If you want to read about two of the most infuriating characters ever, and they're so infuriating that you just can't stop reading because you're dying to know if they end up together and then you'll wonder what stupid misunderstanding is next going to ruin their lives, pick this up. I devoured it. But here's the thing: this book was originally published in the 1980s, when many romance novels were "bodice rippers" and sometimes didn't feature consent and/or had sex scenes that almost feel like rape (I know!), so take that into consideration when you read this. Modern readers, you will feel shocked and uncomfortable during several scenes, especially due to the hero's actions and the heroine's interior dialogue as she justifies what happens and how her behavior makes the hero feel.
WARNING! I’m giving this book 2.5 stars because I loved the first 400 pages. Then one of the main characters does something so horrible, so shocking, and it all seems to come out of nowhere.
The book I read has “Special Edition . . . with new ending” on the cover. After I finished reading the book, I went online to read reviews and realized the first edition had several violent scenes that were taken out, or toned down, in this version. I guess that’s what made this cruel act even more shocking, because the history of violence was pretty much removed from the first half of this version of the story. So Clayton seems to just snap, and you are left wondering how he could suddenly commit such a heinous act.
McNaught is a good writer. The first 400 pages of this version of the book is proof of that. However, she failed when she tried to use other characters to somehow justify this absolutely horrible act of violence. The other characters were not there. So telling the victim that Clayton’s rage was caused by his extreme jealousy, and that extreme jealousy was proof that he loved her is ridiculous! It’s also sad that McNaught makes the victim apologize, and tries to make her out to be the bad guy, because she doesn’t automatically forgive him when he says, “I love you”.
Anyone who has been a victim of such a horrible crime can not just forget! McNaught also tries to convince the reader that Clayton did not really commit a crime because he stopped in the middle. SPOILER - How can McNaught say that Clayton took the victim’s virginity, and still claim that rape did not occur because he didn’t “finish” the act? He only stopped after he realized that the victim had been telling the truth, that she was in fact a virgin.
So read this book with caution!
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