©2001 Johanna Lindsey; (P)2009 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
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Short but sweet. I love reading books about Victorian holidays...especially Christmas. This was a pretty good book. Although predictable, it was still a good read for the upcoming holiday.
"Next time, trust the reviews"
I fully admit walking into this one- I read the reviews and listened to the sample and thought "but it's Johanna Lindsey- it'll be okay, even if it doesn't turn out to become a favorite." Next time, I should listen to the reviews.
The hero is vindictive, rude, vengeful, callous, malicious, calculating and in general- awful. There is very little redeeming quality about him. He effectively sets out to destroy the heroine's family, even while pretending that it is only her father he is harming. I don't care how Lindsey and the heroine explain that away, I spent the entire book trying to the find something wonderful or redeeming in him and never did manage it or even get close.
For a romance novel to work, we, the readers, have to love something or find something endearing about the main characters. I am generally a pretty forgiving person IRL and can tolerate a lot more in a romance novel than in reality, after all- it's fiction and everyone gets their HEA. However, this one just made me angry. Pretty impressive, considering it's only just over 4 hours long. I ended up positively loathing the "hero". I still can't figure out how the heroine could see only the good in him when he wronged her and her family so deliberately and so many times. That's not a simple misunderstanding. It's malicious and repetitive, pretty much the definition of abusive. Why would you ever trust such a man again, regardless of his thin excuses and attempts to make amends after the truth comes to light?
This book is a seriously failed attempt at the "protagonist and antagonist are the same person, but it's okay - it was all just a misunderstanding" storyline. If you have little tolerance for characters who abuse situations and people, avoid this book like the plague. It's not one of Mrs Lindsey's finest and if it was the first book I'd read of hers, I'd never read another book by her again.
IMHO, not worth a credit or the time I spent listening to it. Take my advice and listen to the other negative reviews. They're right on this one.
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