Charlotte Drummond knows she has a duty to obey her father. Girls, especially well-bred upper-class ones, are expected to be submissive to the men in their lives.
But Charlotte's father is a cruel man, viciously beating her and her brothers for the slightest reason. He even wants to marry her off, at just sixteen years old; to a man she does not love. Lion-hearted Charlotte wants to defy him but to protect her brothers from his fury she agrees to become the wife of Brooke Armstrong.
Only when tragedy strikes will she will be able to admit that she loved him from the moment they met. But will it be too late?
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Maybe if the protagonist Charlotte didn't repeatedly finf that she only achieves orgasm when she sex is aggressive, at one point after to an argument with her husband he strikes her hard twice (hard enough to leave a bad bruise on her cheek for several days) then rapes her, she describes the experience as exhillerating and becomes pregnant that night after months of trying (a cure for infertility has been found it seems!).
Despite this the husband is portrayed as a kind caring loving almost perfect man.
I know as a guy I'm not the target audience but I like books set in this period and a woman I know told me to try this. I have to say it made for uncomfortable reading, the girls father caning her bare bum at 16 and being described as enjoying this immensely was pure titillation. Personally I don't think light romance is the proper area to comment on incestuous child abuse.
A less submissive heroine, she is described as lion hearted but fails to see that her partner is only kind and caring when all is going his way.
I gave it 2 stars only because of the excellent narration.
The mustache twitching villainous father. The abusive husband, the stereotyped peasents, the clichéd doctor, all doctors in these times appear to be progressive and unconventional.
like the love many women seem to have for Heathcliff types I fail to see the attraction to abusive behaviour from the hero, I realize he will come to some sort of realization at the end about the way things should be but by two thirds of the way I no longer cared.