My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Lord. I have tried and tried to write this review....but I found it incredibly difficult considering the roller coaster ride I experienced while reading Simply Insatiable.
First off - I hated Lord Minshom before I even started this book. He was featured in book 4 (and maybe others, I can't remember) and he was a completely despicable, piece of shit, sadistic fuck. I can't remember hating a character so much. So when I found out that book 5 was HIS story.....needless to say, I was less than thrilled. I thought how in the world am I even going to get through this book?
For the first part of the book.....my opinion of him didn't change. We find out that he has a wife named Jane, but he hasn't seen her in 7 years. She lives in their country house and has absolutely no contact with her. He spends his time in London at the pleasure house - on the third (and most extreme) floor of the house, I might add. He gets off on abusing men there. (And let me just say this.....the "abuse" is consensual. He isn't raping anyone. He's being rough, forceful, and violent with them.....he beats them, humiliates them, etc....but they are all asking him to do it. Not that I feel the need to defend Lord Minshom, I just want it made clear that while he IS a sadistic douchebag, he ISN'T a rapist. So there.)
For whatever reason, Jane still loves and wants her husband. AND, she wants a baby. And she wants Lord Minshom to father the child. Jane seems WAY too sweet for a dick like Minshom. Like, you almost have to think that she's an idiot for even wanting him. So, obviously there is something about Minshom that is lovable, if someone so seemingly sweet as Jane is able to have feelings for him even after not being in contact with him for almost a decade.
So, Jane is now in London and is refusing to leave even though Minshom has made it perfectly clear that he doesn't want her in his home or in London even. And he refuses to get her pregnant......again. Come to find out, they had a son who died in infancy. This revelation leads us to learn more about why Minshom left Jane and moved to London in the first place.
It's hard to describe the many plot twists and turns without giving away the whole novel, but I will say this.....I did a complete turnaround in my feelings toward Lord Minshom. While I still consider him a douchebag of epic proportions, I learned why he became that way. Childhood physical, emotional, and sexual abuse at the hands of his father left deep emotional scars that he was incapable of dealing with. This led to his belief that he was a despicable and perverted person that no one was capable of loving. No matter how much Jane professed her love, he refused to believe it until it was almost too late.
In romance novels, I love nothing more than a tortured hero. The trouble is, when I started this book, I considered Minshom so tortured that he couldn't find redemption. Didn't deserve it, even. I found him to be that vile. But after finding out who he really was and the history he had, my heart broke for him over and over. I started to read between the lines and even as he spoke the most hateful words to those who loved him, I saw him as a character so broken and abused that he had no choice but to lash out. Why would he or how could he EVER trust anyone. Of course Lorn Minshom became a hateful bastard. He had to be in order to survive.
So, yea.....I started out hating this book. Hating it before I had even read a page of it. I don't remember exactly when the transition occurred, but after that - I couldn't read quick enough. I had to make sure that this man got his HEA. Because if he didn't, my heart was going to be broken all over again.