Top critical review
on June 15, 2004
I gave the book three stars because I was actually able to finish reading it, but all the way through, Jeremy Malory creeped me out. He showed no real feeling for Danny, just a consistent need to get her between the sheets. His seductive powers seemed to consist only of a lowered voice and burning glances. He comes off as a somewhat churlish frat boy when he takes advantage of Danny's overindulgence to literally trip her up into his bed. (What finesse!) Don't forget this little trick is played while she is his lowly maidservant. With cruder dialogue and more graphic imagery, this could be a letter to a men's magazine. Jeremy's gift of a puppy and a kitten didn't even show any romance, but seemed more like afterthoughts tossed in to make him a nicer guy. There just didn't seem to be any real feeling between Danny and Jeremy to make the physical passion meaningful. I think Jeremy would have been a better character if he'd displayed more empathy for Danny's upbringing, especially in light of his own past. I had trouble believing Danny would throw off her long held principles just because Jeremy was "so bleedin' handsome."
Something else interfered with my enjoyment of the book, and that was the artificial nature of the social background. The descriptions of the lower class people rang somewhat more true, but I don't think the society people of those times would blithely mingle their female relatives and their mistresses and their maids. The whole "let's dress the maid/mistress up in a ball gown" business just struck a false note. Instead of being a cherished Cinderella, Danny seemed to be a convenience, someone easily used.
In reading back over this review, I decided three stars was too many. I enjoyed most of the other Malory books, but this one was a disappointing two star effort.