The Stranger I Married Author:Sylvia Day EVERY MARRIAGE HAS ITS SURPRISES ... — Gray was beautiful before, four years ago when he asked Isabel to wed him in a marriage of convenience. Now there are no words to describe him. He is no longer a boyish rogue, not by any stretch of the imagination, but a tormented man, driven by secrets, silent about what he’s done since he disappeared... more ».
Isabel knew how to handle the reckless youth he’d been, but this new husband of hers ... this darkly passionate man is not tamable. Does she dare explore the places inside herself that Gray demands to possess? Does she trust him enough to bare herself completely to a lover who is an irresistible stranger?« less
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The only prior book I've read by Ms Day seemed to me to have so little story--just some throw-away plot to use as an excuse to write one graphic sexual interlude after the other. Not this one. In this book, I found the storyline and premise to be interesting enough that I finished the book in a single day of reading--and didn't skim through it like I have some of her others.
I guess my favorite factor was that our hero married our heroine for all the wrong reasons, was out of the picture for more than 4 years, and came back (a vastly more mature and likeable man) to discover a strong attraction to the wife he left behind. I understood why she was intrigued now when she wasn't back then.
There were a couple of tee-hee moments especially toward the end of the story, one involving our heroine's brother and the near-botching of his own romantic future. At that same time, our heroine was running away from a revelation regarding her husband and their future. This seemed out of character for her because she had pretty much stood her ground and demanded his respect prior to that (and lots of sex, of course).
Ms Day is known for writing in a style that is scorchingly erotic and vividly described using modern language that would have been extremely shocking and unacceptable in this time period. Ultimately, I gave this book a 3 because "I Liked It" and because I would read others by Ms Day, but she is far from my favorite author.
Presumably erotica that reads more like a standard historical romance with lots of steamy sex and explicit language. I had some trouble with it initially; it was slow getting started and I didn't much like the hero. And the heroine isn't particularly easy to identify with either. However, there is a very decent little romance lurking in there, and the hero, once he returns from his four year journey to find himself, emerges as a much stronger more admirable character. Still not perfect, but better than many I've seen in erotic romance. Overall, I enjoyed this book. It has its share of silly moments and contrived situations, and at times it seems that the H&H's entire relationship is based on nothing but sex, but I think fans of erotic romance will find it quite enjoyable. Not a keeper for me, but for all its weaknesses, still a pretty good read.
Sensuality Rating: NC-17