Title: Because You're Mine (Capitol Theatre #2)
Author: Lisa Kleypas
Published: September 1997 (Avon)
Summary: Lady Madeline Matthews would rather shame herself than sacrifice her freedom—which is why, to avoid a marriage to an aging, lecherous lord, she seeks out the company of Logan Scott. A torrid affair with the notorious womanizer would surely condemn her in the eyes of good society. Though a legend in the bedchamber, Logan is, in truth, an intensely private man tormented by past betrayals. Now a forward little minx is disrupting his life with her vibrant charm and unspoiled beauty, a high-spirited enchantress completely at sea in London’s sophisticated whirl. But when what begins with a kiss threatens to blossom into something more rapturous and real, will Logan and Madeline have the courage to drop the masks they hide behind in the name of love?
My Review: Because You're Mine by Lisa Kleypas and I had a rather tumultuous relationship. There were things I loved about it, and there were things about which I was not particularly fond.
First of all, the book is split up into two sections, both by setting and situation, and the split happens around the halfway mark. The first half of the book or so was fantastic! I absolutely adored the Capitol Theatre setting. The secondary characters that inhabited the theatre were fun and creative, and I truly felt like I was in a theatre in the 1800's. I loved the whole experience of it, every single second. I also enjoyed that Maddy was the one actively pursuing Logan; it made for a nice change of pace. I feel like I haven't read a lot of those.
Another thing I enjoyed about this book was the narrator. My consumption of this book was split up around 1/3 audiobook, 2/3 reading. I'm very picky about my narrators, but the narrator, Rosalyn Landor, was great! It makes me super happy that she has recorded several other Kleypas books, and I will probably be checking those out in the future, once I go back to school and listen to more audiobooks again.
Although some people apparently seem to disagree, I really liked Maddy. She had a genuinely sweet and caring nature, but not the type that made me want to gag uncontrollably. And Logan. One thing I particularly adored about this book was the whole "Hero doesn't want to want the heroine (but totally does anyway)" trope. LOVE, LOVE, SO MUCH LOVE. I have such a weakness for these stories. They tend to go along with super-duper explosive chemistry in the build-up, which is one of my favorite elements in romances.
There were a few little things I wasn't particularly crazy about. If I read one more "Save him, God, and I'll ________," plot, I will chuck the book across the room. I've never liked that, and it seems to be appearing everywhere lately. I don't appreciate it. However, my main problem was with this next scene.
WARNING: SPOILERS AND EXPLICIT CONTENT AHEAD.
❝“No,” she gasped as he reached that sensitive area, and she twisted away with a shudder. She had never imagined that he would do such a thing. “No—”
But Logan caught her and pinned her in place, his grip tight on her wrists. “Don't ever say that word to me again,” he said, his voice steely. “Not in bed, or out of it.”
The statement shocked her. She understood that she had hurt him, and that this was the form of his revenge, to inflict his will on her. “You mustn't,” she managed to say, her wrists straining in his grasp. “I don't want that.”
Logan laughed, the sound mocking her as he bent his head once more. Madeline's eyes pricked with tears of fury and shame, and she felt his mouth on her, there where she had never imagined it, never thought it possible. Although she tried to close her thighs, her traitorous body disobeyed, spreading wide to receive him. His lips were hot, burning her, his tongue a sleek invasion that made her groan and cry out in mortifying pleasure. She ceased to be herself, reduced to a wanton creature who clung and arched with frantic need until a great rolling wave of climax came over her, leaving her limp and weak in its aftermath.
Before the glow of sensation had faded, Logan moved his body over hers. She felt him enter her, and she tried to protest the massive intrusion, pushing feebly at his chest. He forced himself inside her swollen depths until she groaned in surrender and opened to him. (Emphasis mine)❞
This book was written in 1997, but this scene reads like a book written a decade earlier, when the "force her and she'll eventually enjoy it" attitude was prevalent in romance. A lot of more recent historical romances often flirt with the line of dub-con and even non-con. I get that. I've read plenty. However, this was entirely beyond the line, much further than I am comfortable with. (My inner Friends nerd is screaming "THE LINE IS A DOT TO YOU!"). I docked the book .5 points simply based on this scene. Rape isn't romance. Period. I get that it has its place in erotica where a journey is actually being taken through the sexual act and whatnot. But it's on my Squick List. If I'm to believe that the hero truly loves the heroine, and they have not entered some sort of agreement about forced sex, I am going to be very put off by the act. Rape is an exertion of power and dominance; it's not romantic.
END OF SPOILERS
I feel like I've spent more time criticizing this book than praising it. While there were definitely things I would change if I could, I really did enjoy the book overall. The chemistry was fantastic, and the end was utterly romantic and sweet without being super sappy. If you are a historical romance fan looking for an audiobook, this is a good one.
❝No doubt she wasn't the first woman to fail at seducing a man—but how many of them were required to face him the very next day and pretend nothing had happened?❞
❝She was certain that her sisters would never have entertained such wicked thoughts. On the other hand, they had probably never met a man like Logan Scott.❞
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