Grade - C-
Hotness Level - Blaze
Kink Level - None
Series - Bride Series #1
Reviewed by Kate
Douglas, Earl of Northcliffe, needs a bride and an heir to get his family off his back. Due to a scheduling conflict, he sends his cousin, Tony, to wed the beautiful Melissande by proxy. Unfortunately for Douglas, Tony and Melissande fall madly in love and elope. Not wanting to return to Douglas empty handed, Tony makes the choice to proxy-marry Melissande's younger sister, Alexandra, to Douglas instead -- without informing him.
Douglas spends most of the book telling Alexandra he wishes she were her sister. Alexandra, who has secretly loved Douglas for the last 3 years, spends the book alternating between planning ways to make Douglas love her and trying to run away.
While Douglas The Ass and Wishy-Washy Alexandra are the main characters, Tony and Melissande's relationship is also a focal point -- a disturbing focal point. Melissande, being beautiful, is very self-centered. Tony, being her husband, must train her to be a better person. This takes the form of "I'm your husband, you must do as say," but left me feeling almost dirty. It came off as belittling, embarrassing, and degrading.
The repeated references to Alexandra's spine being strapped to a broom handle and Douglas's continued use of "tell me you understand" got tedious. A sub-plot involving a kidnapped mistress leading to Alexandra being kidnapped herself added another layer of weirdness to the story.
All in all, I'm glad I didn't waste money on this one.