Read Devil's Embrace by Catherine Coulter Online

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CITY OF SINFor beautiful young Cassandra Brougham, the seething city of Genoa, Italy, seemed a world away from the great 18th-century English estate where she was raised -- and the closest she had ever come to purgatory.Cassie was no longer an innocent when she arrived there with Lord Anthony Welles, the brutally handsome aristocrat who had seduced and stolen her from herCITY OF SINFor beautiful young Cassandra Brougham, the seething city of Genoa, Italy, seemed a world away from the great 18th-century English estate where she was raised -- and the closest she had ever come to purgatory.Cassie was no longer an innocent when she arrived there with Lord Anthony Welles, the brutally handsome aristocrat who had seduced and stolen her from her intended, Edward Lyndhurst. Still, she was not prepared for what awaited her in this foreign place where she was being held captive by a lover who swore he would conquer her heart as he had conquered her body.Thus Cassie's trial by the fire of passion began -- as the man she detested made her a slave of desire...as an unknown enemy wreaked revenge upon her...and as she desperately plotted a way to cross the seas to a man she no longer could be sure she loved......

Title : Devil's Embrace
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780451118530
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 379 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Devil's Embrace Reviews

  • Karla
    2019-04-10 16:16

    This review is packed full of spoilers with a dash of salty language.I'm not normally shocked or totally squicked by a bodice ripper. I laughed during Savage Surrender, with its callous asshole hero Garth McClelland and the rape-a-minute plot. There have been other books with gang rapes and less-than-stellar heroes that had me riveted to the plot and characters. (Hello! Stormfire?) But this book is the first one to actually creep me the hell out. I only kept reading to see if Coulter would pull out a cheap trick at the end to make the horror that had come before all puppies and kittens. (She did.) To top it all off, the non-existent plot was boring as hell.First off, the hero Anthony Welles, Earl of Clare. Where to start with this guy? Anthony has all the attributes of a psycho stalker. He has been watching Cassie for years. He knows her habits. He is so observant of her that he can read her moods and thoughts. He feels that he is the only one who can offer what she wants and needs. He is the only one able to fulfill her as a person and as a woman.Are you dialing the cops yet?Add to that the fact that he was in love with her mother in his pubescent years. After Cassie's mother died and when he could, he infiltrated Cassie's home by sending his cousin incognito to be Cassie's governess. The cousin taught Cassie Italian and "groomed" her to be suitable for him when the time was right.Even ickier? Cassie was five when his cousin arrived to start this little covert operation.Which makes Cassie's pregnancy 6 months or so after her abduction by him so hilarious because when she accuses him of deliberately doing that to her, he says that he couldn't have possibly planned that. Of course not. You only banged her every day from Day 2 (except for those Aunt Flow days). I mean, pregnancy? How did that happen? I think he should get a job in SPECTRE or Quantum, or whatever they're calling it these days. Omniscient string-pulling is right up his alley.He's not all Powercock awesometude, though. His plan was to court Cassie during her Season in London and win her that way, but when her childhood friend Edward returned from serving overseas in India, she called off her Season and was going to marry him right then and there. Oh no! Since Cassie has forced his hand, he has to kidnap her and show her how much he loves her! He has to!Just pause for a moment and reflect. His entire adulthood has been focused around marrying Cassie (completely pathetic in itself) and he has brought all his resources to bear on achieving that end without her knowledge or that of her family. And he feels completely justified in his aim and his methods.That, dear readers, is what creeped me the fuck out.Cassie has a natural reaction to being kidnapped, at first. Sheer terror and anger. How dare he presume to know what she wants and decide what's best for her? (And, seriously, the smug coming off Anthony at every turn was intolerable.) But from the get-go, he insists that she be naked when she goes to bed and otherwise demeans and orders her about at every turn, all the while insisting she has the free will to realize they're made for each other. Look, I usually carp at heroes that are sensitive metrosexuals in centuries past, but I'm not all that fond of dead mother-loving, kindergarten-aged daughter-obsessing control freaks either.But Cassie feels her body respond because Anthony is such a peerless lover and she thinks she's an immoral whore and, as far as I can tell, sort of resigns herself to him. From that seed a love grows that only comes out into the open when she gets gang-raped by hired thugs and Anthony seems peachy-keen in comparison. (Again, as far as I can tell. Coulter tended to emphasize fingers probing wet folds and brushing dusky nipples over any psychological attention.)I didn't much care for Cassie, either. Horny, spitfire virgins? Yeah, no thanks. If Coulter had perhaps given her characters something to DO, maybe I'd have liked it more, but she didn't. In the beginning in England, Cassie and her fiancé Edward paw each other, then she gets abducted by Anthony and the action is confined to his yacht where they fight, shag, and fight in a mobius strip, and then they go to Italy where we remain enclosed in a villa for pages upon pages with the same fight/fuck/fight cycle replayed over and over. And then Cassie runs off to New York to find Edward. Oh yay! I think. This bit about Edward being an officer during the Revolution sounds good! And this is where the story really lost me because.....Dear Cassie,So Edward doesn't remember that you don't like tea! But Anthony does! So fucking what? While you were growing up and Anthony was maintaining a 24/7 offshore patrol by your home watching your every movement with one hand on a spyglass and the other in his pants, Edward was in disease-ridden India preserving the English empire that you are oh so proud of, and then risking getting his nuts blown off in America. He doesn't remember you don't fucking like tea. Suck it up. And when you ran off to him for his protection against Big Bad Anthony, he screwed you before you were all sopping wet and you were all hurty for a bit afterward. Sooooooooo inconsiderate compared to Anthony! You know, Anthony? The guy who tied you to a bed and raped you because he felt you needed to be shown how devoted he is to you? Yeah, that Anthony.You. Stupid. Twat.No love,MeYes, it was the peevish harping of "But I've never liked tea, Edward!" that broke me. Apparently Cassie prefers to have a stalker boyfriend who knows so much about her that the usual "getting to know each other" is redundant and unnecessary.To add insult to injury in this turgid little turd of shame, there wasn't even much of a plot. What "plot" there was had Anthony's half-brother and his mistress Giovanna conniving to dispose of Cassie for inheritance purposes (this is where the gang-rape/"Anthony is awesome!" epiphany came in). This "plot" was wrapped up in the last page with a letter describing how they met their end. Therefore, at least about 95% of the book was Cassie and Anthony fighting and screwing, Cassie running away to Edward and Anthony coming after her. Boring. Boring boring boring! I can take lots of WTFery if there's a plot. This one was total fail.I had no idea that Coulter wrote such relentless smut in her books either. That was boring too. I'm sure there's more I hated about it, but to be honest, the "Every Breath You Take" Psychoboy act by Anthony Welles left me pretty well gobsmacked and incoherent. I'm only barely able to cobble my thoughts together in this ranty little mess of a review. Coulter did pull out some "it's not as bad as you think!" asides to explain away Anthony's seemingly stalker habits ("I stopped loving your mother. I love you as a person!" and "I installed my cousin as your governess to make sure you were raised right because your dad was neglectful.") I'm not buying either BS excuse. Both sound like lame little ploys to downplay the omgjesuschristareyoukidding me behavior of Anthony. I'm still convinced his house has a secret room of taxidermied blonde chicks that look like Cassie.In the course of writing this, I've pingponged back and forth between 2 stars and 1. I have no idea which one really reflects my opinion. I'll go for 2 stars because it is one of the more notorious bodice rippers out there and everyone interested in the genre should read it, for good or ill. I'm glad I did, strangely enough. Just don't expect much of a plot. But if you like to read about a couple going hammer and tongs at each other in and out of bed, and nothing else, then you might like it.

  • Mermarie
    2019-04-24 18:17

    Oh wow, Jesus Christ on a crutch. This literary piece emphasizes and stands as a catalyst against for every arbitrary guideline by an author, that we've embraced even in the most shoddy of stories(Stormfire?).He practically had her floor-planned since she was FIVE! And this is why, in my abject misery, I strive to discern its meaning; I knew from the very instant when she shot the hero, and didn't reload, that her usefulness and entertainment factor was at its end for me.Generally in most bodice-ripper pieces, we're accustomed to the hero's unruly antics--torture tactics and control management, but I've found it's mostly a product of revenge. This novel accumulates every dastardly premise and attempted to gloss it over as an act of affection. The cocktail of nefarious scheming, life-long plans against a motherless child, eventually leading to training rapes, clown-car rapes by hired thugs, keep-me-pretty confinement, and all I've left out--were implied to be conditions of love itself. It really adds insult to injury, because the hero started off in this mindset, and never really purged himself of its vulgar ideology..or perhaps the author assumes the reader isn't capable of discerning the revenge-driven plot actions to that of actions manifested on the hero's own accord for the heroine's own good and well-being.....Book #2... Anthony buries Cassie alive but promises her a shopping spree, once she's thinned down enough to wear his mother's exhumed ballgowns. >.<So appalled, I barely even blinked through the flies rollerskatin' across my eyeballs. Sorry, Coulter..I need a purpose driven evil, not a figure who has the rudimentary senses of a reptile.

  • WhiskeyintheJar/Kyraryker
    2019-04-26 20:14

    No, thank you.After the gang rape I kind of fast forward through reading this :/It did start off kind of interestingly wild, childhood love, kidnapping, and drama lama but as it approached the half way point it started to drag and the last half just wasn't interesting. Our supposed hero Anthony doesn't really make an appearance, except to kidnap and then rape the heroine, he mostly hangs around waiting for the heroine to agree to marry him. Our heroine Cassie is 18-20yrs old in the story and is written fairly well, it's just that the only material she has is to react to men wanting to rape her and/or marry her. There wasn't even any wild fun shipwrecks or the heroine picking up a sword, although she does shoot hero at one point; it was lacking the wild kookiness dramatic flare that brings me back to these old bodice rippers. This is best lost to the annuals of time.

  • Dani
    2019-03-27 14:07

    **comes out from under the bed**Yes I liked this book. Yes, it was degrading, yes both the heroes in this story were complete IDIOTS. Yes, the heroine was a simpering mess and made some pretty lame choices.That being said, I still enjoyed this book. It was degrading, unbelievable, and made me want to beat every character. Yet, I found myself not wanting to put this book down. I still think it was well written, and although a darker romance, I thoroughly enjoyed myself. IT'S FICTION. Not real-life. It was an escape for me, and an enjoyable one at that. In true bodice-ripper fashion there is love, kid-napping, adventure, villians, exotic locations and in the end a happy ending (if you like the kidnap, rape, seduce, beat, rape, seduce, escape, chase after you, but I love you anyway sort of thing) It was an entertaining read and that's all I can ask for in a book. and *GASPS* I'll probably read it again.**promise you won't throw too many tomatoes at me please**Rating: 4 starsWarning: Kidnapping, Rape, Torture, Love Triangle

  • Veronica
    2019-04-17 15:30

    At first I was gonna be like,"um, it was meh. Didn't like it all that much" *ducks back down*but you know what...I happened to enjoy this story very much. And I don't care.And to all you readers who are ashamed to like this story,because you should never be ashamed about what you enjoy to read. People will have their opinions just like you are entitled to have your own. Read whatever you want, just as long as you keep reading!I in no way agree with the way our main male protagonist, the earl, went about in seducing Cassandra. But it's was still a damn good story for me. The earl's intentions were selfishly conducted. He got to decide that he would become Cassandra's husband, not her, and that was not very.... loving nor understanding, something he kept telling Cassandra that he was. Why not woo her? Don't rape her and hope to gain her affections by seducing her with your apparently amazing lovemaking. The only reason I was able to even like the earl's character was that he in no way wanted to "hurt" Cassie. He didn't want her just to take her for one night and abandon her. He wanted to marry her and please her... against her (very malleable) will, no doubt. I know that this sounds all wrong, it sounds wrong to me too. But if this is wrong........ well, then... I guess,I don't want to be right (I was being sarcastic....no? okay.)Cassandra was cursed with good looks and arousing every man in sight. Mhm. Or so it seemed. She does actually get raped (in this instance not by the earl), which I believe is one of the negative things other readers are talking about in the book. It's kind of a brutal scene actually. But I really doubt this type of stuff didn't occur, and it just so happened to have happened to our protagonist; it was real, harsh and real, and yes, disturbing. Anyway, I really did enjoy this story, just be aware of the contents in this book. Those other readers negative opinions/reviews on the book are there for a reason, one I don't quite agree with, but take in mind that not everyone hated it and not everyone loved it. Read for yourself, judge for yourself.Now,Good day.

  • Naksed
    2019-04-03 16:35

    Catherine Coulter's Old Skool (and I mean, REALLY Old Skool) bodice-ripper, Devil's Embrace, has all the elements that could easily earn a one star for me in any other book. Particularly the fact that the big fat jerk anti-hero remains smug and arrogant throughout the story with nary a groveling moment for all the crappy stuff he has put the heroine through. Then there is the yucky, extremely graphic, scene of violence against the heroine ((view spoiler)[Heroine gets, quite literally, ripped apart in a gang-rape perpetrated on her by the baddies and then suffers a miscarriage. That is just not the kind of stuff I want to read when I am trying to escape into Romancelandia (hide spoiler)]).After all the misery that the Evil Villains of the piece put h and H through, they don't even get a proper comeuppance. All the juicy and well-deserved revenge stuff is kind of swept aside at the end and happens "offstage", recounted to the hero in a letter. Epic fail!Okay, now that I got all the bad stuff out of the way, you might ask yourself why in the world my rating reflects the fact that I did enjoy this book? Well, the hero, with all his flaws, has the kind of over-the-top, crazed, "mine, mine, mine" fixation that is a hoot to read about in these kinds of novels. No matter what the heroine did against him, and she does a lot, or what happens to her, or societal conventions or, the violation of law, or ethical and moral conflicts, the guy just has completely run out of FTG. It was hilarious. Despite everything, he kind of grew on me.The heroine was really fun too. I thought her reactions towards the hero and her fate were quite plausible and formidable. There is a fine line between a strong and feisty heroine and a TSTL hellion. I firmly retained my sympathy towards the heroine through all her sometimes outlandish and reckless actions and behaviors. I thought the author did a great job of conveying the emotional turmoil that she suffers, because she is in an untenable situation that her heart and soul scream rebellion against, while at the same time, she finds it harder and harder to deny her growing feelings towards the hero.All the swashbuckling stuff was stellar. I love sea adventures and this was my favorite part of the book. I wish they had stayed on the ship throughout lol. (view spoiler)[In the very opening of the book, we have the hero swoop down and kidnap the heroine from her sailboat on the very eve of her wedding, and keep her captive on his ship which he has named after her. Plenty of sea adventures follow, including pirates, flogging, and a gun fight with the Spanish armada. The very last scene that takes place on the hero's ship and pits heroine against her would-be murderer was honestly suspenseful and gripping. What a finale! Just great stuff. (hide spoiler)] I love witty banter and the dialogue between the heroine and the hero really delivered: “Damn you, my lord earl. I will no longer be your whore. Now move aside for I am done with you.”“My whore, cara? You have not sufficient experience to fill that position.” And finally, the unintentionally comical "intimate" scenes. I would not go as far as to say the love scenes were purpletastic. There were no yellow curly parsley leaves or being filled with the liquid of love after all. The language was at worst lavender. The following passage had me chuckling for an entire day:She closed her eyes a moment, her body aching for his fingers to continue their movement, and leaned her head back against his belly. Long strands of golden hair weaved themselves into the thick black hair at his groin.The Devil's Embrace is definitely one of those guilty pleasures that I must admit to enjoying. It's definitely not for everybody lol but it was for me :-)

  • Patricia
    2019-04-12 16:11

    Rating: No Star.. Well, One. Because Goodreads sucks and won't give me no stars. :<Edit: Since then I read some books that were even worse, buuut.. I'll let this review stand. ; )First Thoughts:I NEVER read a book that affected me this badly. I can read rape-scenes and a lot of stuff that might make other people feel sick. I saw and felt some of these things, too. But this book? I don't even know how to.. Wra! I seriously hate how this book makes me feel. I want to take a shower, burn my eReader and destroy everything connecting me to it. Unfortunately that's not possible, which is the reason why I'm writing this text. ;bYes, there were people who liked it and well, I guess a psychologist for example might like the book, because wow.. How fucked up can people (even in fiction) be? I also think that everyone has a different taste and I respect that, although I can't understand how anyone'd like the book. I read some of the 4/5 or 5/5 reviews (not much there to read anyway) and I hear what they're saying. I just can't agree. And I can't stop thinking about how terrible the book was. How unfair and how.. stupid. If you want to read a good review, this is an amazingly well-written one. And now I'm trying to cope with.. well, with "it".

  • Emily
    2019-04-06 13:19

    I unapologetically loved this book. It reminded alot of Christine Monson's "Stormfire" (which I am obsessed with). This book, like many in its genre, is not for the faint of heart. There's kidnapping, rape, gang rape, psychological abuse, stalking, etc. In fact, the hero is a psycho stalker that, if he were to live in 2012, would be on America's Most Wanted. I found Anthony to be a kind of fun-loving stalker as opposed to Sean Culhane in Stormfire who was just a serious pyscho. I mean, after he initially beds the heroine against her will, he turns into a charmer of sorts. The plot goes quickly, I read it in two evenings. Classic 1980s bodice-ripper. Read it for the incredulous expression you'll have on your face alone. There were countless "Holy sh*t" moments for me where I just could not believe how the heroine could be so thick. "Cassie, I kidnapped you for your own good! I needed to rape you! Can't you see the sense in that?" Well, I'm paraphrasing here. Devil's Embrace is definitely entertainment.

  • Shari Kay
    2019-04-10 20:16

    Too many triggers for me (view spoiler)[ h is gang raped. had sex with OM after H. Creepy H (hide spoiler)]

  • FlibBityFLooB
    2019-03-26 13:17

    If there was ever a book where I didn't want the heroine to remain with any of the love interests in the book, it was this one. Seriously, the two men in this book were complete and total a-holes. *sigh* No redemptive qualities in either of them. Where was my fiesty ex-pirate from Gentle Rogue when I needed him? :)Then again, I didn't particularly like the heroine, either. She was a simpering wimpy girl, and not the spitfire heroine I would have preferred, even if she shot a pistol in the book. I have to agree with the authors of Beyond Heaving Bosoms who on page 77 admitted that the character of Anthony Welles was a character who was an "alphahole hero we'd like to slap around some". All I can say is: me, too. I'm not sure who could possibly think that this hero had redemptive qualities, and the heroine's ex-fiance was not any better himself. UGH.

  • Nona
    2019-04-26 18:27

    ok so I had to pick it up due to the hype.. much older man, abduction, rape and on and on... I'm glad I did though. Maybe it's because I married my husband at the ripe old age of twenty, keep in mind my dshing hero in real life is sixteen years my senior. so the age thing, while it shocked some, didn't phase me. I like a good abduction, don't mind a rape or whatever the more drama and chaos usually the better I like it but Devil's Embrace wasn't anything special, to me.I see why the Ladies love and hate Anthony, yes his ego was large and in charge, hmmph, and yes he was one of the most self entitled men but really was he all that bad or just stubborn and deseprate to have his own way at the cost of all others? again spoilt little boy grows up to be over bearing Lord! And Cassie, well geez, she was just so smart and so stupid I found I was ranting at her, "you hussy"..."why you deserved that you little shit"! anyways far from my favorite heroine but ok I didn't write this so I can't be true dissapointed in it as I did finish it and it didnt get thrown at the wall.

  • BJ Rose
    2019-04-06 20:21

    WARNING! SPOILER IN THIS REVIEW!!I just finished my reread of this book, which I would not have done if not for the BHB challenge! So I knew about the abduction and rape - what a wonderful lover! (Just in case you didn't recognize it, that was sarcasm!!) - and the gang rape that comes later, and really expected those events to negate everything else. That said, I'm surprised at how much I enjoyed the rest of the book. I loved the sailing activities and descriptions, and almost-travelogue approach to descriptions of Genoa and Italian countryside. And as a history buff, I thoroughly enjoyed the British look at the 'irritating rebellion' in the Colonies. Setting aside the rapes (which it's impossible to do), this would have been a weak 4*, so I'm giving it a weak 3*

  • Shar
    2019-04-02 16:28

    Romance? More like a study of Stockholm Syndrome!A truly disgusting and twisted story. I though the so called 'hero' was the villain until I skipped to the end.

  • Regan Walker
    2019-04-15 13:36

    ONE ENTHRALLING ROMANCE! I COULD NOT PUT IT DOWN! This was Coulter’s first long historical romance, published in 1985, and it is a superbly written, heart stopping, action-filled story that I could not put down. Literally. I do not recommend you begin it in the evening as I did. That night I did not sleep until nearly dawn. Forget the low reviews, and set aside your 21st century sensibilities and go with what may be one of the most enthralling romances I’ve read in a long time. Certainly it’s a classic that affected the genre of historical romance—and well worth the read just for that!Set in the late 18th century (I estimate 1775-76), it tells the story of highborn 18-year-old Cassie Brougham, who on the day before her marriage to a Viscount she has loved for years, is abducted by 34-year-old Anthony Wells, the Earl of Clare, who has been watching her since she was a child all the while believing she is his perfect mate. Though Anthony’s intention is marriage, that doesn’t stop him from rape to claim her, nor imprisonment, first on his yacht and then in his Italian villa, as he tries to persuade her to marry him. Cassie hates him for what he has done to her life (as well she should and Coulter does that really well), but succumbs to the passion he calls forth each time he makes love to her. You can feel the terrible conflict within this strong-willed, courageous girl as she feels she has no choices. Even her attempt to escape comes to naught. (There’s a bit of the Stockholm syndrome working here, I do believe.)The plot is intricate and intriguing with lots of action and lots of mystery. The characters are richly drawn, including the hero who has a noble side notwithstanding his selfish and brutal act of taking another man’s bride. But the heroine is the one who really garnered my sympathy. She faces mad dogs and Englishmen and manages to overcome every challenge to gain the respect of all. I highly recommend it. The second book is THE DEVIL’S DAUGHTER.

  • ~Sara~
    2019-04-06 14:32

    The 30 year old Earl of Clare falls in love with the 14 year old Cassandra because he had a teenage infatuation with her pregnant mother. Hmmm... When she is 18, he kidnaps her the day before her wedding to her sweetheart who has just come back from war. Even though he barely knows her, and she thinks of him like an uncle, he is sure that he is the right man for her and is determined to marry her. Wow!!! This is why I don't read historical romances written in the 80's. I'm only on page 50 but I'm very worried about how much worse this will get!Much worse apparently. On page 62, Anthony says "I won't hurt you, Cassandra, you know that." just before he ties her to the bedposts and rapes her while she cries. Aww, how sweet he is. So kind and loving.Well, I'm done - I made it to page 86. I don't have a problem with difficult subjects like an older man falling in love with a child, kidnap and rape but the whole, 'I love you, I'm raping you for your own good' and the worst bodice ripping flowery language you can conceive of is just too much for me. I'm on to (much) better things!

  • Arabellavidal
    2019-04-11 16:08

    I did not read the entire book. Why? Because the hero was a delusional pscho! I like dark heroes but I do not like rape- that was when I stopped reading, when I realized that the author was going to have them end up together. I agree with all the reviewers that this is probably a study of the Stockholom Syndrome. It would have been a better book if the author had explored it from that point of view. What I don't understand is why, if the hero loved her from afar for that long, he never attempted to woo her. Age differences were not such an issue in the 18th-century. And the date the heroine and her fiancee set for the wedding was not so close that he couldn't try to change her mind during that time. His reaction was way too extreme, in my opinion. I usually base my opinions of romance on my reaction to the hero no matter how irritating a heroine might be. This hero repulsed me, ergo the book repulsed me.

  • Rhapsody
    2019-04-18 21:35

    The darkest romance novel I've ever read. I'm embarrassed to say that I enjoyed it considering that the heroine is basically raped by the hero and then comes to love him (yeah right), but I guess all that smutty manga I've read has affected my brain. After reading Shinjo Mayo's work (Haou Airen mainly), this sort of book doesn't give me much pause. Cassandra (18 years old) has been in love with her childhood friend Edward all her life, but the day before their wedding, she's kidnapped by the Earl of Clare (34). Other than the fact that he forces himself upon her (yeesh), he's a pretty typical hero; domineering, arrogant, handsome, charming, totally obsessed with her, etc. A lot of the book passes in his yacht The Cassandra, and then in Genoa. As if the one rape in the boat isn't already enough, there's also a gang rape toward the middle. It wasn't very graphic, but it wasn't the nicest thing to read either... Pretty hardcore stuff. Definitely not for everyone.

  • Sapheron
    2019-04-26 21:33

    I read and loved The Duke (seriously, one of my faves from childhood, right), so, when in adulthood I took up this book (bought and frakking paid for) thinking 'Yay another Catherine Coulter Historical, Yay', imagine my consternation and downright disapprobation at what turned out to be a gruesome (if only for the squalid quality of the writing) GANG-rape scene in the middle of an already mediocre (I am feeling awfully meritorious tonight) book. I NEVER expected that, and it remains my biggest gripe about this book. Just Uh! You know what, I recant that star. I still love The Duke though, that, I reread every year.

  • Sue Lyndon
    2019-04-12 16:30

    I know this book has received a lot of bad reviews, but it just happens to be one of my favorite books...so here I am trying to defend it. Yes, Anthony kidnaps, rapes, and beats Cassandra...but it's not a story about a sadistic man who LIKES to inflict pain upon women. It's the story of a man in love who intends to properly court a woman during her first season in London. However, Cassandra decides to skip her first season in London to marry her childhood sweetheart. Anthony wants Cassandra so badly that he does go so far as to kidnap her. He does rape her...but in his mind it is so she can't go back to her fiance. He tries to teach Cassandra pleasure along the way. And the one time he does beat her, he doesn't really want to do it...she disobeys his orders on his ship and she assumes she will be punished after he scolds her and actually urges him to 'get it over with.' Despite having kidnapped Cassandra, Anthony treats her kindly and tries to earn her affection. And despite some very bad things happening to the heroine, the book ends happily enough. If you love historical romances and can deal with the 'harsher' parts of history in regards to how women were treated back then, then I recommend giving this book a try!

  • M.M. Strawberry Reviews
    2019-04-09 20:27

    First and foremost, the research and writing style is tight. Ms. Coulter has done her research in what was appropriate for the time period in regards to clothes, furnishings, and what not. The dialogue also flows well - I loved the arguments between Cassie and her kidnapper.However, what keeps this novel from reaching a 5-star is the premise of the forced bride. Cassie keeps protesting, but is taken nonetheless, and of course experiences blinding pleasure! (sarcasm) No matter how many times she begged for modesty or to be left alone, he simply had to press on. And then later on she goes through an ordeal considerably worse than the one she had been through before, and the conclusion left me feeling rather unenthused. This kind of dark hero doesn't really work. Between the good writing style and fun dialogue, and the whole 'now I love my kidnapper/abuser' thing, this book earns 3 stars.

  • BrendaBritton
    2019-04-26 15:22

    This was the book that got me reading romance; at first I was embarraced by the content but then I became intrigued how a man much older than the heroine could induce her to love him when she loved another man. He raped her and at first she hated him but she grew to love him even though he held her captive. Eventually she became reaquainted with the man she had loved before and found he was not what she expected. There is a scene during the book when Cassie is brutally raped by some evil men but she survives and all ends well.

  • M—
    2019-03-27 17:32

    Devil... #1? Oh, god, this is a series?

  • Susan (the other Susan)
    2019-04-24 13:11

    Read all you need to know about this squick-making Rape-A-Rama with overtones of pedophilia in the splendid review by Karla (Mossy Love Grotto). She 'splains things.

  • a &
    2019-04-12 16:31

    it was eh.

  • Grace
    2019-04-20 19:25

    Well, this was certainly an interesting book. Definitely a bodice-ripper, and definitely containing rapity-rape-rape elements. I actually started this book with the intention of just flipping through it, but I ended up going back to the beginning and starting over. If you didn't read the blurb (which I didn't), you would not have known who she would be ending with from the beginning. In fact, the beginning of the book started from the perspective of the OM (other man), as befits a true bodice-ripper epic. Plus, she has sex with both of them! And other men! (The other men were because of a gang rape. Super uncomfortable to read about, considering she was also pregnant at the time. Readers beware.)It starts off from the perspective of Edward, coming home from being a soldier. Stumbling across a childhood friend, Cassie, conveniently going swimming in her shift and clearly all grown up. Well, Cassie's no shrinking violet, and she's doing the chasing and slinking up to the honorable person that is Edward. She's had a massive crush on Edward all her life and soon they are about to be married. Happiness reigns supreme. People are arriving to their engagement ball, among them Anthony Welles (cue dramatic music). Except you suspect nothing because Cassie hardly notices him. He reveals nothing of the churning madness within. Then, with the wedding looming, Cassie goes out sailing at the behest of her governess, and her boat is captured by, uh-oh -- The Cassandra?? What a coincidence!It turns out it's Anthony Welles, and he has no intention of ever letting her go. At this point, I was sucked into the book as much as a teenage girl to Flowers in the Attic for the first time. It was gothic, it was dramatic. Anthony Welles is, in modern historical romance, a hunk of the first order. Half-Italian, an earl, in his 30s, well-traveled and super desirable to the ladies. These are pretty much guaranteed in all the newer historical romances. But in this bodice ripper of the past, he was a villanous hero. Cassie wasn't having any of him. She's throwing fits, trying to escape, she even dives off the ship at one point (but then realizes there are other more nefarious characters also trolling the Mediterranean). To give the author credit, Anthony Welles was pretty single-minded. A bit sick. But then, aren't all kidnappers and rapists? But in fiction, Coulter did pretty good by me. She strode a fine line between psycho violent dude (Judith McNaught was known for these) and uber metro softies that try to explain away their kidnapping. I thought she did a decent job. At one point, Cassie was captured by Anthony's enemies and gang-raped. Horrible and kind of par for the course for this era of books. Apparently we've come a long way in literature and in real life. It was seriously ghastly because she had to be stitched up. How graphic is that?? Then she somehow gains momentum again and escapes to the US to find Edward.Again Coulter strode a fine line. At some point, I felt she made Edward to be (suddenly) not that chivalrous for the purpose of putting Anthony in a better light. A lot of authors do this, I think in order to avoid a love triangle, or people comparing the two heroes. I see the point in this, I do, given the annoyance I felt when some heroines end up with the guy who's clearly the lesser. But I think the emphasize shouldn't be on who's the BETTER man, but who's better for HER, in which case, it's not about who's good or bad. So Edward was made to be not as nice a person because he wasn't as good a lover, he forgot she has never liked tea, and also he's been involved with another woman. Really? I mean, she was presumed dead. For over a year. I mean, she got pregnant, then miscarried, and then got pregnant again. Super unhealthy for the mom, but you know, what can you do.But it worked out because Anthony strode back into the limelight and stole the show with the line: "I have come to reclaim what is mine, Lyndhurst. You have had your time with her, and you will have no more. I suggest that you choose to divorce her." That's pretty awesome in its civility and also accompanied by a bow.So, despite its age and some gruesome details and the controversial aspect of a totally psychotic stalker dude, this book worked!

  • Jilly
    2019-04-23 13:30

    I honestly don't know what to think of this book. It sounded interesting at the time of reading and I was intrigued by the notion of Welles kidnapping Cassandra because he wanted her, but it seems like he essentially raped her. Sure he wasn't horrible of vicious about it but she didn't want him.My biggest issue with the book was her seeming love for Edward, her fiance. It would have been easier, I think, to know that Cassandra didn't want to marry him than to believe she loved him and that Anthony was keeping her from him, no matter how it turns out in the end. I really think Coulter took it too far when Cassandra is abducted yet again and brutally raped by four men.Part of me wants to like this book because I didn't actually mind the parts on the ship after Anthony has taken her to be his bride but so much after that was hard to swallow and read.I didn't hate the book. In fact, I'm rather curious about their daughter who will be in the second book, enough so that I'm swapping for it over at Paperbackswap. The thing is that I truly hope their daughters life is a lot less brutal than Cassandra's has been so far. But then I also plan to swap this book as I probably will never read it again.

  • Rebecca
    2019-04-11 19:36

    I was not surprised when I found out this book first came out in the 80s. Not at all. The book starts out, young wonderful, spirited heroine is going to marry the man she's loved since she was eight. He loves her too. Very wonderful. I start to wonder how we're going to have a book here. Everyone is so happy. LOL. Then, in Chapter 5, the heroine is kidnapped by a man much, much older than she, 35--I'm not saying this is old. I'm saying this is older than she is. He is an Earl but he is also Italian and he once loved her mother before she died giving birth to her and has been in love with her for a long time since he saw her as a child. Can anyone say yuck? To make matters worse, he rapes her. Rapes her and basically expects her to get over it. He's mean, cruel, uncaring. He puts her through hell but okay, all is well at the end? I hated these types of books in the 80s. I usually love Coulter and I wish they wouldn't rerelease things that have themes that were disgusting when they were written and are best left in the past. This is just my opinion. I love Coulter. Not this. Never again this.

  • Vann
    2019-04-16 17:25

    umm.. i really don know what to say..hero d novel ini kaya psikopat gila.. anthony, jatuh cinta ama ibunya heroine-cassandra.. tp krn ia ga berhasil ngedapetin ibunya, maka ia memutuskan utk mjd kan cassandra sby calon istrinya d masa depan.. yaiks,, cassandra masi berumur 5 th pas itu..!!after years passed by,, trnyata cassandra jatuh cinta ama her childhood friends - edward, n they decided to marry.. sehari sblom the wedding, si anthony menculik cassandra..dalam penculikan ini, si anthony berkali2 nge rape cassandra.. n dy bener2 yakin klo cassandra emg his soul mate, n bakal jatuh cinta ama dy (rada sinting)n like any other kidnapping case in history romance, adegan sex hero n heroine, dr yg awalnya no-no-no, jd yes-yes-yes..btw.. adegan sadis d novel ini bener2 graphic.. rape by anthony, gangbang rape by cassandra kidnapper ( 5 men vs 1 woman ), adegan pas anthony ngejait luka in cassandra's woman flesh ( digambarin klo robek ampe belakang *shudder shudder*),, plot cerita jg lemah.. ending villain nya diceritain cm dlm sepucuk surat.. ga diceritain gmana si anthony solved the problem or gmana emosian nya cassandra.. cuma datar2 gt aja..

  • Anne Dirty Girls' Good Books
    2019-03-29 20:10

    I had to write this review to try to warn people away from this book. I wish I could forget some of the awful things I read in it. (view spoiler)[ The worst part for me was the very detailed gang rape of the heroine. The hero did rescue her, but proceeded to sew her perineum back up and bide his time to wait until he was healed enough so that he could rape her, since he loved her so much that he'd be gentle with her.Of course all this happened after he initially kidnapped her and raped her.Then toward the end the heroine actually marries (or almost marries? She's living with him and sleeping with him) another man who is actually nice to her, only to return to the "hero" for no reason I could possibly understand.(hide spoiler)]I have never disliked a book as much as this one.

  • Johanna Panko
    2019-03-29 20:36

    Aptly named book from where I stand, he forced her into a relationship he wanted through rape and control. Then spoke about love in the next. She was all set to marry a man she was infatuated with when he steals her and takes what was her right to give, then makes her hate herself by making her enjoy it. I'm clueless over that part, was it because she was so innocent? I had originally thought it was hard for a woman to be raped and achieve orgasm. Then he doesn't keep her safe and she endures rape at the hands of other men. So I'm blank at this point, wtf. The ending is what I give four stars, she evidently makes me believe he knew her better than herself and she get's a happily ever after but hell.... At that point she deserves it.