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Did not like the hero or the heroine
on March 6, 2016
I did not like either of the leading characters in Potent Charms. I kept hoping that they would become better people but that did not occur.
Heroine Phoebe Rafferty is an American who has traveled to England after her father passed away. She will inherit an estate from her father’s family if she marries within a few weeks. Phoebe is southerner and views slavery not as an abolitionist. She calls slaves on her plantation workers. She had to sell the plantation when her father squandered the money. I do not recall that she freed all the slaves on the plantation, although her maid is a freed black woman who voluntarily left her husband to accompany her mistress to England which seemed difficult to imagine. Phoebe once was hit with a whip when she stopped a slave from being beaten undeservedly which begs the question did she agree with beatings that were supposedly deserved? She does not join her voice with those in England who were fighting against slavery. If she had done this and freed her slaves she would have been a sympathetic figure.
Steven Lambert, Duke of Badrick has lost two wives already and he believes it is because of a gypsy curse. He will never marry again, but he sees the beautiful Phoebe and instantly wants this young American as his mistress. Forget that she needs to marry, his needs come first. He pursues her relentlessly but is honest with her about his aversion to the married state.
Phoebe falls for Stephen because he is charming and handsome and she just cannot help herself. She then thinks about some of the slaves she had befriended and then terribly tries to compare her problem of falling in love with a man who might not love her with the feelings slave women must have felt when they fell in love with their slave masters. This ridiculous idea is just absolutely awful in every way. There is no comparison; Phoebe has choices the slaves on plantation have none to include having the freedom to say no or the freedom to walk away from a horrendous situation.
I did not like this story. It was hard to believe a Duke of the realm would be afraid of a curse. This was also a man who was willing to expose the woman he supposedly loved to the shame of the ton by keeping her as a mistress instead of a making her his wife and I could not forget the views the heroine held toward slavery.