Su alma ha estado vagando desorientada desde que Robert, el futuro conde de Macclesfield, la cautivara con sus encantos para luego rechazarla. Su existencia ahora se limita a cuidar de un mocoso malcriado y a sufrir el desprecio y los ataques de aquellos que se creen por encima de una solitaria doncella de provincias. No era su belleza. No era su inteligencia. Ciertamente no era su gracia.
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The hero Robert, is the son of an Earl and the heroine Victoria is the daughter of the vicar who depends on the Earl for his employment. Robert and Victoria meet and soon fall madly in love. They used to meet in the woods in secret but Robert respected her so much that he refused to consummate their relationship until they were married.
His father, however, was appalled that his only son and heir would dare to taint their proud family heritage by wanting to marry such an unsuitable bride. The old Earl warned Robert to stay away from Victoria but when the H defiantly asserted that he would elope with her if he had to, his father turned to a more diabolical solution.
The vicar was appalled because he now thought that his daughter was behaving like a wanton and fallen woman. Victoria refused to give up Robert and this rare show of defiance infuriated her father. He was the type of father who believed that good daughters did what they were told and did not use their feminine wiles in immoral ways with men who were too good for them.
God I hated how her father belittled her. This vicar clearly had very little self esteem too because he obviously believed that his own daughter was not good enough to be a future countess. The vicar even refused to budge when Robert declared to him how much he was in love with Victoria. Any other father would have been proud that his daughter had managed to capture the love of a man who will provide a wealthy and happy future for her.
Robert and Victoria decide to elope when they realize that their respective fathers will never agree to the marriage. Her sister sees her shivering on the bed and covers her up with blankets. Robert, who soon grew weary of waiting for her at their meeting place, comes to search for her and sees her sleeping on her bed. This part was so dumb!
If he had come inside and removed the bed covers he would have seen she was tied up. Robert then gets angry and departs from the village. Victoria is so mad and disillusioned that she too leaves the village and seeks employment as a governess. She manages to get a job with an aristocratic family and her charge is the most obnoxious, spoilt and stupid little boy who treats her with no respect. His mother is even worse.
I really empathized with Victoria at this point because her life is miserable; in spite of how downtrodden she is, however, she still tries her best to be the perfect governess to this demon child. She soon meets Robert again, after all these years, at a house party that her employers are hosting. Robert treats her like crap. Robert finds himself wanting Victoria again and he suggests that she give up her job and become his mistress.
I hated him during this period in the novel. Victoria also has a lot of pride and rejects his insulting offer. This sleazebag decides he wants a piece of Victoria too, so he attempts to rape her.
Fortunately, Robert saves her and beats him for touching Victoria. Victoria leaves and eventually finds employment in a dress shop. Robert returns to the village to search for Victoria and discovers the truth about the night of the failed elopement.
He eventually meets her again but this time Victoria hates him even more. He is very sorry and apologizes to her, begs her forgiveness and proposes. Victoria keeps rejecting his proposal because she is so mad with him. I thought she was being a bit too pig headed here because the guy was really grovelling.
He is consistent in his grovelling though and is determined to gain her forgiveness and her hand in marriage. Their journey back to happiness is hard won but they both grow to know each other again, they spend a lot of time alone with each other and even go on a mini vacation trip together.
I loved this novel because it hit all the right spots in my romantic and sentimental heart. I also love seeing how an alpha male grovels when the woman he loves is not bending to his wishes.
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