Sunday, November 28, 2010
The Sherbrooke Bride by Catherine Coulter
Honestly I have heard for years that Coulter was an exceptional writer and The Sherbrooke Bride is a great read. I feel lied to. I hated it. After reading the other reviews on this book (most are right around 4 stars) I am wondering if maybe it is just me.
Douglas is pretty ticked off that instead of finding the beautiful woman he expects to come home to he is married to her younger sister that although handsome (Alex said she was quite handsome when listing her attributes to Douglas) she appears dowdy when standing next to Melissande...of course...according to the author....everyone does. So, what does Douglas do? Just figure that he didn't really know any of the girls that well and only wanted a brood mare anyway to give him an heir and anyone would do? Get mad and simply annul the marriage? Nope he treats Alex horrid. Seriously, horrid.
He ridicules her clothes. Saying things like, "That is such an unfashionable dress I doubt it was ever in fashion. I suppose you intend to wheedle me out of a new wardrobe?"
He ridicules her hair. "You will not pleat your hair like that. I don't like it. You look like a little girl."
He ridicules her feelings for him.....I still don't understand how she could have any tender feelings for the man who treats her so awful.
He often tells her that she will NOT ask questions. She will DO as he says and OBEY him. Often telling her that she will respond that yes "She understands" even if she doesn't.
He often referenced to his wife while thinking of her as "the little twit".
Alexandra's own thoughts were just as belittling. When thinking of her sister and herself she knows that Melissande is a diamond and she, Alex, certainly isn't a diamond but perhaps she could be a Topaz. A Topaz is, after all, a quite suitable and a nice gem.
I think that the love scenes (I use the phrase loosely) were the worse to listen to (yes I listened to it on audio without skimming most of it had I done if I had an actual paper version). The love scenes (cough cough) were all about him telling her, quite clinically what he would do to her and that she would enjoy it. The first one was the most painful...granted they all were bad but the first one is like that first plunge into the swimming pool you never know quite what to prepare for and let's just say that the very first love scene will stay with me for a long time....like chicken pox scars.
Douglas did a lot of talking.....a LOT!!! I don't remember much of it thank goodness as I tried to block it but what I do remember is that Douglas doesn't find his wife remotely attractive and can't figure out why he loses control when he has sex with her as he is ALWAYS in control. So even though his wife is not stunning in beauty it must still be her fault he ruts her like a school boy's first outing.
Oh and at one point they were talking about if he found her lovely and irresistible (I am paraphrasing by the way) to which he replied...."Well, No. But you have nice breasts." What a pig!
And what does Alex do while her husband treats her like this???? Why...... she declares her love for him.
One reviewer said that they fell in love with Douglas and mentioned he was the first "Alpha" male that they read. To me there is a big difference between an Alpha male and a jerkwad. Douglas is a jerkwad....perhaps even more of an asshat. Jerkwad is too mild of a word.
I was going to give this book a flat out 1 star rating (I never give less than that because that is the lowest my rating scale goes...although a half star would make sense too if I really was going to think about it...but I'm not at this point) oh, anyway, it fully deserved 1 star up until the last 80 or so pages (I'm guessing by the way since I listened to it and honestly don't know). The last 1/5 of the book picked up and had some sort of a twist that was mildly interesting and made me see Alex and Douglas as actual characters and not horrible plotting mistakes. Unfortunately it only elevated the book half a star...too little too late.
Oh, and there was a ghost in the book called The Virgin Bride. Almost pointless to have had it in the storyline...I suppose it was to give the book an added depth and shake things up a bit but it was a big FAIL....really.
Now I'm kind of in a dilemma...I own 38 more of her books. I'm scared to even pick another up.