OK I admit, I have not finished reading the book. I am about 70% done. I stopped reading it a few months ago.
But let's face it: I am not going back to this book.
I started reading this book with high hopes. All the great reviews, the seemingly intriguing plots, one tortured hero and one kind heroine.
I must say that this book is written very well. The writing quality is not to be slighted. What puts me off in the story are the following 4 things:
1. Not enough romance: this is a romance novel, no? By romance I do not mean sex. I mean tender moments that remind you of the feelings of falling in love. Their interactions are very much those of a patient and his/her primary caregiver. While I can see how love could grow in such a relationship, I do not find it particularly romantic in this story.
2. The hero would not have given the heroine a second look if he was not sick: While the hero is not a gigantic ass, he is of noble birth and used to all the special treatments that afforded him. He is not snobish but he most definitely is privileged. I cannot imagine him ever ever ever spare the heroine a thought, had he not be mentally cripped by his accident. I feel that he is only dependant on the heroine because she is the only person who appeared to believe him. This type of relationship does not exactly spell out LOVE for me.
3. The heroine's "plain speech": I was never bothered by how a character talks in a book. The Scottish brogue for example, I have become almost "fluent" in reading it. But Maddie's Quaker background and speech bother me to no end. First of all I do not care for religious touches in my books unless I am reading a book that has a religious theme. Secondly the Quaker speech made it difficult for me to feel close to her. I am half afraid most of the time that she would start preaching to me, telling me that I should believe in God in the exact way that she does.
4. The heroine likes the hero more: despite her reservation, I feel that Maddie is a lot more emotionally invested in the hero whose name I do not recall. His affection for Maddie is rooted in dependency. He depends on Maddie for survival. Of course he wants her beside him. That is not love. But Maddie believed in him, even when she had no reasons to. She believed in him, supported him and was always there for him. I fail to see how he deserves such dedication.
I tried so hard to like this book. As I have said, it is a beautifully written story. But the story does not speak to me. It has things that I cannot abide and does not have things that I look for in an engaging book. The book and I are just not meant to be.