I love an old school romance. I love heaving bosoms and throbbing man parts and dictatorial men and shy, and slightly too silly to live heroines. And when I read Passion by Lisa Valdez, I remember thinking, “This romance is old school, in a really good way.” So, when Mandi emailed to say she had Valdez’s long awaited second book in the series, Patience, I immediately emailed to offer my services for a review.
Patience is sister to Passion, the heroine of the first book. She met Matthew Hawkmore, her new brother-in-law’s brother during the events of Passion. Matthew was engaged, but when a scandal related to his birth came to light, his fiancée split with him and he was left an untitled social pariah. His bitterness is extreme over his circumstances. And when he meets Patience, he begins to act out some of his anger on her. Or at least, that’s how it read to me. Matthew somehow divines that Patience has not just a submissive nature, but is an actual sexual submissive – although how he discovers this was never made clear in the book. I didn’t realize some men could just divine this information about a heroine without really knowing the woman. He begins a series of sexual acts with her that force her to submit to his will. The scenes read quite brutally to me, and I resented his treatment of her. While his acts never cross the line to physical violence, he plays cruel mental games with her that made me really resentful on her behalf. The truth is though, that clearly it doesn’t bother Patience, because like Pavlov’s dog, she goes back for more time and again, encouraging his behavior and his ridiculously vindictive and dictatorial actions. While the book does close with what I would term a relatively satisfying grovel from Matthew, it did not in my mind offset his earlier actions.
There is no doubt that Lisa Valdez has a fertile mind. Her sex scenes can be inventive and interesting to read. Her writing often crosses into the purple range, and her penchant for flowery and overwrought prose made this book one that brought inadvertent and regular laughter from me. Between a doormat of a heroine and a dictatorial (emphasis on the “dick”) hero, Patience was a complete miss for me. Although I have to be honest, it’s quite likely that I’ll pick up the third book. So I guess the question is, does that make me a glutton for punishment? You be the judge.
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