Ok, so I bought Patricia Gaffney’s To Have and to Hold on Ebay, because it’s out of print. I just got it today in the mail. I know it’s controversial. I know it contains one or more scenes of forced seduction or rape, depending on your viewpoint. But heck, the cover seemed so innocent!
And then I opened it and saw THIS:
I felt sick. There’s no way to interpret this picture benignly, unless perhaps she’s in the middle of some kind of seizure and he’s holding her for her own protection. Maybe she is really enjoying it, but she had a “brainstorm” and can’t lift the edges of her mouth? Maybe it’s modesty that’s leading her to punch him rather than cling to him? Maybe he has halitosis, and she has to turn her head away or faint from the odor? And how can anything really bad be happening with all those lovely English flowers around?
It’s no use. Can I really do this? Will NOW rescind my membership? How many scalding showers with my Betty Friedan commemorative loofah am I going to have to take? Wait… is it my imagination or is my Rosie the Riveter poster is actually curling off my wall in protest? Does it matter that I spent most of my workday reading this:
Ok, so why am I reading this? Well, Janine from Dear Author suggested I read it in a comment on my post on the Top 9 Romantic Love Scenes in Romance here. It’s ranked #34 in the latest All About Romance Top 100 Romances poll. It’s also listed on the sidebar as a favorite at many romance bloggers’ sites, and even Rosario loves it.
So I guess, if only in the interest of “research”, I’ll persist. Look for the review later this week.