Summary- Mercy is sold to settle her husband’s gambling debts. Zahn needs a companion for his motherless child and thinks the beautiful southern belle Mercy fits the bill. And of course would fit nicely into his bed.
Please note: I listened to this as an audio book so it is possible that some character names are spelled differently then they were in the book.
This was a DNF for me. I literally got just over halfway through and I just couldn’t go any further.
What I liked- This book had a wonderful beginning. Mercy is a kindhearted who just can’t catch a break. I really liked her. She is the daughter of a doctor and within the first few chapters she rescues a slave girl who is being abused. She is a southern woman who who is opposed to slavery and dragged by her husband to Central America after the southern US states lose the civil war.
The setting was unusual which I really liked. I had never read a book set in Central America during the late 1800s. The author is wonderful at dispensing details about the setting, history, and culture. It was a magnificent vacation and I very much enjoyed the scenery.
Reading the first few chapters of this book made me think I was going to be reading something akin to The Sound Of Music meets Gone With the Wind.
What I didn’t like- This book was like a ten mile hike. I am a plus size woman so as you can imagine a ten mile hike is not my favorite thing. I can do five miles and be sore and tired, but in good spirits. Not so for ten.
Spoiler Alert- Her is the book up until the point I quit. Halfway. Mercy is dragged to Central America by her husband Philip who doesn’t like her (he is gay). He loses at cards to Zahn and uses her to pay the gambling debts. Zahn needs her as a companion and tutor for his daughter. He thinks Mercy is attractive and explains that he wants to bed her but will never marry her. On the way to his home she meets Eric. Eric offers her marriage even though they don’t know each other. Mercy follows Zahn. Zahn’s daughter, Jolie, dislikes Mercy from the start. With some pushing from Zahn’s current mistress Jolie tries to kill Mercy. She ends up seriously injuring her best friend instead and suddenly, she and Mercy are best of buds. Then, Philip shows up with Eric in tow to try to get Mercy to follow him home. Mercy says no. In the night, Philip tries to kidnap her but fails and is killed in the attempt. Eric slinks away. War breaks out and Zahn is called to serve. He asks Mercy to marry him. She accepts and they have sex (off screen). Shortly after Zahn leaves, Mercy is kidnapped in the middle of the night by Eric who makes her his mistress. He drags her to his home, raping her repeatedly on the way and once there (this was on screen). Mercy is trying to figure out how to return to Zahn when she learns that Eric’s obsession for her has to do with his love for his dead sister. It isn’t a brotherly love though. His sister died from suicide after he had impregnated her.
And it was at this point I stopped reading. I went onto Goodreads to read other reviews. Maybe, just maybe, this book would be salvageable. If Zahn rescued her right about then and took her home and they lived happily ever after I MIGHT have been able to continue. But, there was still half a novel unfinished. And, the reviews confirmed what I had dreaded. Things just keep getting more ridiculous from there. I pushed the stop button on my MP3 player and that was that.