Oh. My. God. I never thought that a day would come where I'd find myself bitching about the hero instead of the heroine. I never thought it was possible. I mean ME, the HEROINE hater, HATING A HERO.
But there you go. I fuckin' HATED this guy. Hated him in a I'ma-draw-and-quarter-him-chop-his-d-into-tiny-little-pieces-and-feed-em-to-the-eagles-and-his-balls-to-the-ducks. I don't think I've ever read a hero more of an asshole than this one, other then Carl in 'The Odds Against'. NOW THAT ONE TOOK THE CAKE HE EVEN SLAPPED THE HEROINE TWICE!!!
Okay, here goes the review. Brace yo'selves, y'all.
OH MY GOD. OH DEAR GOD. OH FUCK OH FUCK OH FUCK. I CANNOT BELIEVE THE CRUELTY OF THIS HERO!!!! OH DEAR GOD. I HAD TO TAKE THREE BREAKS TO CALM MYSELF DOWN, AND THAT WAS ONLY DURING THE FIRST FIFTY PAGES.
The book started off with hero insulting, verbally abusing and taunting the heroine at every turn, blaming her, trying to put her down and just basically acting so damned cruelly. I was repulsed my him right from the start, and I LIKE cruel, asshole heroes! So we're well into about 70 pages AND HE'S STILL INSULTING HER AND THREATENING TO KILL, BEAT AND RAPE HER AND EVERY AWFUL THING IMAGINABLE.
About 40% of the book. All. About. The hero mocking and degrading the heroine. The first half of the book, practically. What infuriated me even more was that the stupid heroine JUST SAT THERE AND TOOK IT ALL, BELIEVING THAT SHE DESERVED IT. Another non-Aayesha thing. I love the quiet heroines who don't throw temper tantrums. I LOVE THEM. But this one, OH GOD. OH GOD THIS ONE. She defines the phrase 'too stupid to live'. She had so little self-confidence that she believed that she deserved all that he was throwing at her. In a way I kind of feel sorry for her. BUT NOT ENOUGH TO ABATE MY HATRED FOR HER STUPIDITY.
Back to hero. As I said (*cough cough* many times, I believe), the hero was just plain awful. I can't imagine these two ever living happily ever after together if the hero is this abusive every time something doesn't go his way. And for God's sake, HE DIDN'T EVEN LOVE THE OW!!! He just wanted to have sex with her!!! When that was taken away from him and he turns that abusive, I seriously don't want to imagine the poor girl's future with him.
And as if that wasn't enough, Winspear had to go and make him all abusive. He actually shoves the heroine into the balcony railing so hard that she bruises. Oh right, and there was also the beginning where he was pulling the heroine's hair like all hell had broken lose. And bruising her arms. Same old, same old.
When they were in the villa or wherever that place was, he kept going off to work, leaving her to herself. And telling her that after she'd give him a son, she was supposed to give up her baby to him and divorce him was DESPICABLE.
How can someone even love a man like that is beyond me.
There are a countless other details that maddened me, but I won't go into them now for the sake of my sanity.
Now I'll come to the heroine. Dumbest chick I've ever read, with the sole exception of Gail (once again from 'Against the Odds'). I don't even know what she saw in him. She must have had some serious issues, putting up with all that. ESPECIALLY the Greek macho-ism shit.
But I do give her credit for bearing all that abuse, and not cheating on him while she had the chance. Even though I think she'd have been much better off with the brother, I still didn't want her to be with anyone else but said asshole hero, because I am, in the end, a hopeless romantic at heart. But meh, they deserved each other.
Now for the Greek-male-dominance thing. Seriously, that was over the top. I mean, I know that it's scientifically proven that males are the better species in body and intelligence than females, but all that shit about females staying at home looking after their husbands and bearing them 'sons' (note: NOT daughters)?
This book wasn't just a trainwreck, it was the King of all trainwrecks. With a capital K.
Now I'll come onto the writing. I must say, I was too caught up raging over the asshole-ness of the hero to notice the writing. The impression that I got was that Winspear can pull off the story very well. The dialogue was great, the flow was good. It was just the PLOT that sucked. But I'm not completely put off by her, though. I might decide to read her again in the future. Here's to hoping that the next book I read by her won't be this awful.