Saturday, February 25, 2012
Review of A Lady Awakened by Cecilia Grant
Title/Author: A Lady Awakened by Cecilia Grant
Publisher/Date published: Bantam, December 27th 2011
How I got this book: received it from the publisher through NetGalley
Goodreads summary: "Newly widowed and desperate to protect her estate and beloved servants from her malevolent brother-in-law, Martha Russell conceives a daring plan. Or rather, a daring plan to conceive. After all, if she has an heir on the way, her future will be secured. Forsaking all she knows of propriety, Martha approaches her neighbor, a London exile with a wicked reputation, and offers a strictly business proposition: a month of illicit interludes... for a fee.
Theophilus Mirkwood ought to be insulted. Should be appalled. But how can he resist this siren in widow’s weeds, whose offer is simply too outrageously tempting to decline? Determined she’ll get her money’s worth, Theo endeavors to awaken this shamefully neglected beauty to the pleasures of the flesh — only to find her dead set against taking any enjoyment in the scandalous bargain. Surely she can’t resist him forever. But could a lady’s sweet surrender open their hearts to the most unexpected arrival of all... love?"
Ok, so from the summary I thought this would be a sweet, sexy story. Yeah, it kind of really wasn't.
I had SUCH a problem with Martha. I mean, I get it, she's been emotionally unavailable for as long as even her siblings can remember, but that still makes the whole thing weird to me. You see, Martha wants to get pregnant because she needs to keep her staff out of the clutches of the evil brother-in-law after her husband dies. And it needs to be soon for the child to be recognized as her husband's heir. So she asks Theo to perform extramarital duties in order to conceive said heir. And then I thought the seduction would begin.
Wanna know what happened instead? Well, it pretty much seemed like rape with permission from the woman. It was NOT sexy. Martha pretty much just endures everything and tells Theo not to bother with everything besides the part where there's actually a chance he will get her pregnant if you catch my drift. And really, I cannot imagine any man finding that sexy. Or carrying on with it for a full month. I mean really? Well, except if the man in question is either stupid or jerk enough not to care. And as Theo is our hero, I don't think he's supposed to be either of those.
And really, then Martha does something noble, but completely stupid in my opinion. I mean, the whole thing had me going NOOOOO! WHAT HAVE YOU BEEN DOING THIS ENTIRE TIME??? Though Theo gets some credit for his actions at the end of the novel, though I thought he was kind of an idiot, he did have some endearing qualities.
Most of all, I didn't believe the 'love' between them, I really didn't. And the whole thing made me completely uncomfortable and that's not the feeling I want to be getting from a romance novel.
My rating: 1,5 stars