Author: Diana Palmer
My rating: 1 Star
Synopsis: Gracie Marsh worshipped her stepbrother Jason while growing up but now her feelings for him have evolved into something more intense. The feeling seems to be mutual but Gracie has a secret that makes her deathly afraid of love. Stung by her rejection, Jason leaves and sets in motion events that may change their lives forever.
Review: OK, here goes my first and, hopefully, my last really negative review.
This book is awful but it is not the borderline incest that turned me off. Rather the characters are one dimensional and vapid, and the story is ridiculous.
Gracie’s characterization makes absolutely no sense. There is an inconsistency between her supposed mental deficiencies and her obvious social skills. Also, she becomes a teacher even though she apparently has a severe learning disability – weird. In addition, she is a perfectly sweet doormat and for too accepting of Jason's rejection and snide attitude. It is a pity that she didn’t put him in his place when he came home with Kittie the cow. Her reason for keeping her past secret from Jason is also inexplicable – there is nothing shameful about it, and depicting it as such belittles women who have suffered from abuse.
Speaking of Kittie, Jason’s engagement to her is a completely idiotic plot device. First, her bitchiness is way overdone and is obviously meant to contrast against Gracie's almost angelic status. Second, Jason’s reasoning for becoming engaged lacks credibility.
Jason is an obnoxious hero and borderline abusive. The scene in which he sets up an employee to be humiliated is a case in point as is his allowing Kittie to treat his family so badly.
The preposterous kidnapping subplots only add insult to injury. An honorable, sensitive kidnapper who just happens to be trying to save his country from a dictator and needs to kidnap people to fund his coup? The fact that there is not one, but two kidnappings? Perhaps this is an allowance for gender equality as there is one for the heroine and one for the hero?
I could go on and on but I’ll stop now as I’m sure my point is made. This is definitely my first and only Diana Palmer book.