I have said this before, and I think it bears repeating: sex alone is not sexy.
Warning: serious ranting ahead. Click the arrow on top left to escape. Your last chance.
This book has a lot of sex scenes, which I think, are all feeble attempts at romance. I do agree that they are titillating. But I confess to a certain degree of boredom reading about one after another intercourse, this position and that position and how these experience make the protagonists feel oh my God this is earth-shattering and life-changing. I was laughing in the end, no kidding.
I do apologize for my overtly scarcastic comments on these intimate scenes. But when I am told that 2 practical strangers had great sex and since they were all hots for each other, it must be looooooove, my first response is to laugh. I have trouble taking these intimate moments seriously.
Now let me briefly list the elements of the book:
Step 1: introduce Maitland. aka the cold Duke who is not exactly comfortable with his sexual desires. Awful father he had, you know.
Step 2: enters Marisa: the sister of Maitland's good friend Sebastian. She was in love with a cad and was going to marry him. But that does not signify. This plotline is not important.
Step 3: Maitland and Marisa were found in bed naked together. They must marry posthaste. So they did.
Step 4: Mailand and Marisa basked in their wedded bliss with some hot sex.
Step 5: Now we must add in a villain. So Maitland and Marisa went to an infamous "club" where they witnessed more sexual acts. Sexy times.
Step 6: Maitland and Marisa or at least one of them has to say I love you. So Maitland came clean with his "sordid past", which was of course sexual in nature. Marisa understood and they have crazy fantastic sex and oh she loved him, without a doubt. Sex is too great.
Step 7: The story gotta end somehow. Someone was out to get these sexy boys called the Libertine Scholars. So violence, sex, loss, danger. The end.
I firmly believe, that someone's villain is another's hero. It is all about perspectives, experiences and essentially who we are. This book, is just not my kind of story. Too much emphasis on sex. Not enough on romance. A really weak illustration of vulnerability in relationship and of longings for acceptance and love. For me (and I cannot point this out often enough, and me alone), to bare one's soul has little to do with what we say or even what we do. In my experience, it is what we refuse to say or do that is more telling, especially in matters of love.
Now my pretty little speech has a point. This book, employs a lot of sex and talking. "Oh I am so deep inside you now and it feels good" is roughly translated to "I have feelings for you." and "I want you now and tomorrow and every night" probably means "I wish you knew how I feel about you." This book has a lot of telling. They converse about how they feel about sex, marriage, expectations and regrets. But I cringe at almost every word. I wish I was more eloquent that I actually am so that I can explain why all this "telling" bothered me so much. I experienced such frustration reading about them talking about how they felt. Empty words, I say. Words without emotions are empty words and carry no weight.
You see my dilemma here. Two strangers, coming together in matrimony, they must dance the little dance called "getting to know you". They can have sex, yeah, why not. Have great sex, by all means. But this is not "here is my heart please take it and don't break it." And a man finding salvation in great sex with his wife, fighting his denied lust and hiding his "lustful tendencies", I find it rather off-putting.
Which, brings me to my point. I am all about vulnerabilty and longing in love. And this book, leaves little to my imagination about sex but leaves everything that makes love wonderful out of the picture. What makes love wonderful in my book? The tentative touches, the embarrasing attempts at showing affections, the deafening silence, the inarticualted I-do-give-a-shit-about-you.
Suffice it to say, this entire penis-business rarely impresses me. And books that explore only this part of human psyche usually suffer the same fate in my book.