Friday, June 17, 2005

Stalker hero

One of my hard & fast rules about romances is that I have to love the hero. No exceptions. Most often, I start out liking the hero before I've read much. Yes, I'm easy. Once in a while I come across a hero I dislike from the start. These are always wallbangers.

Yesterday, I started One Kiss From YOu by Christina Dodd. Set in 1806 London the hero is an American bent on revenge for a murder & wrongful accusation. The heroine is a 24 year old companion who has been coerced into temporarily taking her mistress' place in the hero's household . She has managed to avoid marriage & has traveled extensively across Europe & beyond with her mistress.

The hero has had Eleanor followed. He dismisses her servants without her permission. He tells her she will live in a gilded cage, her every need supplied at his whim & only as long as she is meek, submissive & obedient. When Eleanor attempts to escape, Remington spares the life of the groom who helps her only because she begs & promises anything in order to spare the servant's life.

As for Eleanor, she was an abused child who managed to escape the father by becoming a companion. Why an intelligent, well traveled woman would tolerate such treatment I can't imagine. Why an employer/friend would ask Eleanor to accept such abuse is beyond me. Eleanor is put in the postion of having to do what the woman asks because she has nowhere else to go and- basically the hero has effectively imprisoned her.

This is not the basis for the Cinderella type romance the cover page promises. The hero is written as a cold, calculating, vengeful man who is obsessed with the past & is bent on ruining this family at all costs. IMO, he is the villain. There is no care expressed for Eleanor save her bountiful heaving breasts, small waist & curvy hips & her supposed family ties. Said body parts hidden under the required 'ugly companion clothes' naturally.

Remington, aside from a name that reminds me of my husband's razor, is a stalker pure & simple. The behaiviors he shows are not those of a lovable, redeemeble man. Why should a woman with abuse in her past come to love a man who has no compunctions about manipulating & controlling her every movement?

This book heads straight into the trade bag. I have Candle in the Window by Dodd as a keeper. I enjoy her work as a rule. Not this time.

No comments: