Dark Angel/Lord Carew's Bride by Mary Balogh
My rating: 1 of 5 stars
This book would have scored a much higher rating in my mind had it not been for the sex--or rather, rape--scenes toward the end of each novella, particularly the first. I do not care if "exercising marital rights" is historically accurate; doing so while your new bride is sobbing and thinks you publicly humiliated her in order to trap her into marrying you will DESTROY YOUR MARRIAGE. It will not "save" it!! Even the character himself admits it feels like rape. Yes, that's because it IS rape! You do not have her consent. She hates you, and even if you are super gentle with her and make her body respond a little bit, that will just make her hate you even more!!
I really like Mary Balogh as an author, but these early novellas of hers should have been rewritten first or never seen the light of day ever again.
Dark Angel was a 4-star novella until the rape scene, and then it dropped to -10 stars.
Lord Carew's Bride was also a 4-star novella until the bordering-on-rape scene, and then it dropped to 2 stars.
The two novellas have intersecting characters, particularly the heroines who are cousins. Both start out imagining themselves in love with the same man, who turns out to be a total slimeball. I will not bother to summarize the plots. Goodreads and the back of the book do that well enough. I just want to be done with this book and move on. I'm so disappointed! They were so good at first....
For readers' advisors: story and character doorways, but skip this one in favor of her other works.
View all my reviews