With one sweet, seductive kiss, Megan Kinkead is no longer the impudent child Justin Brant remembers. She was a girl when she left Maam’s Cross Court for school, but she has returned a woman, body and soul. Once Megan’s guardian, Justin, the sixth Earl of Weston, is soon her heart’s obsession. Desire smolders between them, and then he tells her he is married….
Set against the lush green hills of Ireland, Karen Robards’s classic tale will captivate your imagination and set your soul ablaze as a stubborn young beauty and her aristocratic paramour are caught between loyalty and Forbidden Love.
©1997 Karen Robards (P)2013 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
The story revolves around an affair between a 17 year old girl and her 36 year old guardian who has been unhappily married for 15 years. On the surface, this plot line could have provided the basis for a very good book(i.e. a similar story written by Anita Shreve in which the young girl is very precocious and mature beyond her years). Sadly, the girl in this novel is so immature (for example, she doesn't know what a penis is) and unrealistic that it is hard to believe the guardian could feel more for her than lust. The guardian himself has a bad temper, is very controlling, and is so self-centered he appears downright clueless sometimes. Most of the book is full of self-recrimination, angst, anger, and misunderstanding. The resolution toward the end leaves one feeling like "hell, why didn't the guardian do this a long time ago." The narrator is unpleasant and difficult to listen to. This is not a terrible book, but it is not one I would recommend.
Karen Robards is actually one of my favorite historical fiction writers and so I hate to say a disparaging word, Buuut, I really didn't like this book. Her writing was intense and engaging as usual but I was turned off by the story line.
It's very hard to enjoy a book where the main character is nothing more than a very young girl and the man nearly double her age.
I'm not fool enough to think that such things didn't take place at that time but it was kinda creepy to hear it at THIS time.
The Narrator: I DID enjoy, he makes for a lousy women but his male aspect to the story was the only part that kept me listening.
Overall, I'd tell you to try some of her other stuff because she has some awesome books, this just isn't one of them.
Re: the audio. James Clamp did a good job of narrating. I don't normally like men narrating romance, because their female voices always make me think of a big strapping woman with 'man hands'. Of course, some females do an equally poor job with the males. YMMV, I'm sure/
The story was nice and 'forbidden', which was what I was looking for. As her ward, the H legally had all the power of a father over the heroine. Plus he was almost 20yrs older than she. Then there's the tiny little fact that he's already married.
I normally wouldn't read something with a already-married H, but I could swallow it here. The H hadn't had sex with his wife in years and that's how she wanted it. It would have been different had she been pining away for him, but she couldn't have cared less. As far as she was concerned he could have all the mistresses he wanted as long as he was discreet and left her alone. The only thing she wanted was his title/money.
I really did like the h. She wasn't perfect, but she was 17 and sheltered and she acted like it. Robards really made you feel her loneliness and pain at having had no one in her life who cared for her. I'm still not sure who she was though. Maybe I wasn't paying enough attention. I took it that she was an orphaned 5yr old on the H's Irish estate when he took her on as a ward. There was some hint that he may have had something going on with her mother, but well after the h was born.
Meagan may have been reckless in how she pursued the romance with Justin, but she was desperate for love and attention AND she didn't know about the Countess. Yes, some have said that's hard to swallow and I agree it was unrealistic. However, within the context of the story, I have no doubt that Meagan did not know and that's what is important to me.
The first half was a little slow to me at times and I'd rate it a 3.5. It was your basic people falling in love with 'seemingly' no great conflict aside from the H being much older and feeling he should be a father figure not a lover. Of course, at that time a 17yr old and a 36yr old wasn't that unheard of. We do know that Justin has a wife and he knows more is at stake, but that's all conveniently pushed under the rug for the time being. The H does give the h a slight spanking (3 whacks) at one point, so that was kinda kinky (or completely DNW depending on your point of view).
But, oh, the last half was filled with crazy and that's what I came here for :) Justin goes nuts once Meagan tries to find a husband within the Ton. She still loves him, but has to convince him she wants to marry another because she's pregnant and knows Justin will not allow her to marry if he knows. She chooses the child over Justin and I respected her for that. She knew Justin would keep her and the child in luxury, but the child would still be a bastard and that was a huge thing at the time.
The last half was a 5 for me, thus the overall 4.5 I gave to the book. However, that's because I wanted a bodice ripper with a healthy dose of crazy and angst. The H is very unlikeable in much of the latter half. He rapes the h several times (to me it was more of a hardcore forced seduction). Little Meagan just couldn't control that traitorous 'inner goddess'. Even when he was being rough and calling her cruel names (slut, whore, bitch) she was still helplessly melting for him. I really wish she'd have at least pretended indifference once, dude needed a little more guilt piled onto his side of the ledger. *evil grin*
He also abducts her, holds her prisoner, and slaps her once - and I won't even get into that scene as it's a HUGE plot point.
This was my first Robards, but definitely won't be my last.
This is the first time I have ever hoped that the main characters wouldn't get together in the end. I truly began to loathe the so-called hero.
My problem was that as the story progressed, I began to truly dislike the hero. In my opinion, he was written so loathsome, that I just could not get past it.
I had no problem with the ward/guardian dynamic and the extreme age difference. My issues were with the main characters themselves. Megan was written as being very naive, which could be explained by the time period itself, but I just could not get past the violence that Justin began to exhibit. Between the name calling, the threatened rape, abandonment and slapping, I just could not root for him in the end.
A book lover with a romantic soul, but willing to take a leap of faith. I LOVE to get sucked into a story and live there for a bit.
Let me first say that I do not usually do reviews on books that I have yet to finish, but I made the exception this time because I don't think I will be able to stomach it much longer.
I don't mind an age difference in a romance, my spouse is 15 years older than me, BUT when the age difference is 20 years AND he is her guardian AND he is MARRIED to another woman... I am having a hard time seeing the "romance" in this!
** He put her over his knee and spanked her, yet 20 minutes later, he is kissing her?!?
** Then he spends half his time reprimanding himself that she is his ward and he should have "fatherly" affection towards her, YET he doesn't do much to remove her from his temptation.
**Did I mention that he was already MARRIED?
Honestly this book makes me think it was written for a pedophile. It shows a man who is 36 years old, married and is the guardian of a 17 year old girl. He totally abuses his power and takes advantage (IMHO) of someone in his care. He is cheating on his marriage vows (even if it is a distant marriage, it IS STILL A MARRIAGE!) so he is cheating on his wife. Were this turned around, the man would be an outraged cockhold seeking revenge on the field of honor.
*** This book seriously is making me ill and I don't think that I will EVER seek out this author again. Abuse is NOT romance and if we teach young girls that it is, we are only extending the normalcy of abuse and making it seem right. Not for me! I can't believe that this was published OR that someone could read it out loud and still label it as "Romance"
It was kind of weird to get over the fact he used to be her gaurdian. I know the age difference isn't that big of a deal but it would have been better if he was just slightly younger. Ha! At least from a young girls perspective!
I love Karen Robards and she went to places that I have not seen in any other romance. That made me a little uncertain. I wouldn't say it was good or bad just interesting. I am glad I listened to it. But it wouldn't be one I'd listen to again.
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