Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Italian's Suitable Wife

This book begins with Enrico DiRinaldi in a coma after coming to the rescue of a woman who was being mugged, and ending up shot and hit by a car. Gianna Lakewood has loved him since she was a child but he has always treated her as a little sister. Rico wakes from his coma to discover that he is paralysed from the waist down, with an uncertain prognosis. He shortly dumps his sexy model fiancée and bullies Gianna into a quickie marriage.

Rico's paralysis makes him impotent, which is highly unusual in a category romance hero. Of course the reader knows he will have a happy ending and will eventually be restored to full functionality, but we have some unique love scenes including a digital deflowering. I can't help but think the author has little knowledge (and performed no research) on lower body paralysis and rehabilitation. Rico seems to have no trouble getting changed, bathing, and hopping in and out of bed even though he is paralysed. He uses a rowing machine as part of his rehabilitation; I can't even begin to picture how you're supposed to use a rowing machine when you can't use your lower body. It's not important, but missed details like this were a little jarring.

The other thing that makes this story different is that both the hero and heroine know from the start that she is in love with him. Gianna is willing to lose her job and home because she loves Rico. She doesn't follow the usual, and inexplicable, reaction of most category romance heroines of trying to protect herself and deny her feelings. It's quite refreshing.

My main complaint was Rico's feelings. I just didn't really get the feeling that he really does love Gianna. He claims that he heard her telling him she loved him while he was in a coma, and that is what convinced him that he needed her to be his wife, rather than his fiancée Chiara. Well, I can certainly see that he was disillusioned by Chiara and decided he wanted a doting supportive wife who loves him, which he would get in Gianna. I couldn't believe that he actually loves her though, and is anything but selfish in his reasons for marrying her. He gets what he wants, and he supposes she will be happy because she gets him. He does admit this at the end and feels guilty about it, but I still wasn't convinced that he really loves Gianna. Nevertheless, this was a lovely story and I highly recommend it.

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