Gaelen Foley: HIS WICKED KISS

His Wicked Kiss by Gaelen Foley
Knight Miscellany #7
Piatkus 2006
367 pages
2/5 stars

Unfortunately, the last book in the Knight series turned out to be a disappointment. Started fairly promising, ended up flat, and ugh how the hero annoys me!

The book kicks off in Venezuela, where the heroine lives with her scientist father. Eden dreams of the glitter of London society, but her father refuses to take her back to civilization, even when his research funding ceases. Stuck in a rainforest examining orchids – something she does with great enthusiasm – and being pursued by her father’s creepy assistant, Eden ceases her chance to escape when she encounters Jack Knight, who is about to sail his ship back to England.

Here we go. Jack Knight. What a prick. He kisses Eden aggressively without warning or her consent; the book has several dub-con moments, although in context they are not so bad. He keeps thinking that Eden is “not like other girls”; no, she’s not, but other girls aren’t like other girls either, and anyway Jack hasn’t gotten to know anyone well enough to actually know. Convinced his family hate him, Jack sulks and throws tantrums whenever Eden tries to express herself in a way that doesn’t please him. He keeps secrets and refuses her information, and I dislike him enormously. Oh, and did I mention his colonialist mindset?

Eden deals with this child of a 30+-year-old well enough, and shows some spunk, and actually manages to get through to him at times. They work well together when they’re communicating – which puts Jack in charge, because he decides when he doesn’t want to talk or listen, and walks away. More than once or twice I wanted to shout at Eden for being around this bastard (both literal and figurative).

This was just in general a not very well done book. The villain is disposed of off-handedly, the hero does no growing at all and I think this couple has no happily ever after, the heroine seems to just accept his ridiculous behaviour, and the only person who seems to do any sort of growing in Eden’s father. I will grant that Jack makes an effort to make Eden happy, but I resent the implication that actually he makes her happiest when he’s being his childish self.

It’s not a novel completely without graces: it was an entertaining enough read, but the more I think about it the angrier I get with the defects. I would recommend not reading this last instalment in the series: the second to last one, Devil Takes A Bride, is a much better book and leaves a good taste in your mouth (as you can see from my review). End the series there.

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