This is a book made of plot holes, too many freaking conveniences, jumping to scenes unrelated to the ones we're currently in the middle of, jumping to a few years later, having 5 separate endings and characters who are made of one generic trait and show no other depth.
Dealing with some personal family issues I was sadly away from books and reading for the last few months and now that I have returned to one of my two favourite things in the world - reading (and anime) I thought to start with a good uplifting historical romance since this could be called my guilty pleasure genre. I even picked a book from an author revered as the 'queen of the historical romance genre' and the summary of it was quite intriguing.
All my hopes died a very slow death as I was reading this.
I am not being nitpicky here, don't get me wrong. The entire book is one big mess with only a vague idea of what the characters should really be like but no effort was put into actually making them so. This book is way too long for its content. The majority of it is just characters pondering and doing the exact opposite of what they're thinking and feeling. Why? Because there is no other story which would propel the story along so we resort to characters acting like the stupidest people who ever lived just for convenience's sake.
Let me summarise the story:
A 17 year old girl resembling a 12 year old is put in care of a 33 year old man who is suspected of murdering his wife whose body was burned beyond recognition (see where I am heading?) but there wasn't enough evidence to convict him of anything. In two days she arrives at his estate, they are both head over heels in love with another. Within a few days they leave for London where he sleeps with her completely unaware of his actions because he was apparently asleep and thinking he dreamt it (dear author, don't think your readers are that stupid). Then he says I need to marry you now because I deflowered you and he doesn't add to that because I also really want to so she thinks it's just about obligation and leaves him to join some theatre and he doesn't follow her. Cut to 2 years later. She performs in the theatre, has a 2 year old baby girl (yes, really really) and he suddenly comes back just because. And he pursues her, finds out about his kid, marries her but plot twist, his first wife comes back from the dead, then the second wife takes her baby and leaves him AGAIN without even talking things through and leaves for America with his best friend but this time he follows her and gets her back and she's also pregnant again. Then they leave for Texas where he needs to set some things straight with his family. Then she has a baby and they go back to England. The f*cking end.
My thoughts. Again.
These plot contrivances are so annoying, so unbelievable, so poorly written that I cringed every time I turned the page. I cannot believe how bad this reading was and I have read dozens and dozens of historical romance novels.
I have so many issues with it that I can't even list them all so I'll just mention a few.
1. Characters. Generic characters, very bland, poorly written. The author didn't succeed in establishing them as believable because she did noting with them so the readers could pick up and tell from their actions how our heroes should be like. It was told to us. For instance, everyone calls Nicholas a savage but he does nothing that would suggest others seeing him as one (I do not count him walking in his dirty boots in his own house). Also, they are very contradictory, Jane keeps saying about herself how she is very sturdy and not a crybaby and such and every single time she talks to Nicholas she cries. It's mindblowing really.
2. Characters being as$holes. First we have Nicholas who should be this dark Texan turned English man suspected of killing his wife and being very crude and manly and whatnot but he is actually such a sweeheart at heart, yeah right. In reality he had a great life with his family (except for that one secret they kept from him but you'll see that's also poorly written) and he was brought up well yet he intentionally gallops with his horse every single day through his well kept lawn just so his gardeners would have to set up all the grass back and clean it all day long. He walks with his dirty boots throughout the house just so his servants would have to clean after him. He f*cks his maid which almost seemed like rape because she is scared s*itless of him.
Then there is Jane. I will just say that every time anything remotely difficult happens she runs away because that is apparently the only thing in the world she knows how to do. And she doesn't even tell him he has a child. And when she's pregnant the second time and runs off to America she was thinking of not telling him, yet again!
3. All the unnecessary as$holish sex. Nicholas is sleeping with everything that moves apparently. But heyyyyy, he is such a sweetheart at heart you know. As soon as his character is introduced he is pissed so he practically rapes his maid then when Jane arrives he keeps on banging his mistress even though he really did fall for Jane I mean it's so clear in his actions non. Then when he marries Jane he STILL KEEPS SHAGGING HIS MISTRESS ! We also learn that he slept around when with the wife number 1. I mean, come on. And I am supposed to be smitten with him and root for his relationship with Jane to work? ARE YOU KIDDING ME???
4. One plot hole that still keeps bothering me. When Nicholas takes Jane to London and they arrive she clearly points out that she should have taken the (raped)maid with her because she's taking a liking to her and she could use the company in London. Then when we cut to 2 years later and Jane recollects how she ran away from Nicholas she clearly says that she only had to ask that maid once to run away with her that night and she did. How the hell did that happen? Did you take out your cell and called her up and had her teleport to London from Dragmore? Or did she magically appeared there right before you decided to run away just in case you might do that and she could go with you.
5. Lindley. Jonathon Lindley is Nicholas' best and only friend (oh I wonder why) and when Jane arrives at Nicholas' estate he arrives there like 2 days later (she was only there for a week or so before going to London being there for 3 days then running off and voila 2 years later). Lindley will sleep with anything with a skirt so he makes a pass on Jane, Jane accepts the play to make Nicholas jealous and kisses Lindley. Then Nicholas punches him and Lindley is out of the picture until they meet him in London and greet him and his current partner at the theatre. So Lindley only sees Jane (and vice versa) two times. But 2 years later Lindley suddenly decided he is in love with Jane and seeing they were always "such good friends" Jane keeps accepting his advances. What is wrong with you, dear author??? She met him twice and didn't hear anything about him for two years and now they are suddenly best friends. It's the same at the end when she is in America. She is there for a few weeks and after seeing Grace (Nicholas' brother Rathe's wife) she is her best friend and confidant. I will shoot myself. There is absolutely nothing established between them other than one sentence, 'we became best friends'. Where, how the hell in such a short period of time??? Argh!
I have many more issues with this book but I'll stop my rant here. I only gave it 1.5* because I gave Twilight one and everything is better than Twilight so that is the only small compliment I can give this book. Don't read it, don't waste your time.