This book is vile. That, in a nutshell, is my review. For those whom those four words are not sufficient, I’ll expand my comments. Dream Lover is a nightmare, not a dream.
This book opens with an oh-so-clever double entendre of a young woman riding a porpoise as though she were having sex with a man. On page seven we are introduced to the young woman’s mother as she asks her young lover in very coarse, crude way for sex. A few lines later, the young woman’s mother, Amber “shuddered, and this time not from Joseph’s beautiful mouth. Montague [her husband] was a vulture who devoured her, body and soul But before he devoured her, he punished her. Punished her for being beautiful, punished her for being young, punished her for being Irish.
Her intense words, filled with loathing for her aristocratic English husband, made Joseph’s c*** turn to marble. It delighted him to cuckold the evil old bull. The pair of horns suited him.
The above paragraph concludes with repeated use of the “F” word.
This is a book about hatred, sex, and, purportedly, great love. This is the story of Emerald Montague, half-Irish, whose beautiful Irish mother Amber is stuck in a miserable marriage to a vile man named Montague, who, as so eloquently stated above, is ruled by greed and the need to punish.
This is the story of Sean O’Toole, an Irish Earl who is the focus of Montague’s need to punish. After spending years imprisoned after being framed by Emerald’s father for murdering his brother Joseph, he too is out to punish. Emerald will be the perfect instrument of his revenge, but revenge turns into love, or so the author says.
The themes of this book, as far as I could discern, are these:
- The English are vile, depraved, greedy, and disgusting
- The Irish are a lusty, bawdy lot with hearts of gold
- Sex is good
- Lots of sex is even better
- Bizarre little sexual twists such as combing one’s “womanly curls” will drive a lover mad
Dream Lover is Virginia Henley’s first hardcover romance, signalling her entry into the big time. I’d heard this author wasn’t for everybody – her writing is too old-style, too epic, too sexual, too full-bodied. A good read is still a good read. But there is simply too much sex for the sake of sex, too much nastiness, depiction of the English as utterly evil, and above all else, a hero who goes over the line in his quest for revenge for this book to be considered a good read. This, I’m afraid is a wall banger.