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I have said it in other reviews of Jennifer Blake's novels, but I will say it again... This isn't a novel where you are going to be rooting for the hero. There is always the nice guy who comes in short for the heroine. The hero is always a step below the reformed rake who is really a nice guy. Blake's heros are the ones who eat those other guys for breakfast (and not in sweet...oh I want one just like him way).
There were a few moments where I thought the heroine was going to pick a guy that actually deserved her, but she just couldn't help who she loved.
With that said, this story is real, the plot is complicated and the heroine is put thought a series of trials (more like trials on steroids) that causes her to become a stronger woman.
This is not a fantasy escape, but to me, more like what probably happened during the time period. There are depictions of slavery and what a vile practice that truly was. I appreciate that Blake didn't sugar coat the servants or slaves as happy people who just accepted that they were born into the servant class or were purchased as slaves.
Mostly I read historical fiction to escape and enjoy mindless prattle with hot steamy heroes and lovely stories. This is not that story, nor are any of Blake's novels that I have read.
When I want a tortured romance that is in depth, has substance, paints a real picture of the world, I read Blake. Don't get me wrong, this is a romance novel and has some really beautifully written scenes, but this is just so much more than what the publishers descriptions leads you to believe.
Worth a credit for me, but if you want something different from what I described above, you might want to skip.
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