I have mixed feelings about this one. There were things about it I really, really liked. But there were others that really bothered me. There was definite potential there; it just didn’t quite hit the mark across the board.
One of the things I liked best was the set-up… and the hero. (Yes, that’s two things; sue me.) The story begins with a drugged out Alisdair witnessing a woman’s virginity being put up for auction at a tavern. Even in his condition, he can’t let Mary go home with one of the beasts in the bar, so he buys her himself. He decides he is going to save her. He’ll get her out of the hellhole where he found her, marry her, then crawl off to overdose somewhere.
You see, Alisdair is an opium addict and has been ever since the death of his brother. Everyone he ever loved is dead and he doesn’t have much to live for. Until Mary enters his life. The lovely vicar’s daughter enchants him. Quickly, their unorthodox pairing turns into something more. But her horrible half brother is on their trail, trying to steal her back. And Alisdair’s greedy cousin is right along with him, hoping to prove Alisdair incompetent –to steal his money.
There’s danger –and there’s action– but it takes a backseat to watching Alisdair and Mary fall for one another. Alisdair is a great tortured soul, who is nearing the bottom of the barrel. Mary has nothing; no family, no money, no choices. Yet she manages to soothe his damaged heart. She becomes the substitute for the drugs he has grown so dependent on. Which is where things kind of fall apart.
We’re supposed to believe Alisdair is a hard-core junkie, but the ease in which he kicks his addiction is absurd. I kept waiting for the effects: the shakes, the vomiting, the consuming need. But nope. The book had several overly convenient developments and dropped plotlines. Like what happened to Mary’s brother. It was pretty significant, but never referenced again. Or what really happened between Mary’s parents. A huge element of the story for the heroine, but never really explained.
Which leads me to the worst thing about the book. I never bought into the conflict that drove these two apart. Mary kept thinking about how much she didn’t want to leave Alisdair and I never really understood why she felt she had to. We sort of got an explanation for that, but it was lame. As was the reason he pushed her away. It felt completely contrived.
All these issues were a shame because I really liked these characters. I rooted for them. I loved them together; I loved how they healed each other; And the sex was hot. There were just too many other things wrong to overlook here.
*ARC Provided by Random House
Hero of My Heartby Megan FramptonRelease Date: April 8, 2013Publisher: Loveswept/ Random House