I had to remember that this book was published in while reading the over-the-top scenario Ms. Steeles created. Clare struggles to strengthen her self-confidence and she's amazed with her own reactions to Lazar, a virile man who doesn't hide he desires her.
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She should be cowering and fearful of attack, and yet, something about Lazar tells her that she's safe with him. Lazar is furious and outraged that Clare's brother had drunkenly seduced his sister, and he means to have revenge for her dishonour. His anger at first blinds him, and he believes Clare to be as permissive as other English girls her age. Only Clare doesn't act like a modern girl, dressing in clothes three times too large to hide her feminine curves, and is obviously nervous whenever he comes near her. Clare's not afraid but she is tremendously shy, and Lazar makes her feel alive and when he kisses her she craves for more.
She reacts to her own desires with shock and Lazar misreads it that she's terrified of him. It's then that he insists she tell him why she's afraid of men, and Clare finds herself for the first time able to tell what had happened to her. Though not raped, her beating was severe, the shock of it had stolen her voice for over a year.
Devil In Disguise by Jessica Steele
And when Clare has a nightmare that night of her attack, Lazar fully comes to understand how deep Clare's fears may be. He also realizes that the way her family had protected her all these years, there was something wrong with his sister's accusations on Clare's brother. Kit's released after Sophronia admitted she lied, and he and Clare return to England.
It's only later that Clare learns that Lazar had told Kit he wanted to marry her, but Kit had told him that he need not feel honour bound to do so, and that the doctor had told their family years ago that Clare would probably never be able to marry, let alone have a real relationship with a man This is an angsty read with some rather interesting twists and turns. We have Clare the jittering nervous heroine at the beginning evolving into a more confident and assured young woman by the end. And our virile arrogant Greek gets knocked down a few pegs and he becomes the nervous hero uncertain how to approach the woman he loves.
The HEA ending was very sweet. Jul 16, Sammy rated it liked it Shelves: kidnapping , mills-and-boons. Oct 18, sbf rated it really liked it. Good, older story. I first read this book about thirty years ago or more, and although I read it again, that was probably about twenty years ago. Some readers may think I shouldn't review a book without having read it more recently, but there are certain things I remember clearly about the book because they bothered me so strongly, which was why I didn't keep my copy and why I feel impelled to leave this review now.
No one else reviewing the book here seems to have noticed that the purported "hero" is s I first read this book about thirty years ago or more, and although I read it again, that was probably about twenty years ago. No one else reviewing the book here seems to have noticed that the purported "hero" is such an overbearing scumbag that his sister actually accused an innocent man of seducing and ruining her as a bid to get more freedom in her own life.
Some of you might not see what she did as such a big deal, but what her brother tried to do in response could have had life-altering consequences to entirely innocent parties. She couldn't have been that ignorant of what kind of man her brother was, the brother that she herself was trying to escape.
She had to have suspected what her brother might do if he got his hands on the innocent man she accused. Why are all the fans of this book ignoring what that says about her level of desperation and what a horrible person Lazar is? Why do they only blame his sister for that?
ISBN 13: 9780263210026
But even if you can ignore the implications of what Lazar's sister did, what he did on his own was simply unforgivable. Lazar kidnaps an innocent man, holds him prisoner, kidnaps an innocent girl, plans to ruin and shame her, uses threats of violence against her brother to try to force her into having sex with him, and plans to maim the innocent man if the girl doesn't submit to being ruined under those conditions.
Lazar does all this on nothing more than the word of a woman who is not only lying to him but who lied in the first place because he's such an overbearing creep she's utterly desperate to get out from under his control. Lazar implicitly believed the sister for whom he clearly has little respect or regard and who clearly does not consider him deserving of the truth, which just goes to show how much of a xenophobe he is.
He continues to believe his sister without question until he becomes sweet on the heroine. This is the kind of guy who automatically believes his own kind against the word of the outsider. In other words, he's about as racist as you can get, and if he hadn't started looking on Clare as his or at least as a woman he wanted to be his instead of one of the despised outsiders, her brother would have paid for Lazar's bigotry and prejudice for the rest of his life.
This is exactly why vigilante justice is illegal. When people are allowed to dispense what they think is justice in the heat of anger and prejudice, all kinds of horrible, life-altering or life-ending things can happen to entirely innocent people.
What you don't get is justice. I don't know how many Greek and international laws Lazar broke with his actions, but that certainly wasn't ethical behavior on his part. No matter what reasons Lazar thought he had to hate Clare's brother, he knew full well that Clare hadn't done anything wrong, and he still kidnapped her and tried to force her to have sex with him by threatening to harm her brother. Even when he was merely planning to seduce Clare, it was with the deliberate intent of ruining her marital prospects and shaming her before the world.
That's a pretty nasty thing to try to do to someone who hasn't done a blessed thing wrong to anyone. This is the very definition of injustice: to take revenge by deliberately causing direct harm to an innocent.
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Any time you punish someone for what someone else did, you are being fundamentally unjust. Lazar tried to rape Clare. He might not have held a gun on her or held her down by physical force, but trying to make someone have sex with you by threatening to maim her brother is rape too. Even Lazar's claim that he planned to seduce Clare rather than rape her is a blatant lie. He told her exactly why he had brought her to Greece long before making a move to seduce her.
Clearly, what he called "seduction" was always going to take place under threat of violence against her brother. Even if Lazar didn't explicitly state the threat, it was painfully clear. Lazar's such an arrogant scumbag, he never admits anything he did wrong. He admits that his sister's lied, but he never examines why she lied to him in the first place. How many innocent lives would he have ruined if he hadn't learned the truth in time? But at no point does he give any indication that he has learned to eschew vigilante "justice", and at no point does he give any indication that he won't be so quick to condemn the next outsider on nothing more than the word of one of his own people.
At no point does he give any indication that he has learned not to punish people who didn't actually do anything wrong for someone else's crimes. Indeed, he makes it plain that he is pinning all the blame for what he tried to do on his sister's lies. Lazar never admits to anything except being mistaken in believing his sister's lies. We know he's sorry for distressing Clare, but that's not the same as admitting that he was in the wrong.
Which means that at the end of the book, all indications are that Lazar is still every bit as much of an arrogant, racist, unjust bastard as he was at the beginning and that he would still rape an innocent woman in order to punish her brother without taking the time first to be sure her brother was even guilty.
This book is the only romance novel I can remember reading that showed how traumatic an attack by a rapist can be.
Claiming His Runaway Bride (Mills & Boon Largeprint Desire)
Clare was actually saved before she was violated, but even though she was saved, the episode was portrayed as so traumatic that she was still emotionally crippled years later. Then the same book that shows how emotionally damaging a rape attempt can be follows that up by having the heroine fall for the next guy who tries to rape her.
Lazar is every bit as much of a rapist as the guy who hits his victims in the head with a brick first. Lazar should be no one's idea of a hero, and this story has an abuser's version of romance. It disturbs me that there are so many people who seem unable to recognize this. May 09, Jo rated it really liked it Shelves: harlequin , alpha-possesive-man-men , favorite-hero , virgin-heroine , virgin-heroine-harlequin , hero-first-and-only-lover , favorite-unforgettable , favorite-heroine.
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Si hay algunos besos y ciertas caricias leves, si no me falla la memoria. Lots of angst, but if this had been a HQP, the angst would have been through the ceiling. As it was, there was plenty of tension between the characters, but it was very well handled. Though I hate the trope of punishing an innocent for the misdeeds of others, I loved how the relationship between Clare and Lazar developed as they came to know each other. Oct 20, Mojdeh rated it really liked it. I like this Romance. Because of 2 different emotions of couple that they had about together.
And Lazar Vardakas was so handsome and maybe my dream man ;. Feb 09, Nikki rated it it was ok. Not alot going on in this one. Just kinda goes and then ends Oct 04, Lynn Smith rated it really liked it Shelves: s , favorites , mills-and-boon-romance. I loved this story and has been a favourite of mine by Jessica Steele. Bought new. Strangely, slowly, out of the bizarre situation a new Clare Harper emerged -- a young woman ready to love and be loved.
Mar 25, Usagi Tsukino rated it did not like it Shelves: m-f. I like the idea to be the only one who disliked this book here. May 29, Carmen rated it really liked it. An enjoying read as most of this author's works. Apr 28, Suzanne rated it really liked it Shelves: vintage-harlequin. I liked it Aug 18, Lede rated it did not like it Shelves: vintage-harlequins. At no point was I convinced that Clare was not an eight year old!
One of the most infantile females that I've come across in Hp land. Oct 18, Ana rated it liked it. I love all Jessica Steele's novels. Jan 30, Kachana Ung rated it really liked it Shelves: harlequins , virgin-heroine. Caroline rated it did not like it Nov 25, Heroine with PTSD kidnapped for revenge, given deadline to bed her captor or her brother will suffer. Readers also enjoyed. About Jessica Steele. Jessica Steele. BS EN - Ductile iron pipes, fittings, accessories and their joints for water pipelines.