How did that little rhyme Kirsten had taught the children go? Star light, star bright, something about the first star at night. Nearly that, anyway. I wish He glanced over at the woman nestled beneath the covers just inches from his side.
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Start your review of The Marriage Bed Write a review Shelves: hr-americana , february , romance-historical , snarky-troll-lives-here That inner snarky troll that I have has been sleeping quite comfortably for about the last 4 books that I have read. All good things must come to an end, and the troll woke up with a vengeance this morning after I finished this ridiculous book.
Where to start, says the snarky troll. How about the cover? Without a doubt the worst I have ever seen. Creepy looking folks on the cover, looks like an art class drawing. Now for the story. That inner snarky troll that I have has been sleeping quite comfortably for about the last 4 books that I have read.
He marries someone else, of course, the perfect Kirsten " They had soared like the eagles together, even from the first. They have 2 perfect children and have a perfect life. Until all three of them die from diptheria and Spencer is left all alone. No one else has asked her, and she loves him and can help him out on the farm. What a perfect beginning. Man of your dreams settles for you, and you sign on for a life of drudgery, farm chores and shitty sex.
On their wedding night, this prince of a man says to her, "Peter and Margaret are dead, remember? My children are dead and so is my wife. And he would never lose another woman he loved, because, quite simply, he would never love another woman. Now, about the long-suffering Olivia. Perhaps she is just too much like lots of us are in real life, no backbone involved when it comes to standing up for yourself, afraid that you will lose the person that you love.
Nope, she just slinks away and cries. He gets to see how much damage he can inflict on them - they have to sleep in his workshop and the barn. The doctor tells her in the only funny part in the book , "oh, you must be just what your husband dreamed about when he was still taking care of his own business" and that there is nothing wrong with her. No pill, no cure, no operation.
She is her own worst enemy. Let him do it. She tells Olivia "it goes on his Him, for being a complete douchebag, or her for allowing him to get away with it.
And for being ridiculously naive, that set my teeth on edge. So, as I kept turning pages, waiting for the book to get better, the inevitable big moment happens. Skull fractures, you know. And then, wait for it, wait for it Faced with losing her, Spencer the douchebag realizes that he really does love her, after all!
Blah, blah, blah. All sorts of tender mushiness ensues, especially when Olivia opens her eyes. Then, of course, Spencer is stuck trying to think of how to get out of the "get away from me and let me regret marrying you in peace" remark that he had made the night before.
Conveniently for him, Olivia has no recollection of anything since the previous morning at breakfast. Crisis narrowly averted. Now he is free to love and boink, boink, boink his pretty wife.
What is this, Spencer? Busted, Spencer. Oh, the perfidy!! Numerous fights occur, and Olivia goes to live with her brother and sister-in-law and takes the kids. Spencer, now knowing what a jackass he had been, does lots of things designed to redeem himself to Olivia, including finally saying goodbye to his dead family. Too late, she says, over and over. He even makes new beds for all of them, including the kids. So, Spencer the jerk, the guy most deserving of any romance novel I have ever read to end up alone, ends up with ingenuous Olivia, and the kids.
The book ends with the 2 of them in the new bed Spencer has built engraved with their initials, awww talking about how maybe they made a baby. Blech, blech, and double blech. Same with the suicide of Emma, the spectacularly unattractive daughter of the general store owner. The author subjects that poor character to page after page of insults, slights, mockery and finally has her kill herself.
In a wagon outside of a church at a wedding. All covered with blood so the 10yr old can find her. Her character had been chasing after the railroad surveyor through the whole book, and the surveyor had the hots for Olivia, but really.
Maybe I should leave it that way. Done right, regular, turn-of-the-century farm or small-town folk can be written beautifully. Done not so right, and it comes off as homespun and hokey.
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How did that little rhyme Kirsten had taught the children go? Star light, star bright, something about the first star at night. Nearly that, anyway. I wish
The Marriage Bed