Title Flowers from the Storm
Author Laura Kinsale
Published 1992, Avon
Category Historical Romance
I picked up this book because Sara Donati recommended it on her blog. (Great blogger! She's on my list of links.) I'd also read several reviews that said that this was a classic of the romance genre. And I have to say I was disappointed.
Christian, Duke of Jervaulx, a terrible rake, has some kind of stroke and ends up with, I think, aphasia (brain damage that affects language and motor skills). His family thinks he's gone loco, so they send him off to an asylum. The heroine, Maddy Timms, a Quaker, stays with him there and helps him start to recover. Christian's efforts to overcome his handicap are admirable, but after a while his "you, jane, me, tarzan" type speech started to get on my nerves. And Maddy was too sanctimonious to be at all likable--like all religious fanatics, she gave me the heejie-beejies. I guess it's a story of opposites attracting, and love helping to mellow two extreme characters, but I found it a little unrealistic that two characters so unalike could fall in love.
Please note the very tasteful cover for the 2003 reissue. Sadly I got my copy from the library, which was the hardcover with this horrible jacket. Is that Fabio, showing all his man-titty? Ugh! This is the kind of book you're slightly ashamed to be seen reading on the subway.