First let me make it clear that I only made it 15% into this book. But something happens in the first 15% that made me unable to finish this book.
Melissa and Anthony Craven, the Earl of Wickham meet at a ball. Anthony has the reputation of “Lord Wicked” because of the number of ladies he has seduced. He has his eyes set on Melissa’s cousin, Lady Cassie. But Anthony’s twin brother Richard wants to make a game out of it. They set up a wager, both trying to see who can get to Lady Cassie’s bed first that night. (Lady Cassie has already made it known she would love to have Anthony in her bed). Playing dirty however, Richard tells Anthony the wrong directions to Lady Cassie’s room.
Melissa is sound asleep when Anthony comes in thinking he is seducing Cassie. Because it is dark and Cassie and Melissa look similar, he doesn’t realize his mistake. He pursues with foreplay and then intercourse – finally Melissa wakes up thinking it was a dream. And here my problems begin.
First, I never buy into “I thought I was having sex in my dreams not in real life” scenario. She is a virgin. I don’t care if she had a couple of glasses of champagne – I don’t buy that you would stay asleep while a heavy man is penetrating you.
I could have lived with the dreaming sex, but I can’t get past the actual act itself. When Melissa wakes up and realizes Anthony is having sex with her –
“She gulped back a mortified cry. She tasted bile in her throat at the horror of the situation.”
But this is really the only terror she shows. Because in the next paragraph:
Melissa’s face flamed with shame and embarrassment. She had been enjoying his caresses, encouraging his attentions. (While dreaming) What would he think? She’d behaved so wantonly.
First of all, she was enjoying his caresses while dreaming. Apparently not in a conscious state. Shouldn’t she be screaming in rage? Horrified that a man just had sex with her? At this point, HE IS STILL INSIDE OF HER. Then Anthony realizes this is not Cassie:
“What sort of trick is this?” His voice was low and deadly in her ear.
She tried to turn to face him, wiggling in this strong grip.
“Christ, do not…move…do not..wiggle..oh my God.”
Melissa felt him surge inside her. Once, twice, his grip on her arms vice like. She knew her skin would be bruised in the morning. He all but roared in her ear, his breath coming in ragged pants. He was trying desperately to withdraw from her, but in her frantic panic they seemed to tangle further.
So he realizes it is NOT Cassie, and still surges inside this woman? Why didn’t he immediately pull out? This is not consensual. And Melissa’s reaction makes no sense. First she feels abused, but then she is mad that he is not paying more attention to her. And that is maybe suppose to be an excuse for this to be okay?
Stunned, she curled into a ball and lay completely still. She was the one who had just been violated, yet he rolled away from her as if he’d been burned by a flame. He made sure he was no longer touching her, as though she were diseased.
Her temper flared at his dismissal of her. She rolled onto her side, facing him, trying to ignore the dull ache between her thighs, noticeable, along with the wetness.
Isn’t she ruined? Possibly pregnant? No longer a virgin? Does she even care that a man took her virginity without asking? I don’t care if in the future she would have gone to Anthony willingly – he had sex without her consent. Yes, it is not black and white – Anthony up to a point truly thought it was Cassie who did want him in his bed. Maybe Melissa would have gone through with it if they had talked. But he didn’t ask.
I understand that eventually these two end up in love. But I can’t get over how they start. Even if Melissa was attracted to Anthony earlier in the evening, and even if she wanted to have wicked dreams about him – the act of him actually having sex with her, and not even trying to not orgasm inside of her completely turns me off. Worse, her reaction is so nonchalant. If she had been outraged, terrified, horrified at this act that had just occurred, maybe I could have stood behind her and wanted to see how this played out. But I just can’t accept the fact that he has non-consensual sex with the heroine, and her lack of reaction. Worse, his twin brother orchestrated this whole event just to win a wager. No thank you.
Invitation to Ruin releases March 1st.