Friday, 20 May 2011
365 books in 365 days Challenge ... book #54
After Their Vows - Michelle Reid
Mills and Boon Modern
Harlequin Mills and Boon, 2011
From the back cover:
"Broken vows don’t necessarily mean a broken marriage…
Angie de Calvhos meant every word of the vows she shared with husband Roque at the altar. Pity he didn’t return her sincerity… Expecting happy-ever-after, instead Angie found herself going through a mortifyingly public separation!
Now, divorce papers in hand, Angie has finally built up the courage to put an end to her time as a de Calvhos wife once and for all. But she’s forgotten the magnetic pull that devilish Roque possesses. And that broken vows don’t necessarily mean a broken marriage…"
So I am back in my comfort zone of good ol' Moderns! I have to say that Michelle Reid is probably one of the authors I have read the most of, which isn't surprising considering she has been writing romance for the last 20 years. She usually writes intense, passionate and edgy books that are enjoyable, unfortunately this book did not live up to expectation.
This is the story of Angie and Roque, they have been separated for a year after it was reported in the press that Roque had slept with another woman. Angie, a former model, has spent most off her adult life raising her younger brother and fighting to keep them out of debt. After she had married Roque she constantly felt torn between her troublesome brother, her career and Roque. Deeply heartbroken by Roque's betrayal she had retreated for a while then quit modelling to take up a regular job with her former agent. She was unaware that her brother had been stealing from Roque using one of her credit cards. When Roque finds out about this he uses it as blackmail in order to have Angie come back to him.
If you read my reviews regularly you will probably know two things about me by now. The first is that I'm pretty easy to please, most of the time a book just needs pages and I'll like it (!). The second thing is that I don't like being overly negative, so I will try and contain my frustrations about certain elements of this book. So, lets start on a positive note; as is expected of Michelle Reid's books the writing is really good, especially when it comes to describing and setting the scene.
OK so here is the stuff I didn't like. The premise of the story is samey, it's something that has been done many, many times before, and this has all the typical elements - playboy husband, false accusations of infidelity, blackmail to make the woman fall in line etc, etc. It's been done and it has been done much better than this. The next thing I'm going to talk about is what really killed my enjoyment. It raises the question of 'what constitutes as an act of infidelity?' To me any act of intimacy with someone other than your spouse/partner is infidelity, that includes kissing, embracing, sex etc. In this book the hero was caught passionately kissing another woman yet thinks he has been wrongfully accused of being a cheater because he didn't sleep with the other woman. He punishes the heroine for believing he cheated, but to my mind HE DID CHEAT! Infidelity, to me, is a no-no in books unless it had solid reasons and written with sensitivity, this is not the case with this book. If you take these things and add a rather cruel hero, a doormat heroine, a crow bared in miscarriage mentioned once, then a pregnancy that happens despite a condom and the pill (super sperm!) and you are left with a book that, unfortunately, I just didn't enjoy.
At this stage I just wanted to say that these are my opinions and I fully respect that this may be an enjoyable book for others!