Summary from (goodreads.com)
Will a week of seduction…
Desperate to save her sister’s life, Sidonie Forsythe has agreed to submit herself to a terrible fate: Beyond the foreboding walls of Castle Craven, a notorious, hideously scarred scoundrel will take her virtue over the course of seven sinful nights. Yet instead of a monster, she encounters a man like no other. And during this week, she comes to care for Jonas Merrick in ways that defy all logic—even as a dark secret she carries threatens them both.
…Spark a lifetime of passionate surrender?
Ruthless loner Jonas knows exactly who he is. Should he forget, even for a moment, the curse he bears, a mere glance in the mirror serves as an agonizing reminder. So when the lovely Sidonie turns up on his doorstep, her seduction is an even more delicious prospect than he originally planned. But the hardened outcast is soon moved by her innocent beauty, sharp wit, and surprising courage. Now as dangerous enemies gather at the gate to destroy them, can their new, fragile love survive?
Objectively, this book has some serious problems with the concept of consent. Forcing someone to have sex with you? Ignoring them when they say no? Those are both flashing red lights that indicate RAPE. Speaking as a survivor of sexual assault, that is not a sexy situation in real life. So whenever romance novels even hint at non-consensual sexytimes, I get annoyed and angry. (See: The Iron Duke by Meljean Brook, Devil’s Bride by Stephanie Laurens, The Dangerous Viscount by Miranda Neville, etc.).
And yet, I loved this book. I was definitely aware that what was happening on the page was problematic, but I couldn’t stop reading because I was so wrapped up in the story. I’ve been trying to figure out why I liked it so much. Beauty and the Beast retellings and wounded lion heroes are my catnip? The sex scenes were fantastic? (One half of my brain was saying, “Yeah, normally when you tie someone up against their will, they aren’t going to be pleased with you in the long run…” and the other half of my brain was saying, “I DON’T CARE; THIS IS GREAT!” as I went back to read the scene in question a second time.)
I’m definitely weirded out that I found this book so addicting (to the point where I squeed when I found out that the author has an extensive backlist) despite the fact that I’m really, really not a fan of rape fantasies. And maybe that contradiction is what makes the book so interesting to me. I want to do my English major thing and take it apart to see what makes it tick. I’d love to hear romance readers or authors pick this one apart in blog posts or conference panels. It would be a great discussion book for romance-specific book groups, too.
Rating (spiciness, not quality)
4/4 chili peppers (0 being no sex, 5 being full-frontal erotica)