The Proviso, by Moriah Jovan

>> Thursday, April 05, 2012

TITLE: The Proviso
AUTHOR: Moriah Jovan

PAGES: 736
PUBLISHER: Self-published

SETTING: Contemporary US
TYPE: Romance
SERIES: 1st in the Tales of Dunham series

Knox Hilliard’s uncle killed his father to marry his mother and gain control of the family’s Fortune 100 company. Knox is set to inherit it on his 40th birthday, provided he has a wife and an heir.

Then, after his bride is murdered on their wedding day, Knox refuses to fulfill the proviso at all. When a brilliant law student catches his attention, he knows must wait until after his 40th birthday to pursue her—but he may not be able to resist her that long.

Sebastian Taight, eccentric financier, steps between Knox and his uncle by initiating a hostile takeover. When Sebastian is appointed trustee of a company in receivership, he falls hard for its beautiful CEO. She has secrets that involve his uncle, but his secret could destroy any chance he has with her.

Giselle Cox exposed the affair that set her uncle’s plot in motion—twenty years ago. He’s burned Giselle's bookstore and had her shot because it is she who holds his life in her hands. Then she runs into a much bigger problem: A man who takes her breath away, who can match and dominate her, whose soul is as scarred as his body.

Knox, Sebastian, and Giselle: Three cousins at war with an uncle who will stop at nothing to keep Knox’s inheritance. Never do they expect to find allies—and love—on the battlefield.
Ms. Jovan was kind enough to email me a copy of her book for review. It sounded like a nice, meaty read, the sort of book one can sink into. Unfortunately, I couldn't finish it. Actually, I couldn't properly even start it, because I was very badly turned off by the opening scene.

It's a scene set in a university seminar. The professor, Knox Hilliard, and Justice, one of the young students, engage in flirtation over how they both think that crimes against property are just as awful as crimes against people, because property is just as sacred as the body, and how criminals have too many rights. I found that horrible.

Then there was the fact that Knox is this successful, oh-so-sexy prosecutor, wanted by every other women, nearing 40 to Justice's naive, young law student, who doesn't even know how to dress (and Jovan was really successful in her description in bringing to mind the most awful 80s fashion).

Not to mention that there's this other woman who's basically portrayed as an evil slut, who not only wants to fuck Knox and says it to his face, resulting in him behaving in an extremely unprofessional way in the classroom. First he responds to her overt proposition, made out loud to the entire class by telling her they'd discuss it after class. Then, when he gets angry because this woman mocks poor, innocent, idealistic Justice, he tells her to go fuck herself because he won't. Literally. And again, in front of the entire class. And the best part, this horrible evil slut ends up also being bisexual. Of course.

I didn't want to spend time with these people. I think if this had been a shorter book I might have persevered and hoped it would improve and Jovan would prove me wrong. However, it's a massively long book, and I just couldn't do it. I tried, went back to it about 5 times, but I couldn't.



Susan/DC,  6 April 2012 at 17:40  

I guess Jovan disagrees with Proudhon that "property is theft". I'm not as extreme as he was, but it would be hard for me to root for characters who feel property is more valuable than people.

Rosario 7 April 2012 at 08:24  

Well, her characters certainly do, at any rate! I might have been interested in reading about these people in a non-romance book, trying to understand that particular very extreme viewpoint, but in a romance... sorry, no.

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