Top critical review
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Well-written, very sensual!
on June 16, 2011
The hero in this book was wonderful. He's gentle, perceptive, handsome, solicitous--everything one could hope for! I thought he handled the heroine, who has quite a bit of emotional baggage, superbly. He really draws her out of her shell in scenes that are sweet and tender. The heroine was likable for the most part--she's got real sass and though her life was falling apart, she gave as good as she got. The supporting cast were excellent. I'm now inspired to read the stories of Lady Silverton and Lady Trask. And the love scenes were blazing, as previous reviewers have pointed out.
The problem was that I just never fully related to the heroine's dilemma. This book is very character-driven, since there's not much plot going on. So if the heroine is struggling with a mad sister, why not show her interacting with the sister, instead of only merely letting her talk about Rachel incessantly? I didn't see the source of this stubborn loyalty to a character we never meet nor understand why she would choose duty over her own happiness. I know how powerful family loyalty can be, but in this case, it felt contrived. Her constant Jekyll and Hyde act got a little tiresome--she desires him, flirts with him, boldly engages him, then becomes timid and indecisive and annoyingly bitchy. It's apparent that the author wanted moral courage, or her lack thereof, to be a central theme. But we only saw lots of instances of her being cowardly--sometimes to the point where she was repulsive rather than sympathetic. There was not really a final act of great courage that showed her growth as a character, especially compared to the wealth of the hero's moral courage. I concede that she showed SOME courage in the book's climax, but it was not for the sake of the hero, which felt like a letdown. She's truly got some interesting problems that were worth exploring. I just felt the execution was a little clumsy.
Also: I really can't recommend naming a heroine Bathsheba. It made me want to giggle during all the sex scenes! :)