I’m abandoning this at 17%. There are too many books out there to waste time on one I can’t seem to stand nearly 1/5th of the way into it.
The characters are cliche, the storyline predictable, but what’s worse is I’ve never read such a forced attempt at sexual-tension as this. Everything is overblown. The heroine sees the hero in a painting and is suddenly having nightly dreams, unable to stop thinking about him. The hero saw her riding a horse and his erection is practically springing out of his pants. One dinner and he’s having sweaty dreams and pissed off about his attraction.
Then suddenly a month flies by, we witness none of their interactions, of which we’re both told there are few while also being told that it’s during that time when the heroine gets to know him, and now they’re having a farce of a conflict in the library. The conversation consists of “you don’t like me do you?” “Why would you think that?” The hero takes a step towards her and thinks that testing her was a mistake. What test? He said one sentence and took a step towards her. And they’re interrupted by grandmama.
So completely forced. They’ve exchanged 5 sentences, nothing has happened, and yet they’re sexually frustrated and dying for each other beyond comprehension.
Beyond that, we’ve already been told the Dukes entire tortured history in passing. A perfect example of telling not showing.
I’m moving on. It’s not worth it.