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Certainly I forgave contemporary heros who hung around truck stops looking for delicate amnesiacs to take home and clothe. I managed to tolerate submissive secretaries and love scenes that lacked consent.
Even a deadbeat dad was fine if he showed the appropriate remorse. Alas, I am so much older now. Adele Ashworth is a wonderful writer. Sadly there are two problems here. The second is our heroine, Viola.
The third is the central theme of the book — what is rape? What is consent? If you believe that consent is the word yes, no matter the context in which it is issued, stop here. Ian once spent 5 weeks locked in a dungeon where he almost died of neglect. He was practically asking for it.
No, I did mean to put it that way. Having survived his ordeal, Ian is plagued by memory troubles and a desire for revenge. I mean justice. No, I mean revenge. Oh, who knows. Since he ends up with Viola the man is obviously unfit to make his own choices in life. Fast forward and skip over all the plot points.
No, you have that right. Ian believes and I concur that Viola raped him. But he wants to have sex with her anyway. I know! But he does. Fast forward again. Really, am I the only one thinking of a certain crazy teacher and her too young lover right now?
Because they are so hot for each other. It must be love if they want to have sex! She was a victim too. She did her best. She keeps his secrets. Oh, I forgot, he was also chained to a wall the whole time. Yes, large parts of their interpersonal dynamic made me hunger for a shower and some quality therapy, but overall she did assist in freeing him. She did offer him what care she could because — wait. She was just in fear of being homeless? She kept an earl he gets a social upgrade between books captive because her mom might get mad?
The one jailed and transported for trying to kill Ian? Viola is saving money in a special account to give her sister if she ever forgives Viola for freeing Ian?
Plus, she had a child. Everyone knows that having the child of the man you sexed up while he was dying, chained, and drugged silly means you care.
The Duke Trilogy: Duke of Scandal 2 by Adele Ashworth (2006, Paperback)
The Duke's Indiscretion