story. (After just a few iterations, I'd have gotten his point.) All during this time, she tries to understand him but her own insecurities get in the way. Still, she has a knack, well established, for caring for others, for gleaning their needs and for patience with the recalcitrant, so she is balm to his old wounds. When it finally comes, the big resolution felt sketchy given how thoroughly ingrained were his habits of thought. In effect, all was resolved after a long-overdue conversation, in which she asks him yet again, 'Is it me, or what?' When he reveals his secret to her, throwing it in her face like a challenge, she gently makes some very smart, rational observations, after which it's suddenly 'Oh. Maybe I'm not such a louse after all.'
His past was heartrending when at last it came to light, but his flat, vague and constant refusals up till then wore on me without making me feel more suspense or sympathy or whatever I was supposed to feel. A traumatic past isn't healed overnight or by a few cogent comments that make one think differently, but that's how this came across to me. Despite this abruptness, how they meet and end up married, how she wins his trust and he her acceptance is truly romantic and very well written.
David Linnsey the Marquess of Deal was on the ship but aloof to everyone. He did help her after her father's death. He felt compelled to marry her as her life would not be a good one after her father's death.
They marry and she realizes he will not consummate the marriage .She thought that she was unattractive to him . He thought he was not good enough for her as he had a shocking secret. The story finally came to a climax when she finally discovers all his secrets. The author did a wonderful writing job of this book. I love second chance and marriage of convenience stories. I will read the author again
Top international reviews
He has a believable love of language that shines through in the anecdotes and factoids he shares with the heroine. He is stiff, unsociable and taciturn. Yet he has a soft heart and a soft spot for Rosalie the heroine who appeals to him on many levels due to her beauty, goodness and loyalty.
I don't want to reveal too much about David's shocking past or personal life, but Rosalie has a lot she has to come to terms with when they marry and the author tackles the difficult subject matter with appropriate sensitivity.
It's not a clean read, but the context of intimacies portrayed between the H&h are within marriage and can be easily skipped if like me you prefer romance novels not to venture beyond the bedroom door.
In summary it is an interesting book and even the relatively minor characters are well written.
No he conseguido conectar con los personajes y la trama me ha parecido aburrida y un poco repetitiva. Demasiado diálogo interior y una protagonista muy insegura que sólo tiene coraje al final de la historia.
Quizás, para mí, Rosalie ha estado demasiado tiempo quejándose cuando podría haberse enfrentado a David e intentar dialogar. Se supone que es una persona insegura y con poca experiencia en lo que se refiere a alternar en sociedad, de ahí que tampoco me parezca realista el cambio que sufre al final, donde se convierte en una mujer segura y confiada capaz de sobrellevar la angustia de su marido…sólo un par de páginas antes había estado, otra vez, quejándose de no ser suficiente para él…
El secreto, desde luego, es impactante. Normalmente, después de estar esperando durante toda la historia a que se desvele, casi siempre ocurre que es una tontería, pero en este caso no ha sido así… Justifica perfectamente la actitud de David. Y supongo que yo en su lugar tampoco querría confesarlo… pero no justifica su cambio de actitud o su “nueva fuerza de voluntad” para no volver a las andadas en cuanto conoce a Rosalie…creo…
He echado de menos un enfrentamiento con la persona que origino el problema de David, hubiese sido interesante cerrar esa herida para que el final feliz hubiese sido más creíble…