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|Length: 217 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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Simon, the hero, is a Marquess and heir to a Dukedom. He is Sebastian's best friend and a childhood friend of Alessandra's. By the time Alessandra was 16 she was half in love with Simon and there had begun the first stirrings of a romance between the two. Before things could begin to develop, Simon went off on his grand tour of Europe and it is during his absence that Alessandra's mother dies. By the time Simon returns to England, Alessandra had moved to America with her father. Shortly after their arrival in America, Alessandra's father marries her off, and some time after that he, the father, passes away.
Alessandra's husband is a cruel monster and she suffers extreme injuries at his hands.....we're talking felony domestic violence had this occurred in today's world. After almost eight years of marriage, Alessandra's bastard of a huband dies and she returns to England.
Alessandra is a broken and battered woman....and has the scars and injuries to prove it, including a deformed hand. Her brother, Sebastian, is now the Earl and head of the family. Simon and Sebastian are still best friends. Both men are devastated by the suffering Alessandra had to endure at the hands of her husband. Simon is determined to help restore Alessandra to the woman she once was. Of course his old feelings for her are rekindled and grows into love. Her brother Sebastian is racked with guilt (because he didn't support Alessandra in her attempts to remain in England) and the reader gets to see him spiral into the depths of despair as he succumbs to this guilt.
Considering the plot, this book should have had me in tears from the word go, but it didn't. I'd say it was me, but I'm the type of person who can cry because of a commercial so I don't think so. I just could not relate to Alessandra. On an intellectual level I knew she had endured tremendous suffering. But, emotionally I felt nothing for her. On the other hand, I really liked Simon and thought he was wonderfully portrayed as the loving, supportive hero that Alessandra needed. The author, IMHO, just didn't do as good a job with Alessandra's character.
If you like this plot you should check out The Letter. The plot of that book is similar to this one, where the heroine is widowed after years of torture by her husband and is subsequently restored by the love and support of the hero. Now THAT is a five star read! That book made me bawl buckets and left me feeling emotional for days after I'd finished reading it!
This book, unfortunately, didn't grab me in the same way. I felt disconnected from Alessandra, and on some level it felt like the emotions of the characters were somewhat forced, especially Alessandra and Sebastian.
FYI I'd say if you're the type who is susceptible to the issues of domestic violence or just violence in general you might want to pass this book as it includes descriptions of some of the beatings Alessandra had to endure......but even those seemed a bit over the top even though I know that in reality there are women who have endured, and do endure, worse. The book just didn't touch me.
Allessandra's husband dies unexpectedly leaving her free from any more suffering at his hands. Will she ever be free of the pain, torment and horrific memories of his abuse? Can she be saved by the love of her friend? Will she ever forgive her brother for not helping her?
You will have to read this tragic story of what abuse can do to a person. The dialogue and time of this story was early 1800's which was done very well and added depth and substance to what abused women had to contend with at that time. There was no medication for depression except Laudanum and no surgeries to repair broken bones. It was a very trying time for the abused.
The author did a commendable job of seeing through the eyes of the abused wife but at the same time shared the feelings of those around her and their sufferings. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would recommend it.
I did have a problem with the lack of love scenes. Alessandra was abused and raped by her first husband. That was the only experience she had ever had with intimate relations. Although time is spent showing how her current husband, Simon, convinces her to trust him not to torture her, no time is allotted to showing how he woos her into bed. There is just a statement that the marriage was consummated and later, when she is writing in her journal, she resolves to keep recent bedding events to memory only. The scenes did not need to be graphic but, I would have appreciated some more tender moments leading up to her realization that intercourse is not necessarily rape.
This story keep me entertained. It had some twists and turns I was not expecting. Just when I thought I had the big secret figured out I was mislead then, I discovered I was right all along. Happy ending, which I appreciate though somewhat different than I was expecting.
This story is more about the after affects of abuse and how it changes someone than it is a romance. Don't get me wrong, the love that Simon has for Alessandra is deeply moving and beautiful...but it's more about the healing. The are no love scenes and very few kisses.
The author writes really well, and the story moves along nice and smoothly. I read it in one sitting. I cried in quit a few parts...the abuse she suffered was absolutely horrific. The boy Oliver brought some nice lighter funnier moments. I really hope Sebastian the brother gets a happy ending, I would look forward to reading his story!
If you want a truly moving story, you MUST check this one out!