Bride in a Gilded Cage by Abby Green
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I love how Abby Green incorporated tango into this book so thoroughly. I love dancing, so that hooked me instantly. Tango helps to bring Isobel and Rafael together, it builds a bridge, and provides a pathway for the expression for the passion and pain in their relationship. Just for this alone, I would give this a four star rating. I also loved Rafael's point of view. Although Isobel saw him as cold, hard, ruthless and unethical, with no desire or ability to love her the way she wanted, I could see from the beginning that Rafael was equally vulnerable to her. Just in a different way. While she had never loved or lost, he had, and it mad it just that much harder to open his heart to another woman. I loved seeing the evolution of his feelings for Isobel, how he who thought he had it all figured came to realize he did not. Because love is not some equation to be balanced or dismissed. Instead love is a force.
When I read Abby Green's books, I always get emotionally involved. She incites my senses and taps at the doors of my heart. In this case, I engaged by the story of a man and a woman who fought against the realization that they couldn't keep from falling in love. They fought it, hard. It wasn't always an easy road for me. Isobel frustrated me at times, although I do understand why she struggled so. She was very young, and having the realization that your life is not your own is very, very hard to accept. She thought she was doomed to a lifelong marriage without love. I think that in the case of Rafael, I felt sympathetic to him, with the exception of not acknowledging he loved Isobel (ironically, the thing she most needed). He wanted to be a good husband, but she fought him at every turn. I guess that was good in the end, because he realized that he couldn't put her in a box and take her for granted. He had to fight for that love, and embrace that he had something very valuable to lose, his heart. In return, he could gain the love of his wife.
This was a good book. I'd recommend it to Harlequin Presents readers who enjoy a dramatic, sensual, and emotional story.
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