Francis is a man that fell from grace while still a soldier. He’s now a rich man that can be best described as callous, cynical, and mercenary. His relationship with Caroline started as a business transaction and nothing more. While I appreciate the historical accuracy of Caroline’s circumstances I was not happy with the way she was coerced into doing things she most definitely didn’t want to do in order to pay her debts. That part of the story reminded me of the old bodice rippers, when the woman fell head over heels by the “hero” despite him being a jerk.
And yet, I couldn’t bring myself to hate Francis. He might have been a reprobate however, and as much as he tried to deny it, he was also compassionate and just in his own way. In the end, his redeeming qualities outdid his ruthlessness and he became the man Caroline always knew he could be. And what is best is that it was done in a totally believable way.
That being said, I’m not a fan of stories where the heroine must suffer quietly while the man has his way with her and everyone around him. I know, that’s the way things used to be but that doesn’t mean I have to like it.
**I received this book at no cost to me and I volunteered to read it; this is my honest opinion and given without any influence by the author or publisher.**