Genre: historical romance
Cover: very oldfashioned beautiful, busy and I want hair like that.
To a handsome Lord whose silver-flecked eyes glittered with anger as he snatched Alexandra from the London streets. Her fiery loveliness had ignited a case of mistaken identity but now there was no mistaking Hawkeworth’s naked passion.
To her own heart when his teasing kisses unleashed a woman’s ecstacy she didn’t understand, but craved with a wanton’s desire…
To the past which haunted them both, making her a pawn in a treacherous game that could crush her sweet dreams of midnight passion and wild, reckless love.
Alexandra Maitland was raised in India, where her father was the Governor, until the slaughter at Vellore, and her father was blamed for the whole. Disgraced and dishonoured, he took his own life, leaving Alexandra to fend for herself, especially when his bookkeeper disappeared with all her funds. She has come to England, London, to try to make a new life for herself. Perhaps to find a position as a governess. But with her beauty and her flaming red hair, no one wants to hire her. She is growing desperate.
But then, walking through the heavy London fog one night, she gets lost, and finds herself fin the hands of a huge man, who thinks she is his missing wife. He keeps pursuing her, but with the help of a street urchin, she manages to loose him. Or so she thinks. When she enters her room at the inn, he is already there, waiting for her. He forces her to drink laudanum, and kidnaps her.
He really does believe her to be his wicked wife, who ran off two years ago, and he is obsessed with her and wants her back to punish her for his obsession. In those two years, he has change, becoming ruthless and uncaring, believing everything is a complot by his wife and her brother, who want him dead before he can divorce her. That would put an end to their lavish lifestyle.
No matter how much Alexandra protests, he does not believe her. She is his wife, and is just up to another of her games. He will bed her, and finally rid himself of this obsession, and taste her fire after all. She will not deny him again!
And so he rapes her. And when Alexandra proves to be a virgin, he is remorseful. Was she telling the truth after all? But that lasts only a minute or so. Surely it is a complot by his brother in law, she is put into his path to seduce him, to get pregnant so he can be tortured some more! She is just a harlot, working for money. And again, no matter how much Alexandra protests, he doesn’t believe her. And he keeps raping her. But as he makes her body respond, despite her protest and tears, she must be feeling passion, so she wants it. Right?
He has taken Alexandra to his mansion on the Isle of Wright, and she keeps trying to escape him. But the first time, she ends up on the roof, the second time in his wine cellars. Really stupid things to do. He keeps capturing her again and again (of course) and punishing her. Ripping her clothes of her body, tying her up to a tree, raping her. And it is all her own fault, she is plotting against him.
When Alexandra finds out, he is one of the men who condemned her father, her hatred knows no boundaries, and she vows revenge, she will make him suffer. She tries to kill him, but can’t and then she saves his life. And his sons life. And he falls in love with her, as she is nothing like his wife after all. And she loves him. How could she not love her rapist?
I really have no idea why I kept reading this book. Hawke is horrible, believing the worst possible things, and punishing Alexandra time and again. In my eyes, he could not possibly be redeemed. She would marry him, he would make her, force her. So why Alexandra was suddenly in love with him, is beyond me. Because he made her feel passion? Against her will?
I knew this was an old historical romance, Christina Skye’s first book. I do love her romantic suspense, and I also enjoy her historical ghost series, but this one, wow. I still do not know why I kept on reading. But kudo’s to her writing style for making me do just that. If you can read past all the rape and abuse, the story and plot itself was good, and surprising, with the bad guys really bad and evil. Still, I totally cannot believe in the romance part.
If you do enjoy an oldfashioned bodice ripper now and again, I do recommend it. If not, please don’t read this book, read one of her romantic suspense ones instead, as those are very good.
How to rate this? I disliked the characters, but the book is well written and kept me reading despite.
© 2012 Reviews by Aurian