I just can’t think of any reason that you might enjoy this romance. The hero is an autocratic, heavy handed prat. The heroine is inconsistent. There is no visible emotional development. There is no sexual tension. There is no sex. I kept waiting for it to get better, and for the life of me, I can’t figure out why a publisher would choose to re-release this book more than 20 years after it was initially published. I would have been better off had it stayed off my radar.
Jillian has not received the allowance to run her farm since the old earl died and his son Mark took over the title. When he doesn’t answer her letters, she realizes the only way to get what she needs is to confront him in person. Of course, that doesn’t go exactly as she planned. Mark had no idea that his father had a ward and once Jillian appears, he decides he is going to do the job right. He demands she become a real lady and find a husband.
From the first time we meet Mark, he is unlikeable. That isn’t that unusual at the beginning of a book, but the thing is, he never gets better. He cannot fathom that Jillian likes her life or that she is capable of making her own decisions. She is 24 years old and has been on her own for years. But all of a sudden, he starts acting like her father, which is gross, by the way, since they are key players in a romance. It’s also ridiculous, since he is only in his early 30s.
Mark insults Jillian. He belittles her. He treats her like a child and like a prisoner. He shows complete disregard for her wants, her needs, and her intelligence. And she goes back and forth between raging against him and acquiescing. She puts up with so much, when she really could have put a stop to it much sooner. Then, almost like magic, she is in love with him. She hates him –and then she loves him. Because… reasons? Nah, no reasons necessary. She just does, out of nowhere. There is no build at all.
Obviously, I didn’t like Mark and it made no sense at all for Jillian to like him, much less love him. Then, when they decided to be together, it was out of nowhere. They never even seal the deal. Not that I wanted them to by the end. I just wanted to get away from the hero and shake the heroine for falling for him.
A big fat fail for me on this one.
*ARC provided by Belle Bridge Books
Click to purchase: Amazon
A Spirited Affair
by Lynn Kerstan
Re-Release Date: June 25, 2015
Original Release Date: March 1, 1993
Publisher: Belle Bridge Books