Virgin on Her Wedding Night by Lynne Graham
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
A very enjoyable read by Ms. Graham. I don't think of lovers reunited stories as my favorite, because they can have some drama elements that are problematic. However, I do like when there is an unrequited or unfulfilled love that never dies between two people. I did feel that between Valente and Caroline. Truth is, they both made mistakes and also some lies and conniving relatives came between them. Valente is pretty dark in some ways, his drive to destroy Caroline's parents' fortunes out of revenge. I liked that Caroline confronted him about that. However, Valente obviously truly loved Caroline, and even though he didn't want to admit it to himself, he never stopped loving her.
I like the descriptions and language in this novel. I think Lynne Graham is an underrated writer in the sense that because people can be snooty about category romance, it's assumed that writers in this genre just crank out books and don't put their artistic skills and talent to use. I don't think that's the case. I feel that when I read one of her books, she believes in what she's writing. Her writing is very vivid and descriptive, bringing all the emotions to life and using the characters' body language to reveal who the characters are and what they are feeling.
While I didn't like the way Valente's ex-lover was handled (I'm tend to be a jealous person, working on that, so I would have been way more bothered about finding his ex-mistress's used robe in his bathroom than Caroline was). Understandably, since she was married for four years, he would have moved on, but that was tacky, and I think he knew it. Maybe subconsciously he wanted to taunt Caroline with it, to let her feel what it was like for him, knowing she had dumped him and married someone more suitable.
Caroline's parents were a hot mess. I liked that while this is a happy ending book, her parents' negative traits weren't glossed over. However, Valente took responsibility for taking care of them because he knew Caroline loved her parents. For someone who supposedly has no pity or heart, Valente was actually a good person and a good husband. You could tell how much he loved Caroline. Caroline had to grow up the hard way. While she had been coddled and sheltered, she learned the hard way the cost of that life and denying her own needs to make her family happy. I liked her a lot.
I give this books a thumbs up. Nothing much I didn't like about it (except for the tacky part with the ex-mistress).
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