England is torn by civil war by the rivalry between King Stephen and the Empress Maud, daughter and chosen heir of her father, Henry I. While out hawking, she has been thrown by her horse and almost lost her beloved falcon, Chanson. Her day is about to get a good deal worse: When she thought back later, Meriel realize that her concentration on the falcon made her miss the sound of approaching horses, but at the time it seemed as if a band of fairyfolk had materialized. She gasped, too startled to be frightened, too slowed by her twisted ankle to dodge out of the way. It took a moment for Meriel to sort out the confusing images and realize that she had been discovered by a hunting party.

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I received an ARC from Netgalley. Now if you have read as many historical romances as I have, you know what happened They fell in love and Gervase befriended Diana s son They spent time together and the boring love story continued The emotional, superstitious Diana refused Gervase s protection , aka becoming his mistress officially, claiming that she was looking for love and respectability aka marriage Gervase, as much as he lusted after Diana, could not offer her either According to him, he could not love, nor could he marry He did not bother to explain why So one fateful night Diana finally got it out of Gervase that he was married and he abused the young girl Diana was outraged for the girl She told Gervase that his self imposed punishment was for himself He spared no thought for the girl To appease her and his own guilt, Gervase decided to face his demon and visit Mary.

So not a keeper and not enjoyable for me. I think there are no transgressions committed by humans that are unforgivable unless done in a cold blood calculated way with malicious intent I am saying this because I have first hand experience of the horrors human beings are capable ofand most of them were committed by flawed but redeemable human beings. You see we do not grow up in a vacuuminstead we are inundated from the moment we are born with influencing and shaping behaviors So when we are judging someone for their behavior we have to understand not only their story, societal influences, and moral and ethical understanding, but also our own biases that may cause us to have knee jerk reactions Let me use the hero of this story for an example The story begins with him getting drunk out of his mind and arranging an assignation with the tavern girl and the chapter ends with him raping a young girl Just based on this first chapter he is a pedophile and a rapist for having non consensual sex with a 16 year old unforgivable and irrevocably beyond redemption0n But I guess if we put the story into contextduring this era marrying a 15 or 16 year old was the norm and unless we want to call every person in that society a child molester by act or association.

Let s first examine the hero s background he was a victim of rape himself an act committed by his own mother and although it is counterintuitive psychologically it makes sense that he is perpetuating the same destructive behavior i.

I don t think sonone of us could. When it comes to the heroine and her motivation for her behaviorit was a lot easier for me to understand because she grew up in a highly patriarchal and misogynist society.

MJP failed to redeem either of themespecially the hero.. My only hope with this review is that you get than just a headache by reading my circular and disjointed thoughts lol if you made it all the way to the end Leaving you with this quote While nothing is easier than to denounce the evildoer, nothing is difficult than to understand him.

Sex Reasonably frequent but often fade to black Some explicit scenes Rape of h by H and threatened rape of h by BadGuy. Then I was graced an advance review by Netgalley and the publisher Kensington Books. It is only when I checked in Goodreads, I learned it was a reedition of a long time ago edition, from the 90s, when I first read Kathleen E Woodiwiss novels.

The rape trope in Mrs Putney book was immediately reported by the earlier reviewers so I questioned myself if I would be able to read this book Then I remembered the first book I read by Mrs Woodiwiss, about a young woman abducted on a boat mistaken for a prostitute, I do not remember if she had a lot of saying about what she wanted After some research, I found which book it was The Flame and The Flower and there was another about a young lady having her home invaded and being rape too by the hero, the soldier behind the attack.

So I decided to read it with an open mind about how it was in this time as not so long ago I read a medieval romance about a marriage of convenience and the husband had quite a dislike for his wife as he was compiled to oblige his family and when he claimed his marital s rights, he just did it, not a moment did he tried to be kind to his wife, worth he hurt her on their first night until their relationship evolved to a love match.

So will the hero be redeemable So yes, it is rape from our modern point of view but in his drunken stupor and his angry haze, he saw his now wife as a scheming whore and decided to claim what had become his by law, the girl never uttered a word He claimed his hudband s rights as a revenge for tricking him in this joke of a marriage He only understood after what he did, and himself named it as a rape while this time period accorded no says to the brides, they changed hands from father to husband like any chattel and were to do what their owners decided them to.

And even if I might shock many, I do loved this book. As my first read by Mrs Putney and despite the triggers, I was sucked by the fluidity of the story, it was clever and witty with the right amount of anger I was not appalled by the story passed the initial stage of distaste after the prologue Sure, I m no psychiatrist and it probably than borders the Stockholm syndrome but Gervase has his flaws and he committed sins but it does not make him an evil or monster as Diana rose herself from a victim to a woman who curbs her life in the way she wants it to.

Madeline is really an awesome character. I usually am not very attracted with stories about destitute women but she is a magnificent person whom has gained from her life than it had cost her, she never lost her soul Gervase s cousin, Francis was also a kind and sweet allie to Diana and Geoffrey, Diana s son was a breath of fresh air and never he was depicted as overacted.

Then the bigger threat is not the vilain but themselves and the guilt and anger they bear in their inner core that make them doubt the other and could cost them everything if they can t overcome their pain She and Gervase each carried dark scars on their souls, scars only love could heal In the language of the heart she must be the teacher, for she knew something about giving and receiving love, while Gervase could scarcely bring himself to say the word aloud If they were to have a future together, she must fight him she must compel him to explore his own heart, and to let her in I know rape is a trigger for many persons, so I can comprehend if readers choose to avoid this story, but I was glad I did read this book.


Dearly Beloved

R ead an Excerpt In spite of their physical closeness Gervase was remote from her, his expression harsh and withdrawn. The more I have of you, the more I crave you. Without true intimacy, it seemed wrong to be naked in front of him. Staring into the fire, she wondered what one could say to a man who preferred aloneness, who wanted to be sufficient unto himself.


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