Posted in: willaful, willaful reviews
Tags:Historical romance, TBR Challenge
The theme: A steamy read
Why this one: It has not one but two passionate couples wearing bad eyeshadow on the cover! What says steamy better than that?
I didn’t exactly read this… I started it, began to skim, read big blocks, doubled back and read parts that I’d skipped before… This is possibly the old skooliest old skool book Goodman ever wrote, and though her prose and storytelling are definitely better than they were in her first book, she hadn’t really found her voice yet. It’s also quite a squidgy read. She threw everything but the kitchen sink into this one — I think the only bodice ripper trope it doesn’t have is a harem.
The time is during and after the Civil War, in which Logan and Mary Catherine were on opposite sides. (Strike one.) Their love-hate relationship begins when she’s just an adolescent — first she worships him, then she hates him, then at age 15 she tries to seduce him. After Yankee Logan is caught by the enemy and set to a hellish prison, he believes she set him up and the hate continues. There’s a vengeance rape and a marriage to someone else and a secret baby and naughty photographs and assorted villains and I don’t know what all. About 95 percent of it made me uncomfortable in one way or another, though I liked it better on the second go through, in which I saw more of the feeling between the characters. I’m tempted to start over from the beginning and give it a real shot, but I just can’t face reading all the yeechy parts again.
I won’t give this a grade since I didn’t read it as it was meant to be read. It seems to be reasonably popular on GoodReads; I might have loved it a few years ago, when intensity was everything to me. It’s not in print and hasn’t been digitized yet, but you can buy it cheap here.
Published by Zebra. (And how.) Reviewed from personal copy, probably acquired at paperbackswap.