When a crippled woman is sold into service to repay her father’s debts she finds herself bonded to handsome smuggler. But she suspects that he is something far worse-a wrecker.
Cut off from family and friends, she finds herself developing strong feelings for her master even though he admits to dark deeds and she knows he can’t be trusted.
Her feelings for him grow as she learns the truth about whom he is and why he has a vendetta against her father. Over time she discovers that much of what she has been brought up to believe is lies. And the truth, when she learns it, tears her world apart.
Fortunately she has her handsome smuggler there to help her rebuild a new life.
This should have been a great book. The story held lots of intrigue with enough twists and turns to keep the reader guessing. The hero was dark and unrepentant, though appropriately redeemed. The heroine was unique in that she was not a great beauty but a plain girl with a crippled leg. And the secondary characters were ambiguous enough to keep up the tension. But for all that I feel it failed to live up to its promise.
This is in part due to the author’s aggravation of one of my pet peeves. Yes folks, this book is full of emotion. There is emotion everywhere. Emotion in there eyes, emotion in their hearts, probably emotion in the soles of their feet. They feel emotion all the time in response to every thought or action. And we are rarely, if ever, told what that emotion is. In these situations I like to amuse myself by deciding what the emotion might be. He looks at her with eyes brimming over with emotion (loathing). In response she feels such a strong emotion (jealousy). When will authors learn you don’t add emotion to a story by saying it’s there. Particularly not if you simply use the word emotion. Argh.
But what really ruined a great story for me was the heroine’s excessive angst. A good third, or perhaps half, of the pages in this book are dedicated to the heroine pretty much thinking: How can I have such strong feelings for such a monster as him? There I summarised the bulk of the book in a sentence but the author made the reader suffer through pages and pages of angsty rubbish before getting on with the story. She’s morally torn we get it, now move on with the story.
If you like historical romance with a gothic slant, an angsty heroine and lots of emotion then give this one a try. There is a good story in there though I’m not sure the effort to uncover it is worth the pain. Perhaps you should just reread Jamaica Inn instead.-Lynn