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I really liked Portia, the heroine, but Heath, the so-called "hero", was God awful. I hated him so much. He never even apologised for the terrible things he said, thought, and did. Only finished because I want to complete this series.
I really enjoyed this installment of the Derring series. Although the book is not perfect, the story rang true to me, and I enjoyed the characters and their angst.
There are a couple of items I wish the author had addressed, such as a confrontation between Portia and Astrid, as well as a confrontation between Heath and his grandmother. Those seemed like important bits of the story, which were either skipped, or covered in passing.
Additionally, having just read all of SJ's historical romances in one go, it's quite noticeable that she repeats a number of expressions, such as: "drop of moisture that rises up to kiss her thumb". I saw it in at least 4 of the books, and it became annoying and formulaic. I am not sure if this is due to the author or to faulty editing. Either way, it should be addressed.
A poor daughter (and sister) of a duke is forced to wed for money. This is a typical enough theme in romance novels. Rather than marry a commoner as in many Lisa Kleypas novels, Portia, the protagonist, is sent to Yorkshire to marry Heath, of the Mad Moreton family. Heath refuses to marry because he wants to prevent any of the family members from passing on the madness that afflicted his parents, though it is never clear which parent is afflicted. That it is never clarified is ultimately important to the story, but I found the vagueness to be just that - vague.
Other reviewers found this book exciting, witty and sexy. I found it to be none of these. It was a little boring and very predictable. I found many of the ancillary characters to be unpleasant and off-putting. Finally, there were many story lines that were touched upon, but were dropped without resolution.
If you want to read good books about the ton and unusual match-ups, read anything by Lisa Kleypas, Elizabeth Thornton, Liz Carlyle or Cheryl Holt,to name a few, who have written much better books.
Sophie Jordan's book Too Wicked To Tame is captivating and annoying and funny and just what I needed at the time of purchase. She catches your interest from the first page and keeps it through the end and making you want more right NOw. The annoying is not being annoyed but feeling the annoyance of certain characters who are all well drawn. No two dimensional stick figures in this tradional story of well brought up lady must marry to save her family. That is where tradition ends and fun begins and twists in the plot and rude characters, intelligent and funny characters begin. A perfect way to spend a rainy day off or stolen snatches of time but best get your chores done first because you won't want to put this down.
At first I had problems with Portia being sort of snobby. Then as her past and what she suffers at home is revealed, I did feel bad for her. What I liked about her a lot was that she spoke up for herself. Every time Heath accused her of trying to trap him into marriage, she vehemently denied it. I'm glad that for once we don't get a heroine who has so much pride that she has to keep everything about herself a secret.
The two things that I took points off for were Heath's unreasonable accusations toward Portia that continue more than halfway through the book. Also, I HATE endings that have love confessions on the last page of the last chapter before the epilogue. By that point, I'm already about to give up on the story. It's a common mistake some authors make. It's really a bad idea and unrealistic. Though it builds suspense and tension, it eventually becomes old and you're wondering when in the world the actual romance will happen.