I really disliked this book, which is unusual, becuase I enjoy Howell's work. But the hero is mean, bordering on abusive. He actually badgers her to tears. The heroine dislikes his constant abuse, but is so attracted to him she puts up with it. I was so frustrated with these characters I never got into the story.
I have just started reading Hannah Howell and I am enjoying her books immensely. Wild Conquest takes place in Massachusetts during the colonial period prior to the revolutionary war. All the characters meshed and as the story develops so does the chemistry between Pleansance and Tearlach O'Duine.
Pleasance is a spinster daughter of a wealthy merchant. Her parents and her youngest brother and sister are not fond of her. They treat her with cruelty and indifference. Her younger brother Nathan always stands up for up for her, so where was he now when she needed him so much.
Letitia has set her sights on Tearlach who has been courting Pleasance. Letitia father thinks that Tearlach is beneath Letitia, though for Pleasance it isn't an issue for she is a spinster and does not have many choices. Their father has arranged for Letitia to marry a man from a wealthy family, but since Tearlach snubbed Letitia, she wants him all the more.
Pleasance is ordered by her parents to give up Tearlach and she does but with a wounded heart. Tearlach doesn't understand the turnaround that just yesterday Pleasance allowed him to kiss her and he knew he would be interested in no other. Was he so wrong, so with a wounded ego he starts to leave. Letitia shows up and starts to seduce Tearlach. Just to get even he allows her to seduce him in front of Pleasance.
Pleasance finds out several weeks later that Letitia has decided he is beneath her and she will do much better with the man her father picked out for her â¦ only there is a little problem. She has written love letters and gave a expensive gift to Tearlach. If he exposes this to anyone, it means ruin to her family and Letitia will lose the love of her life. Pleasance doesn't want to bring shame down on her family if just for Nathan's sake, so she agrees to steal back the love letters and the gift.
In the act of stealing the items back, she is caught by Tearlach, he has her arrested and jailed. Her family disowns her and tells lies about her character and morals âmaking her into a whore and thief. Tearlach had thought her family would help her and when they didn't he couldn't see her flogged or jailed so he pays her fine and she enters into servitude for one year to pay the fine. She returns to Tearlach's home in the wilderness where he sets out to seduce her while she is paying of the fine with labor, he wants her but not long term. He also has a half sister that needs a woman's touch.
Pleasance must adapt to living in the wilderness, being a servant, being a short-term mother, and most of all facing ruin if she becomes Tearlach lover. Tearlach must walk a line between Pleasance as a servant and seeking her to be a lover and the conflict of wanting more but not allowing his heart to rule. Pleasance and Tearlach set on a journey to find forgiveness, acceptance and love.