You know that a book is not the right fit for you when you spend the entire thing waiting for the hero to stop being an idiot. For me, generally the hero of a romance is the most important part of the story and Aric was just a big, fat fail. The book begins with him swearing off marriage because his betrothed cheated on him. But the King rules out his plans for an extended bachelorhood when he decrees Aric shall marry his illegitimate daughter, Rosemunde.
So Aric is against getting married from out of the gate, but he can’t deny an edict from the crown. That sets us up for loads of fun. He’s essentially a prat to his new bride from the word go. He’s not trying to punish her or anything, but he figures that if one woman cheats, they’re all going to cheat and he behaves accordingly.
Rosemunde, on the other hand, is too good to be true. She was raised in a convent and found her joy and contentment in tending to wounded animals. She instantly accepts her father’s demand that she turn from her path to become a nun and marry a stranger. She embraces her duty to obey her husband completely. And she believes everything she is told about what constitutes a sin and what her duties are to her husband.
The entire book centers around Aric telling her what to do. Or more often, what not to do. No time in the stables. No pants. No ladders. No going anywhere alone. No listening to the Church. He basically treats her like an idiot who needs protection from becoming a slut. And she is so devoted to being a good wife that she accepts it all, even as it makes her totally miserable.
Who wants to read that?
There is also a sideplot featuring someone trying to kill our heroine… or so Aric believes. The villain is painfully obvious from the beginning, though the “why” is less so.
It turns out that this book is a reissue from about 15 years ago. I didn’t know that going in, but it doesn’t surprise me in the least. This was just not for me. Neither main character had any depth; I had no emotional connection; and really all I felt reading it was irritation.
*ARC provided by Avon
Click to purchase: Amazon
by Lynsay Sands
Original Release Date: July 17, 2000
ReRelease Date: November 24, 2015