Not sure where I picked this up, I suspect it was a kindle freebie. In any case, having recently started wandering around in historical romancelandia (with somewhat hit and miss results), and since it had such rave reviews, I gave it a read.
Good grief do I regret that.
This book opens with a letter from a villain (clearly twirling his mustache and cackling to himself in glee) to the supposed hero, detailing a decade of abuse heaped upon the woman the "hero" was to have married and her child. It does not improve from there one little bit.
Right off the top of my head issues:
- When the best character in a romance novel is a three legged cat who falls over a lot, or an imaginary bunny, the book is in trouble. When those characters don't even show up until the last few chapters, trouble doesn't even begin to describe it.
- The child is supposedly 10 years old, speaks like a 14 year old, and acts like a 4 year old. I think it's supposed to be cute, it's not.
- There is another woman, obviously also a victim of a hinky relationship, although that's not apparent until late in the book. The heroine notices this, unlike anyone else, and offers some support and the "hero" (yes I'm going to scare-quote that every single time) tells her to butt the hell out. What a prince Duke.
- Fairly near the end, the "hero" at one point laments that the ten years of sadistic abuse has "cost him his chance at an obedient wife." If it had been a paperback, it would have gotten thrown at the wall at that point.
I could probably come up with a bunch more completely off the wall reasons to intensely dislike this book, but I honestly don't want to think about it anymore. In any case, I was considering how to write this review, when I discovered someone had more or less written it for me, so go boogenhagen's review on Goodreads for a more in-depth and only slightly less disgusted discussion of it's many failures.