Sunday, April 18, 2010

The Sicilian's Marriage Arrangement

Hope Bishop is a shy, quiet girl with a rich but distant grandfather who wants to make her happy. He notices that she is attracted to Luciano di Valerio and blackmails him into marrying Hope. Although suspicious of Luciano's sudden interest in her, Hope is thrilled to marry him and doesn't realise that he has been coerced into it. For his part, Luciano realises that Hope doesn't know about the blackmail, and decides to make the best of a bad situation and seeks to have a good marriage whilst secretly plotting to destroy her grandfather financially. They are happily married for a few weeks when Luciano overhears a conversation between Hope and her grandfather which convinces him that Hope knew about the blackmail all along. He decides to make Hope think that he is having an affair with his ex-girlfriend in order to make her want to break up with him. Hope finds out about the affair (as planned) as well as the blackmail and is devastated. Luciano finds out the Hope was innocent all along, and confesses his love and so on, and they live happily ever after.

This story had potential but I ended up not liking it all that much. Hope makes a nice heroine. She is sweet and shy, but as is pointed out many times, she is not stupid. She doesn't just fall into Luciano's arms when he shows up claiming to want to marry her after ignoring her for 6 months. Luciano's fake affair is stupid, but I guess he gets kudos for not actually having a real affair. His anger over being manipulated and his need for vengeance is understandable, and he does decide that he loves Hope even before finding out that she was unaware of the blackmail. Still, I felt Hope forgave him far too quickly. Her willingness to believe his innocence and protestations of love just didn't gel, and is what ultimately let the story down for me. The resolution was just too quick to be believed, and left me feeling very unsatisfied. It's still worth reading, but definitely not one of the best I've read.

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