Don't hit me okay? I really didn't like this book! Sad, I know. It's not because it's a bad book, or written poorly, or boring, or whatever. I really just had a big problem with Hart. You see, I don't think he deserves Eleanor. It's like when Jesse James married Sandra Bullock and the whole world was like "WHAT?!" Except, maybe not that bad. You see, I think Hart is a selfish bully. Jennifer Ashley nearly tricked me though. I was very conflicted during most of the book. Did I empathize with Hart? Could I forgive what Eleanor forgave? Did he turn around? Did he make amends? Really, that's a no from me.
** SPOILERS ahead**
1.) Hart handled Eleanor poorly and tried to bully her badly into keeping their engagement 10+ years ago. Eleanor said it was partly her pride that caused the conflict as well, but I really didn't get that.
2.) Angelina Palmer, mistress, was a wretched human being. The fact that Hart returns to her after Sarah's death is disgusting. The fact that he so obviously mourns her after her dealth is disturbing given EVERYTHING that happened. Just, no. Get a new mistress. This reader doesn't understand what she did for you anyway Hart, because you never tell us.
3.) Hart never redeems himself. Even his epiphany he had in hiding has nothing to do with righting any past wrongs. For the love, he barely explains his past to Eleanor, and does NOT do what Ian encourages him to do. And why do we have explanations for Hart's behavior from everyone but Hart? Ian, Mrs. Palmer, maid-whatsherface. Gah!
4.) How, HOW, is his lifestyle needs that he played out with Mrs. Palmer fulfilled through Eleanor? His proclivities are NEVER explained, but we're lead to believe they are somewhat extreme. I just really didn't understand his compulsion towards Mrs. Palmer and how Eleanor fit into that picture.
5.) He bullies Eleanor into marrying him the second time. Eleanor agrees because he's hurting so badly, not because he does anything to deserve her!
Overall, I couldn't wrap my head around Eleanor's forgiveness. Maybe I'm just a jealous hag though. There was failed effort to paint Hart as the dominant - I say failed because that was never really explored. Maybe if it was, I'd have given him more credit. Instead, he just comes off as a jack-face to me.
So what am I really saying? I'm saying that Hart made me mad and hasn't said I'm sorry in the right way to make me feel better. Am I a stereotypical female or what?