By day, I'm a domestic violence prosecutor. By night, I read romance to restore my faith in love, relationships, and humanity in general.
This is a beautifully written, terrible, infuriating story. I knew this was a controversial book when I picked it up, but it's also an influential book in the "romance canon," so I wanted to read it. There are a lot of blogs and articles out there hashing out the merits and moral failings of this book in a lot more detail than I have time to match here. The controversy stems from the fact that--(spoiler alert, though I think every reader should be forewarned at least this much, because here there be triggers)--the hero rapes the heroine, in a harrowing, gut churning scene that spans twenty pages.
Then the hero and heroine both undergo dramatic transformations as characters, which are compelling and emotionally satisfying if you are the kind of person who can get past the whole he-raped-her bit. I am not that kind of person.
I loved Patricia Gaffney's prose. I will read more of her--just nothing quite so rapetastic next time.