I figured it was only a matter of time before I came across a book that I’d re-read in the past and loved, only to do another re-read and realize that huge chunks of it were fairly ridiculous. And yet, I was still fairly glued to the book and couldn’t put it down.
A Scotsman trying to steal the wife of a duke and a plain young woman forced by her father to find a husband start out as enemies but eventually become more. Full a full synopsis, see this book’s Goodreads page.
The Good Stuff
In the past, this was one of my favorite books, and there’s still some good things about it. Many of the character interactions are funny, and I like Kimberly, even though she’s almost stupidly innocent about things of an adult nature.
For the most part, it’s fun romantic fluff that scratches the itch for something you know is going to turn out okay in the end.
Things That Made Me Go Hmmm
First, there is so much going on in this book. It’s like someone tried to cram 6 different plots into one story. Besides the main plot of Lachlan and Kimberly trying to figure their stuff out, there’s also a side plot of someone framing Lachlan for stealing horses, there’s drama with Kimberly’s father, there’s drama when Lachlan takes her home, there’s lighter drama with Kimberly’s other father…the book never stops throwing new plot bunnies in the way, and at times it feels a little cluttered.
I’m not sure how I’ve never seen Lachlan as a complete douche before. He spends the first part of the book convinced he can seduce a married woman, he’s not nice to Kimberly at all when he first meets her, and then he sneaks into her room and gets all up in her business while she’s sleeping, not even taking into account the fact that she’s trying to find a husband and he just ruined her. Then he tells her that the looks she gave him throughout the evening indicated she wanted him and was experienced in sex. So yes, essentially we have a rape and victim blaming if you want to break it down like that, and I sort of couldn’t help myself from seeing it that way.
Oh, and then to top it all off, Kimberly hears him the next morning still trying to seduce the married woman! Seriously, dude.
The Romance Factor
So I’ve read a lot of these books, and as far as the rape thing went, I’ve read blatant rape scenes by this author, ones that weren’t cloaked in “being awoken by feelings of passion” or whatever. This might be why I still got into the romance of the book later. Somehow, Lachlan goes from douche to complete sap and Kimberly thinking he doesn’t love her brings the feels. So while I’m conflicted, I also still enjoyed the love story that eventually develops. I just wish Lachlan wasn’t such a horrible person at the beginning. 3/5
The Steam Factor
The sexy times are fairly tame, though you definitely know what’s going on. No purple prose here, as we stick to vague terms like “length,” “warmth,” and “shuddering” to talk about the key points of coupling. 3/5
This book definitely reads different now that I am older, and the parts that drove me nuts really drove me nuts. But when the book finds its groove with regards to the romance, I still enjoyed the sappy cheesy relationship between the leads.