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In Bed with the Duke (Governess Brides, Bk 8)
In Bed with the Duke - Governess Brides, Bk 8 Author:Christina Dodd Lady's companion Emma Chegwidden avoids defying society's rules-until she runs right into the arms of the seductive Reaper...a mystery man whose goal is justice. Or is it vengeance? Only one thing is certain: he's far too dangerous for the demure Emma. But some challenges are too tempting to resist...
~ Was definitely disappointing - and is no one else bothered by the rape scene between the hero and heroine? ~
Some of my all-time favorite historical romance books have been written by Christina Dodd - ONE KISS FROM YOU, RULES OF SURRENDER, LOST IN YOUR ARMS and THE RUNAWAY PRINCESS. IN BED WITH THE DUKE started off pretty well and I always love books where the heroine is overlooked, shy, etc. - I thought the fact that Emma had a horrible sense of direction and always got lost was going to add some great humor to the story. The first interaction between Emma and Michael was enjoyable, the setting/plot promised to be very adventurous and action-packed, and the physical scenes between the Reaper and Emma were hot. However, this book was ended up being utterly disappointing and in some parts downright offensive.
-- Emma and Michael have far too little interaction in the first 2/3 of the book.
-- We don't get to know Michael very well and he remains throughout the whole of the book a somewhat elusive hero
-- Emma "falls in love" with the Reaper after about a week and then makes love with him ... even though they've never had a conversation (literally, he's never spoken to her), they don't know one another, and their interactions basically amount to a full week of physically intimate evenings.
-- While she's "falling in love" with the Reaper, she doesn't really like Michael ... so yeah, how does that work out exactly, since he's supposed to be the real hero?
-- This book ended so abruptly I thought that maybe there were some pages missing at the end (and certain previously-unmet family members seemed to pop up out of thin air).
I volunteer with a rape crisis hotline and found the love - a.k.a rape - scene, utterly disgusting. According to the American legal system, the scene between them in the barn qualifies as rape. You have the heroine saying no and struggling; the hero saying, yes you want it, your body is reacting; her saying no again; them having sex. Worst part is that during it all, Emma is saying "no" but apparently thinking "yes" ... does "she said no, but really meant yes" or "she wanted it, just didn't want to admit it" sound familiar? Because those are both justifications rapists use. I like alpha-male heroes as much as the next romance reader, but Michael saying "I own you!" and "I have this right. I take this right!" when talking about having sex with her should turn everyone off.
Christina Dodd has done this in two other books of hers that I read and it was basically the exact same thing and just as disgusting. Her normal non-rapist alpha-male heroes are great and she should stick with them. (The other two books were A WELL PLEASURED LADY and A WELL FAVORED GENTLEMAN).
So did I like the book? No. Should you read it? No. Instead, skip this book and read the four books I listed at the beginning of this review, since those show off Christina Dodd's talent and are actually enjoyable and inoffensive.
This book is apparently part of the "Great Read Guaranteed!" because the Penguin Group is "so confident you will love this book that we are offering a 100% money-back guarantee!" All you have to do is mail them the book, the receipt, and your explanation of why you didn't like the book. So I will be doing that instead of posting it on PaperbackSwap, since I want them to know exactly what it is I object to. [UPDATE, May 11 - Penguin sent me my reimbursement check and just got it today: thank you!]
Sharon B. reviewed In Bed with the Duke (Governess Brides, Bk 8) on
Helpful Score: 9
Eye-rolling ensued. It's 1849 and we encounter 'clone' on the very first page ... and not a botanical in sight! Oh well. We don't read these books for etymological truth, of course, but - really! - shouldn't an editor be involved before the book gets into my hands? Engaging enough story, same old same old, but when the snickers begin before the willing suspension of disbelief can engage, it makes it all the more difficult.
After only the 1st chapter I seriously wanted to stop reading this book. I forced myself to finish it, and the only thing that kept me going was the fact that it was by Christina Dodd. I kept hoping it would get better, but it never really did. The end was very strange, as some of the other reviewers said, but i guess the author needed to introduce the other characters (somehow or other!)in order to write their future stories. All in all, the book was "ok"; i gave it 2 stars, but none of it really seemed believable.
Harmless but not really engaging - as another member mentioned, the language frequently was too modern for the era in which the story was supposedly set ('lousy', 'clone'...). I never felt that the two main characters really go to know each other well enough to act the way they do toward each other. I think the contemporary and paranormal books that CD writes are trickling into her historicals, and not in a good way.
Boring. I found the reviews here more memorable than the book itself.
Rape scene - not really. I do think there are rape scenes in certain romance novels that just make you angry, where it feels like the hero has crossed the line into real villainy. I think scenes like the one in this book are more about sexual dominance, which I interpreted as a turn-on for the heroine. It is, in fact, a pretty common theme in historical romance. I would even argue that part of the reason many women read historical romance is the very different attitudes and treatment of women. We don't want to be treated like property in real life, but there is something a little sexy reading about it. Many, many historical (and paranormal) books have the hero referring to the woman as "mine" and talking about ownership, always in the bedroom. Outside the bedroom they are always equals, in sex, there is a certain mastery that the hero inevitably has over the heroine. However, specific to this book, the love scenes were more eye-rolling than anything else. Dodd wrote such sexy scenes in her paranormal books, what happened here? I get that this is fantasy and the unreality of these love scenes is part of the fun, but the woman having so many orgasms she loses count just seems silly. And frankly some of the things she described sounded uncomfortable and painful, not sexy. Not a turn not, but not anger-inducing, just disappointing.
Having read Christina Dodd's contemporary paranormal series, I had much higher expectations for her historical romance. Sadly, she is just not the same writer in the historical genre as with paranormal. This is my second attempt at a Dodd historical and probably my last. The story was plodding and over-long. The hero and heroine were rather interesting characters but there just wasn't enough happening, in either the plot or the romance, to keep the book interesting. Too many things were obvious to the reader and it's difficult to tell if Dodd just thinks readers are all monumentally stupid or if she thinks that we all like to read 400 pages of knowing exactly what is going to happen. And worst of all was her having the character of the psychic who told Emma's future (once again letting us know exactly what will happen in advance) but never actually having that foreseeing be part of the story. What was the point? Just to make sure there wasn't a single surprise in store for us???