Between the Devil and Desire

Between the Devil and Desire - Lorraine Heath This is difficult book to review, because it deals with tough subjects, especially child molestation. And while I applaud the premise, I just don't see any possible way that these 2 people (Olivia and Jack) could ever be or remain together in that particular era. I'd find it impossible for them to be together in the modern era, too. They are such completely different people with such different upbringing...Ms. Heath attempted to pull off the impossible by reconciling these differences. But her solution is too much like a fairytale romance, and IMO, cheapens the work she's already done in the story to make these two people seem real... to make us like each of them, understand each POV, and watch them interact.An affair, yes. A marriage? No. Jack has a lot of personal/mental/emotional issues to deal with before he's truly ready to love someone else. He's got a lot to accept and get past:1. His mother not quite being who he thought she was.... the whole affair and his illegitimacy. Now, Jack probably never thought he was legitimate, but the idea that he could have been acknowledged as the natural born son of a titled member of the gentry is a whole different ball game. We've already seen how Jack pushed aside his friend's grandfather's help -- when he was given the opportunity to be educated like a gentleman.And is he over his mother giving him away to his abuser? Is he over wondering why his mother didn't tell him about his father? Is he over his father waiting until he was dead and revealing Jack's identity and birthright in his biological father's will?2. His molestation as a 5 yr old. Jack might think he's over this, but it's apparent that he is not. And having it all brought up again... having to deal with his abuser and with it all coming out into the open... That's going to take some time for him to work through.3. Regardless of WHO he was born to be or WHAT happened to him, Jack is and will always be The Dodger. That just doesn't reconcile with Olivia's world. And it's romantic to think that she'd give it all up to be with him... except that she's got the heir to a title to raise. Olivia has to be concerned with Society and having them accept her son, especially when it's time for him to take his rightful place.4. The marriage -- the laws against a son marrying his father's wife. While Jack and Olivia might be able to skirt around this lawfully, again, Society won't be so apt to let it go.There are simply too many obstacles for this relationship to ever work. And Olivia has already severely compromised her position (and her son's) in Society by living with Jack and by behaving as she has. Her time period simply didn't allow for grace in these matters.So I can't give this book the nod that I'd like to, because it dealt with so many difficult subjects. The book's resolution is impossible in any world, even the romance world.