Sarah's Reviews > Silent Melody

Silent Melody by Mary Balogh
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Nov 24, 09

bookshelves: 2009, regency, romance, 18thc

I don't know. This book fell flat for me. I've read a couple romances now where the heroine has a disability, and it always results in my feeling kind of icky about the entire set up of the novel. The relationship between the hero and heroine always ends up feeling coercive to me, as the hero generally doesn't head into the relationship thinking of the heroine as a "whole" woman. He generally views her as some sort of woman-child, but he has sex with her anyway. Um, ick. It especially unsettled me in this book, as the it opens with the hero kissing the heroine is a very sexual manner, and she's only 14 or so and he's 20-ish. And the heroine just idolizes him. That's . . . hmm. They're on very unequal footing as far as empowerment and ability to maneuver in the world goes, and that goes much deeper than just their gender roles in the historical period this is set in. Mary Balogh usually navigates disparities like this fairly well, but I got a very strong woman-child vibe off the heroine, and I just can't tolerate that anymore in my romance. I want to read romance about women, not innocent sex sprites. And I usually get that from Balogh's novels! Just not this time.

If Balogh can't do it well enough to satisfy me, then I think I'm going to have to stay away from romances where either the hero or heroine have a disability, unless someone whose judgment I trust recommends the book to me. It just leaves me unsettled otherwise.
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