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Stockhom syndrome strikes again...
on 30 April 2011
Nope, sorry, not for me, didn't finish this - gave up at the end of chapter 7.
Our heroine is kidnapped, terrorized, endlessly threatened with being shot, forced at gunpoint to strip, tied up, forced to share a bed and other intimacies (like not giving her privacy to pee) with a man she didn't know (this is the 19th century - not modern day), and almost raped one morning, which was, of course, partly her fault after for responding while half sleep to his attempt to have intercourse.
What had me almost throwing the book across the room about a third of the way in was her melting and asking him to make love to her. The event that follows is at least realistic in that it hurts like hell and she doesn't enjoy it. He then compounds her humiliation by forcing her to let him wash and anoint her sore bits - talk about piling on the shame! Now maybe he turns out to be a real sweetie underneath, but he shames her, and at the time they first have sex, he was presented essentially as a nasty, manipulating man who wanted a bit of nookie.
So no, I won't finish this. Ms Howard can sometimes skirt a bit close to overweening male domination for my liking (one part of Shades of Twilight comes to mind) but then she writes something like Cry No More which is brilliant, so I keep trying!