Trigger warning: Rape
The only thing that this book had going for it, was that it kept making me think of the Jem and the Holograms song, "Midsummer Madness."
I maybe played that song a lot while reading this book on Saturday. I needed some happy heading my way.
Think of this book as the reverse "She's All That." Heroine is actually hot and smart young woman (Frances) who doesn't want to marry the hero (Phillip). Hero marries her anyway though because he thinks she's ugly so he can do what he wants and just ignore her. No, I am not kidding about that. He's also a jerk of the first order and when he realizes his wife is hot decides he is going to bend her to his will and make her want to have sex with him. I don't know people, I didn't write this. I may have screamed into a pillow for a second or two though while finishing this book up.
Frances Kilbracken is the daughter of the Earl of Ruthven. Frances father and Phillip's father (the Earl of Rothermere) obeys his father's dying wish to run off and marry one of the Earl's daughters. Phillip chooses Frances because one of the daughters is too attractive, I can't remember why the second one sucked, and then Frances who disguises herself and acts as if she can't read seems like the better wife for Phillip. Phillip has a mistress and has no intention of giving her up to a wife. So having a wife he can keep under his thumb sounds like the best arrangement.
I can see why Frances doesn't want to marry Phillip. I was actually glad she was smart and knew a ton of things about horses. I really wish though that she had gotten the upper hand with Phillip more though. In the end, because Frances likes sex, she just gets cowed by her husband. Once again, I didn't write this. I repeat I didn't write this.
Phillip is typical romance hero of the times. He is a jerk and also thinks no means yes. So yes dear readers, we got a rape scene. Nothing to recommend about Phillip. Though he does use cream when he rapes her which I think is Coulter's way of saying hey he's not super terrible since he used something to ease his way inside his wife while he rapes her. I am going to keep saying that because good lord I can't with this book. He speaks graphically to Frances about sex though after he realizes she's hot. He decides he is going to have his "rights" and is angry about Frances not acting like a typical female. And one wonders what would have happened if Phillip hadn't realized that Frances was not really unattractive? I guess his behavior would have been okay and yeah to the mistress?
There are side characters in this one and I did enjoy Phillip's father a lot. Also Frances's father. They appear to not be heartless men. Phillip's mistress? No. There is a freaking scene with Frances and the mistress attacking Phillip and I think it was supposed to be funny? I don't know. I didn't laugh. Maybe my funny bone doesn't exist anymore.
Philip's sister is apparently having relations to a dude she's not married to, and I wondered at no one blinking an eye about this in the time and day this book was taking place. It was weird it occurs and that Phillip used this as a reason to talk dirty to Frances. Yes that really did happen. I may have had some wine to stop thinking about this scene.
The writing is okay and the plot is straight forward. After reading "The Nightingale Legacy" it was nice to read a book that wasn't so confusing.
The ending was a well I guess things are alright even though some of these people are awful. I am so donating all of my romance reads to the library this weekend.