Review: Nine Months to Redeem Him

Nine Months to Redeem Him by Jennie Lucas
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Edward St. Cyr is a bad guy, duh. I didn’t realize this book was a sequel to “Uncovering Her Nine Month Secret,” which I previously reviewed and the hero was the antagonist of that book, until I was already a couple of chapters into it. I read this one first, so I thought, yeah, okay… so he got carried away, had some misplaced passion for the heroine, misread her feelings for him, and thought he was trying to help by getting her away from her domineering, alpha-hole Spanish husband, but then I read that book and I was like, holy shit, this guy is nuts. He should be in prison! And yet here we are, diving right into Edward St. Cyr’s story. Let’s find out what makes this guy tick.

Diana is the personal assistant to her movie star step-sister Madison Lowe, who stole her boyfriend Jason Black, also an actor, in a very public event where they frolicked together naked and drunk under the Eiffel Tower. Humiliated and hounded by the press, Diana takes a job in the backass end of Cornwall as a physical therapist to a reclusive billionaire, sight unseen. She doesn’t know anything about this guy, what he looks like, who he is—but she needs some place to hide, so she gets on a plane and goes thousands of miles to play nursemaid to God knows whom. She arrives in Cornwall, clutching a copy of an old-fashioned book about avoiding sexual harassment from home-based patients, and almost gets right back in the cab because she takes one look at her new patient and practically swoons. The guy is Heathcliff: tall, handsome, brooding, growly, arrogant, and all ready to commit some sexual harassment on his new physical therapist. Edward St. Cyr is laid up with a broken leg, broken arm, and five broken ribs from an accident caused by him attempting to kidnap a married lady with a baby that he kept calling an “it.” He hasn’t been celibate, either. He’s been spending his time getting drunk, getting laid by hot French models who don’t mind going to the backass end of Cornwall to give him some loving, and being an all-around bastard. Has he been repenting and thinking about the bad shit he did months ago? No. He’s a bad guy, duh.

Meanwhile, Diana is wallowing in her lack of self-esteem because she just got dumped for her step-sister, who is more beautiful than she is and has a long history of taking from Diana, the most egregious of which was stealing the audition meant for Diana to become the next Disney TV star. Edward comes onto her hard with extra sleaze on top and Diana is helpless against his heavy charm and sexual assault tactics, but she manages to keep her head above water and away from Edward, while keeping him engaged and challenged to go through his physical therapy. With Diana’s help, Edward gets back into top molester form in no time and tries to harass the woman like it’s the end of an era and sex is going out of style.

Obviously, Diana falls under Edward’s ratbag spell and even though she hears the story of Edward getting so obsessed with a woman that he attempts to kidnap her and have his Snidely Whiplash way with her, she thinks everything must be A-OK with this guy. No red flags or anything. Madison and the boyfriend Jason even visit Diana in Cornwall so that Diana would come back to work for Madison, but when Madison starts bullying Diana, Diana fights back, telling Madison off and recounting for everyone all the bitchy stuff that Madison has done to her over the years. After that, Diana and Edward finally get together and spend a nice 10 days together, only Diana falls in love with him, and that’s a no-no. As Edward tells Diana at the beginning of their affair, he doesn’t do commitments or babies. Nevertheless, Edward takes her with him to London because he can’t stand to break up with her and tells her she can audition for theater things in London while he works in the day. Diana finally has the time and resources to go on auditions, but she doesn’t because her self-esteem is still pretty beat up and is feeling pretty hopeless about herself. Meanwhile, she just found out she’s pregnant and is pretty sure Edward’s not going to be happy to hear about it.

What is up with these guys who are strictly “No Babies ever” yet are terrible about wearing condoms? The first time Diana and Edward do it, Edward is so hot for Diana that he just sticks in and wiggles it around in there a few dozen times before he realizes he’s not wearing a condom. Then he puts one on and goes back in. They also do it in the shower with no condom, like the running water would prevent Diana from getting pregnant or something. Diana flees back to California without telling Edward she’s pregnant and tries to get over him, which of course proves impossible, because he’s The One. Diana figures out that Edward can’t love because everyone in his family abandoned him: his parents died when he was young and he was basically raised by their servants, but the gardener who was his bestest friend in the whole wide world, deserted him too, so he became all bitter and cold.

It’s a good thing I read this book before “Uncovering Her Nine Month Secret” because after I read that book, I was surprised at how cartoony-evil Edward was. He was obsessed with the heroine in that one, following her around the world and trying to kidnap her from her house in sight of her husband. He was even yelling at the end, “You’ll be sorry, I’ll get you all! I will have my revenge!” like a crazy defeated villain. I thought he deserved to locked up in the Arkham Asylum or something afterward and was expecting to read that he’d spent a couple of months in there for a nervous breakdown or something. Even near the end of the book, he was still bitter about Lena and her duke. The guy is a psycho. He doesn’t forgive and forget and he’ll do anything to get his lady.

Just as the previous book, this is one was written from the first-person POV and that’s a little different for Harlequin Presents, especially since we never get anything from the hero’s POV and for this particular book, it would have made a difference in understanding the hero’s mindset. He’s not a very nice guy. From the very beginning, he’s rude and cold to Diana and determined to make her his lover. When Diana says no, he persists until he breaks down her defenses. However, when Diana confesses that she loves him, he turns her away. She goes off to California and he goes after her, where he proceeds to coddle, pamper, and take care of her, but he doesn’t say the loving words that Diana wants to hear, because to him love means action, not words.

Diana is a bit of a doormat. Her stepsister and ex-boyfriend rough roughshod over her and she’s bullied to the point that she runs away to the ass-end of the earth in Cornwall to take care of a man she’d never seen or doesn’t know anything about. Who does that? When he’s rude to her, she doesn’t tell him to go to hell and pack up to ditch him like he deserves. She lets the passion to happen to her and when she gets her heart broken, she goes running away to California again because she doesn’t want to face him. When she’s given the chance to chase her dream of being an actress, she turns away from it because as it turns out, it was never her dream to begin with. All she wants is a husband and a family. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but she seems so wishy-washy throughout the book that she was so frustrating to read about. Just pick a lane and stick to it, lady. My favorite part were the excerpts from the book she carries around with her, the home-nursing manual that was supposed to help her keep Edward away. Yeah, that didn’t work. How many failed nurses now saddled with illegitimate kids is that manual responsible for?

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