Four young ladies enter London society and band together to each find a husband. Has the third “Wallflower” now met her match?
A Devil’s Bargain
Easily the shyest Wallflower, Evangeline Jenner stands to become the wealthiest, once her inheritance comes due. Because she must first escape the clutches of her unscrupulous relatives, Evie has approached the rake Viscount St. Vincent with a most outrageous proposition: marriage!
Sebastian’s reputation is so dangerous that thirty seconds alone with him will ruin any maiden’s good name. Still, this bewitching chit appeared, unchaperoned, on his doorstep to offer her hand. Certainly an aristocrat with a fine eye for beauty could do far worse.
But Evie’s proposal comes with a condition: no lovemaking after their wedding night. She will never become just another of the dashing libertine’s callously discarded broken hearts—which means Sebastian will simply have to work harder at his seductions… or perhaps surrender his own heart for the very first time in the name of true love.
*This review contains spoilers for It Happened One Autumn*
DNF AT PAGE FUCKING EIGHT. BECAUSE RAAAAAAAAGE.
Welcome to YET ANOTHER feminist rant. If that sort of thing isn’t for you, look away now, or unfriend or unfollow me. Because this sort of thing IS for me, and it’s something I do with alarming frequency when reviewing books in the romance genre.
Let’s jump right into it, shall we?
THIS FUCKING “HERO”.
You have got to be kidding me with this shit. Look, I consider myself a Kleypas fangirl (see any of my reviews for the Hathaway series), but this book is completely unacceptable. This book made me nauseous.
This book made me want to punch a baby dolphin in the blow hole.
Don’t worry; I would never actually do that. Because I am not a Sea World trainer.
Let’s talk about something that’s rampant in preeeeetty much the entire romance genre; the romanticization of abusive, rapey fuck knuckles. This book is a wonderful example of that. And by wonderful, I obviously mean rage-inducing.
The “romantic lead” in this book is easily one of the most loathsome men I have ever come across in a romance novel, and if you take a look at my shelves, you’ll notice that I’ve read a lot of fucking romance novels.
I’m beginning to think that I’ve read too many fucking romance novels.
Let me tell you something, I can buy the redeemed rake trope. I can even, sometimes, fall madly in love with irredeemable assholes *cough* Jericho Barrons *cough*
But even I have my limits. For example:
# 1. You cannot take the villain of one book and make him the romantic lead in the next after he kidnaps a woman with the intent of marrying her against her will and then threatens to TORTURE her if she refuses to go along with it:
“We’re going to marry, sweet.”
“I won’t cooperate,” Lillian finally whispered.
“I’m afraid you will,” he replied evenly. “I know several methods to solicit your participation, though I would prefer not to cause you unnecessary pain.”
# 2. You cannot take the villain of one book and make him the romantic lead in the next after the woman he kidnaps tells him that any consummation of their marriage will be rape and he completely fucking dismisses her because of his “sexual prowess”:
“Not if it’s rape,” Lillian choked, flinching as she felt the easy slide of his palm over her shoulder.
“It won’t be rape,” St. Vincent said gently. “If I know one thing darling, it’s how to…well, I won’t boast.”
# 3. You cannot take the villain of one book and make him the romantic lead in the next after he threatens to RAPE the woman he kidnapped:
“Don’t even think about struggling or kicking. Or I may decide to delay our journey while I demonstrate precisely what my paramours find so delightful about handcuffs.”
Held in check by the credible threat of rape, Lillian held still as he carried her outside the carriage.
# 4. You cannot take the villain of one book and make him the romantic lead in the next after he restrains and then sexually assaults the woman he kidnapped:
A painful knot gathered in her throat as St. Vincent lifted a practiced hand to the exposed skin of her upper chest, and stroked the edge of her chemise. “Would that we had time to play,” he said lightly. Watching her face, he slid his fingers to the curve of her breast and fondled until he felt the nipple harden at his touch. Shamed and enraged, Lillian breathed rapidly through her nostrils.
# 5. You cannot then try to make me question this fucking rapey piece of shit’s intent by opening your next book with the following:
“Would you have f-forced yourself on her, or not?”
Sebastian stared at her with patent mockery. “If I say no, Miss Jenner, how would you know if I were lying or not? No. I would not have raped her. Is that the answer you want? Believe it, then, if it makes you feel safer.”
WHAT THE EVER-LOVING FUCK? HAVE THEY ALREADY FORGOTTEN #4?! HE DID FUCKING FORCE HIMSELF ON HER.
Fuck this book. Fuck this male lead.