Keep Me by Anna Zaires
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Struggled with this one as I struggled with the first book, but not nearly to the same degree. Julian is still manipulative and awful, but not to quite the same level as book one.
As with the first book- the writing is good. The story is good. I wish Julian hadn’t taken MORE important experiences from Nora and ruined them, but ok. In the first book Nora experiences her first orgasm against her will. She loses her virginity to rape. She gets her freedom, only to be recaptured at the end. The way he treats her… if that’s the way he treats someone he is romantically obsessed with, then I’d be scared to see how he treats someone he hates.
In this book he forces her into yet another major life-changing situation. Without asking. Without warning. Without friends or family. No opportunity to plan/pick things out. Just how every girl dreams her wedding will happen, eh? Alone. By force. With no say in any part of it. Not even the dress. My heart broke for her.
He has the nerve to be mad that she doesn’t want to marry him. He threatens her friend, so she does it anyway. Then he has the nerve to be mad that she isn’t immediately happy to be called Mrs. Esguerra.
Um… yeah. I bet she isn’t.
Julian just takes and takes. He is never sorry. He thinks it is ok because her cage is gilded, but it is still a cage. She tries to be ok with her situation because it is the only option she has, but I hardly found that romantic.
The more I write about this series, the more it bothers me. And yet, overall, I still recommend it. The story and writing are good, but it reads more like a study on what I imagine Stockholm Syndrome to be like, and not like a romance. I just don’t believe that Julian loves Nora. And I don’t believe he cares about her outside of her being a possession. A toy. Somewhat like a toddler with a toy. He doesn’t love the toy, but is fiercely possessive of it because he is two years old and it is his. So no one can touch it. That is how I feel about their wedding, and in fact pretty close to Julian’s explanation of why he wants to marry her. And she knows that, which further adds to her misery at being forced to marry him.
I need to stop- it IS a good book, I swear! Don’t let my ramblings dissuade you from reading it.
Update: As maddening as I initially found this series, I have gone back and re-read it now twice in less than six months. As such I upgraded the rating from four stars to five stars.
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Keep Me by Anna Zaires