The Secret That Shocked De Santis

The Secret That Shocked De Santis

Paperback - 2016
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Harlequin
Coming soon! The Secret That Shocked De Santis by Natalie Anderson will be available Feb 16, 2016.

Publisher: Don Mills, Ontario, Canada : Harlequin Enterprises Limited, 2016
ISBN: 9780373134229
Branch Call Number: Fiction Anderson Pbk
Characteristics: 190 p. ; 17 cm

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FindingJane Sep 21, 2016

A handsome, sexy, seductive, powerful, alpha-male potentate discovers from his spies that the strong-willed, sensuous woman he had intimate relations with is carrying his child. He immediately kidnaps her, thrusts her into his luxury palace and demands that she marry him. Hang on, I’ve read this story before now: “The Sheikh’s Pregnant Prisoner”. Wait. That was a different romance. No, it’s the same as this one. Shoot. Well, I despised “The Sheikh’s Pregnant Prisoner” and my dislike is no less for Ms. Anderson’s take on the same trope. I had hoped for better in the female protagonist, Army lieutenant Stella Zambrano. After all, she is a soldier, the best in her field and trained to be a top-level fighter. But the first moment she meets her prince he proves to be the superior fighter, easily subduing her, and she gives up her virginity because she practically creams her panties when he holds her close. Here we go again. Then he finds out she’s pregnant because he has his people keep her under surveillance after their little tryst (the romantic male lead as stalker—aw, isn’t he a charmer?). So naturally, he has armed men take her prisoner, whisk her off to his palace and demand that she marry him. There’s going to be no courtship or wooing here, folks. He needs a bride and an heir and she’s conveniently available. He’s a prince who gets his own way; she’s used to following orders so she knuckles under his will. Just like with Lauren Hamby of the previously titled romance, Stella is without resources, home or job. Yes, she’s just another hapless female with nothing to her name and therefore forced to take the offer of the rich, arrogant jerk-with-a-title. For the sake of the baby, she caves in to his demands. He wants to keep her on the island while the baby is grown? She agrees. He demands that she marry him the day after he kidnaps her? No problem. She’s to wear the dress and jewelry he picks out for her? Yes, master. She’s supposed to be this strong-willed, tough-as-nails female. But you don’t really get any of that reading this book. Oh, we’re supposed to understand that she acquiesces because he’s offering wealth, a title, security, a home for the unborn brat. But couldn’t she get those from her father? Would the old man really be so hard hearted as to cast off his only child and grandchild to starve? Did I mention she was a virgin when she encountered the prince? Yeah, she was given one condom when she was enlisted and hadn’t used it since then. Therefore, it’s been carted around squashed in her wallet for who knows how long. Is it any surprise that it fails to protect her when she finally gets around to using it? Only to her, apparently. I’ve read about the virgin being deflowered in so many other stories that it’s no longer a novelty or even particularly thrilling. But it gets downright infuriating to discover it here. Why would a SOLDIER of all people in this day and age be entirely without sexual experience? What kind of sense does that make? Did she really never have the time, chance or inclination for sexual contact? On top of all the other assorted wrongness of her position, this improbability is the most nonsensical of all. So all the tired clichés are firmly in place, rendering this sad novel just another in the panoply of stories about enforced royal marriages because of an infant. Change the names and locales but the inanity remains the same. Avoid this novel and watch soap operas if you’re really that bored.

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