Ghastly Look at Married Life in the 1800s
I didn’t like this book. It felt a bit Gothic to me even though it isn’t listed as such, and I’m not a fan of Gothic romance. The beginning of this book just seems so implausible. The baron at first acts as a man should while courting, but as soon as they are married—literally on the carriage ride to the bride’s new home—he makes a 180 into a completely different man. He is rather horrible to Jane from nearly the moment they wed. The author only gives us glimpses of the terror that she has to endure, like mentioning the bruises that he gave her on their wedding night. Ick. Jane herself seems to vacillate between despair and a forced happiness that she is determined to wring out of her awful situation. It was all just a bit much. To me, the baron didn’t have enough motivation to treat his young bride so terribly. I hated reading about their married life so much that I almost gave up on the book, but I was curious about the actual hero of the novel and how this story related to a prequel that I had read by the author. I still can’t say that changed my take on the book, unfortunately.