Harlequin Mills & Boon, £3.19, ISBN 978-0-263-87226-2
Contemporary Romance, 2009
Ruthlessly Bedded, Forcibly Wedded is a horribly frustrating book to read because the hero is spectacularly nasty and despicable even for a Harlequin Mills & Boon asshole. I feel that the author has gone too far, though, with Vincenzo Valentini’s loathsome antics, especially when she doesn’t have the decency to give me a good grovel by the last page. How far, you ask? How about the fact that in the very second last page in the final chapter, the heroine is convinced that he’s going to torment her some more?
I can’t go on without revealing major spoilers, so if you are going to read this book some time in the future, please stop reading now and go have fun with that despicable douchebag of a hero.
Okay, let’s start with the story. Vincenzo is furious that her sister died in a car accident. You see, the car was driven by Cormac Brosnan, Allegra Valentini’s lover that, in her brother Vincenzo’s mind, was a fortune hunter. Therefore, Vincenzo plots revenge. To avenge Allegra, he will seduce Cormac’s sister Cara. He will give her the best sex of her life and then laugh when he tells her that she’s been screwed by Vincenzo Valentini. Bwahahahaha!
Never mind that we have a “hero” who is plotting revenge on someone who just happens to be related by blood to Cormac and therefore, in Vincenzo’s bizarre way of thinking, is also a whore who deserves to burn in hell for an eternity. Since when is sleeping with a single and available woman an act of vengeance of any kind in today’s environment? Oh, right, we are talking about the Harlequin Mills & Boon heroine here. Cara puts out to Vincenzo in such a ridiculously fast speed, I’m amazed that she managed to remain a virgin for so long.
Poor Cara. After giving out the milk for free at a rate that would make any promiscuous harlot feel embarrassed for her, Cara will go upon hearing Vincenzo’s gloating, “Oh my god, I’ve slept with a man who doesn’t love me! I AM A WHORE! Ugh, ugh, ugh, sob, sob, sob. I AM A WHORE, NOOOOOOO!” Any sane and sensible woman would have laughed at Vincenzo’s posturing and gone, “Huh? And I should care because…?” but Cara, being a typical braindead twit heroine of this line, is hurt and shaken to the core because she’s been penetrated by the penis of a man who doesn’t magically fall in love with her after the deed is done.
Naturally, she gets knocked up. Vincenzo, who is convinced that Cara is the biggest whore that ever whored in the whorey world of whores, then does what every sane man would do in his position: insists that Cara marry him. He pretty much kidnaps her and holds her prisoner until the preparations for the wedding are ready. We are talking about a wedding without any clear involvement of prenuptial contracts, mind you. The only legal matter brought up here is Vincenzo threatening to use the law to force Cara to be permanently estranged from her kid once that brat is born. I’d think that making Cara his wife, without making her sign at the very least a prenuptial agreement, will actually put him under her power more, as Ivana Trump could have told Ms Green. Never mind, let’s just imagine that this story takes place in a distant planet and move on.
Eventually, the stress of being kidnapped and emotionally abused by Vincenzo results in Cara’s miscarriage. For a moment, Vincenzo feels guilty about what he has done, but he then pulls himself together and continues to berate, manipulate, and cut down Cara all the way to the second last page of the book. Amazing! I tell you, if losing his kid doesn’t stop him from being an emotionally abusive piece of shit – pardon my language – I can’t imagine what will. Cara, of course, is unbelievably understanding. Despite her lip service protests early in the story about how he can’t treat her like dirt, she allows herself to be manipulated by Vincenzo into being his punching bag. When she meets the secondary character who obligingly tells her of Vincenzo’s sad past, she becomes even more understanding. After all, having some superficial boo-hoo-hoo in a man’s past gives the man in question a free pass to being a big baby bully, you know. Even when Vincenzo is trying to apologize in the last page, Cara is like, “Oh, it’s okay, you love me and it’s all that matters.” I feel like vomiting blood and writing a letter to Ms Green using that blood, telling her that she really shouldn’t inflict books like this on innocent people of the world.
With a good grovel, this one could have been a great read. But since there is no grovel here, only a spectacularly stupid woman forgiving the abusive scumbag because she loves him, Ruthlessly Bedded, Forcibly Wedded makes me feel as if I’ve been ruthlessly and forcibly violated at the end of the day.