By day, I'm a domestic violence prosecutor. By night, I read romance to restore my faith in love, relationships, and humanity in general.
"... An honest man would have raped her at once and let her go."
"Are you mad at me," Devon said slowly, "because I want to take her to bed, or because I haven't?"
"I'm mad at you because you've kept her a prisoner while you made up your mind whether your lust was more important to you than your bloody vanity. It would have been better to have ravished her and released her than to keep her living all those weeks in air turrets."
I'm reading the 30-year-old re-release of that canonical classic of the romance genre, The Windflower. Going into it, I'd braced myself for plenty of old skool plot WTFery. I knew there would be pirates. Given the era in which this was written, I was expecting a treacly-sweet virginal heroine (though I wasn't prepared for Merry to be quite such a manic pixie dream girl) and probably a rapetastic hero (though I wasn't prepared for a whole shipload of rapey pirates vying for the manic pixie's favors). So, you know, at almost 300 pages in, I suppose I should be pleasantly surprised that Merry hasn't actually been raped yet. I laughed out loud at this passage, in which Devon (ostensibly the Hero) is arguing with Cat (who ought to be the Hero, because he's a bazillion times more interesting than Devon, but isn't the hero because I'm pretty sure he's more interested in sleeping with the pervy and Machiavellian pirate captain than he is in the manic pixie) about why the hell hasn't Devon gone ahead and raped her already. (P.S. Did I mention this argument takes place while the Manic Pixie is on her death bed?)
Even immersed in the retro glory of old skool WTFery, I never expected to come across the phrase "an honest man would have raped her at once." The really disturbing thing is that in this context, after almost 300 pages of Devon saying rapey things to the heroine but never actually doing anything about it, I'm almost inclined to agree with Cat. On with the raping and pillaging already! What kind of pirate do you think you are, Mon?!