Okay, wow. It's been a minute since I've disliked a book enough to give it a one star but this book was AWFUL. In one of my Colleen Hoover book reviews, I talk about how sometimes a book can be well-written but one of the leads can just totally ruin a book for you, and that was how I felt about Meg in this book. I don't think I've despised a heroine THIS much since, like, THE DUKE AND I by Julia Quinn. She was awful.
So the plot of this book in a nutshell is that it's set just after the Civil War. Clay, the hero, is a conscientious objector to the war and to slavery, and so despite living in the South, he refused to fight. This got him hated by everyone, arrested, and nearly executed as a traitor. But the people at the jail were moved to spare him because he prayed for them and not for himself just before his death. When he goes back to his hometown, he's hated and spurned even more, and no one hates him as much as Meg Warner does, because she basically single-handedly holds him responsible for her husband and brothers not coming home.
In the words of Peter Griffin, Shut up, Meg.
Meg decides the best way for Clay to repent is to build her and the town a statue-- for FREE-- glorifying the Civil War. She wants it made out of white marble, because it is a material "as pure and white as the Cause" (excuse me while I vom), and before we've gotten to 20%, she's screamed at the hero, slapped the hero, and basically treated him like a subhuman, all the while talking about how he's going to build her this statue and that he OWES her. Like, girl. Get out of that r/choosingbeggars forum on Reddit. It's not meant to be instructional.
When I'm reading a romance, I have to believe in the couple. I don't have to necessarily like them as people or want them as friends (case in point, AIN'T SHE SWEET? by SEP where the heroine and the hero both do some seriously questionable stuff), but I have to kind of be able to catch a glimpse of how they could end up together and believe that they're capable of redemption. Ms. The South Will Rise Again and her stupid white purity statue can go to hell, as far as I'm concerned. Clay was fine, but he felt like a Christ figure, created just to be martyred, and I don't think I've seen a character created for such a beating since the heroine of REDEEMING LOVE. I don't think there's nobility in suffering and I don't think Meg deserves or is worthy of Clay. Reading this just filled me with disgust. It's a shame because I've loved some of Lorraine Heath's other works but this one was just so bad for me.
1 out of 5 stars