|I see why some people love this romance novel, written back in 1985, but even though I read the author’s expanded version from 1999, it still feels very old-school, including (SPOILER) a detailed rape of the heroine by the hero. To my mind, this disqualifies the book for contemporary bodice-ripper fans, who focus on issues around consent. There are many current authors who work consent into their stories beautifully. This is NOT one of those novels.
That said, this romance focuses on a strong-willed heroine, and the hero who disguises himself to try to win her. But the hero’s overall arrogance and her strong dislike of him make it very tough to imagine they will ever turn it around. That affects the believability of the novel.
On the plus side, McNaught is strong writer, and her sweeping plot lines, moving from England to France and back, helped make this a bestseller. But the 21st century has not been kind to this novel. For 18 and up.