Ravishing the Heiress (Fitzhugh Trilogy, #2) - Sherry Thomas My review contains spoilers and they're mostly my thoughts as I went with the book...


That above space is blank because I’m in mourning. That’s right, I’m mourning because I just gave a ST book a 2 star. I tried, tried, tried, tried.... I F*CKIN’ TRIED loving this book but I failed. If you know me, you’ll also know that I’m a huge fan of hers. I love her writing so much that I would read anything she writes. I know she’s a charming wordsmith of expressing emotions, angsts, romance in a way that’ll surely take your breathe away. She definitely took mine away with her first 4 books. ST can even write cheating (something I loathe and avoid) in a way that I can’t but bow down to her superiority. But in this book, she failed me miserably. I put my faith in her writing but I ended up being so miserable that I was torn between a DNF and throwing the book out the window. Even the first book in this series, though not a favorite, I enjoyed much. But God, what the hell happened in Ravishing the Heiress?

First, words of caution: This review is going to be all rants, disjointed rants at that and might question my sanity. But I have to let these off of my chests. If you’re still interested, you may proceed...

As I always do, a little recap of the series first (and to keep myself calm). In Beguiling the Beauty, an enraged Venetia weaved a drama of deception for the Duke of Lexington, Christian because he tried to defame her in one of his lectures. Christian is a scholar, who has been in love with Venetia (and her unearthly, head-bumping beauty) his whole life. Even though the reasons behind that deception, how it was carried out and some of Venetia’s activities bugged me, I was convinced by the end that these two have a stronger feeling for each-other than I initially gave them credit for. Venetia even apologized for hurting Christian and considering her personal troubles with first two marriages, I sympathized with her. In between, we got glimpses of Fitz, the Earl and Venetia’s younger brother, and his ‘plain-looking-but-the-heiress-of-a-big-fortune-made-in-canned-foods’ wife Millie. I liked Millie from the get go because undoubtedly she was no vapid miss. Even though she’s reserved and keeps a calm demeanor, she is smart and has a brilliant head in business. It was explained that their marriage was a MOC. They’ve married very young but in these 8 yrs. they haven’t consummated their marriage because of pact. At first, I thought it was something to do with Millie’s fortune or something, some official agreement probably. Then, it was revealed that she’s madly in love with her husband, has been since the first day. Fitz doesn’t see her as anything but a polite friend, even though Millie’s money gave him the backbone to take care of the debts and estates left by the previous Earls. Then I learned that he has been in love with another woman, whom he planned on marrying before he was ‘forced’ to marry Millie. That woman, Isabelle married later, been in India but recently informed him that she’s a widow and soon, would be returning to England. It was hinted that Fitz is still pining away for the beautiful Isabelle and wants to take up with her once she’s back. Alright, I knew trouble was ahead… and then, in a very disgusting scene it was also revealed that Fitz is a cheater. He keeps mistresses regularly and worse, flaunts them. Millie not only knows that but also, she knows of their identities. This scene, where they discuss about his sluts and Millie recommending him a new one as he’s broken off with his latest, made me so sick I felt a gag coming. I knew their book will have some stuff for me to weather but as I said, I put my trust in ST’s hand, knowing she’ll handle everything just fine.

But that didn’t happen.

I also disliked Helena, Fitz’s twin. She was happily committing adultery with a man who couldn’t even stand up to his mother and married someone of her choice instead of Helena, even though he was courting her. She thinks their relationship is ‘sacrosanct’! (b*tchslap anyone?) Helena is independent, as in she owned a publishing company from some relative and earns herself. She thinks she’s doing what any other independent, unconventional women would do. Huh? B*tchslap!!! It was because of her is how Venetia, who had no idea about Christian but for his title, finally meets him. We see that Fitz’s best friend, Viscount Hastings, an incorrigible rake, has also been in love with Helena all his life but Helena doesn’t even have a clue. She actually hates Hastings. And Hastings likes to rile her up, very recently with the knowledge of her secret affair. The buildup of book 3 was there as well but I’m not grudging it as some reviewers did because it’s something necessary for a series where each books are so connected. Either way, Helena and Hastings’s banters were SOOOO good, and Hastings so YUM, I enjoyed those scenes.

Then came book 2... Let me tell you about the flashbacks first. These flashbacks I despised because not only they were distracting me from the present but also, they were full of Millie’s miserable existence and Fitz’s immaturity. Millie grew up knowing she’ll never have a choice in her marriage, let alone love and was fully prepared to marry anyone with whom her rich, businessman father betroths her. She knew she would never be a ‘great beauty’, having a very average face and figure. Her self-confidence was low to begin with, thanks to everyone around her. I really felt for her. She learned other things to make up for, such as, how to run a house, all the ladylike behaviors that a titled gentleman will look for in a wife, mastering the piano and different languages etc. From all things, Millie was dedicated and brilliant. She knew she would never fall in love when she saw the 33 yrs old Earl of Fitzhugh, yet she sympathized because he was also being forced in this marriage for money. But that man died soon after the betrothal. The next on the line was one of his cousins. No one was sure if he’d be up for this match. But Millie’s world tilted from its axis the day she saw Fitz. He was much closer to her age (she 16, he 19) and as handsome as they came. Millie fell in love, just like that but she knew this man would never love her back. I can’t tell you how awful I found the later scenes… One day, Millie finds out that Fitz is in love with another woman. Seeing how beautiful she is and how Fitz’s face becomes full of yearning, Millie’s heart breaks and she begins to think of herself as someone who ruined lives. WHY Millie? WHY? I tried telling myself that she was very young and read on.

In a nutshell, they were to marry soon. Fitz had no other way but to ‘give up’ his childhood crush, Isabelle. I loathed his attitude towards the marriage because his interest in Millie was probably zero. He thought her ‘cold and bloodless’, and so, she meant nothing to him. And he NEVER tried to know her or her mind, which he termed as ‘mysterious’ over and over again because Millie kept her distance. Then before the marriage, it was Millie who made this stupid pact of non-consummation. I got that she felt vulnerable of being too much hurt. I understood her standing. I even got that Fitz was a bit taken aback because this rubbed on his manliness but did they have to abide by this moronic plan for 8 yrs? Seriously??? The reading of Fitz’s immature behavior just before and after their marriage was pure horror. He got drunk and sick on their honeymoon. Oh, how lovely! A honeymoon of every girl’s dreams! Millie had to take care of him, knowing this is what she drove him to. I say, serves him right! Guilt and more guilt were being piled up on her conscience. He ignored Millie most of the times, and dreaded seeing her. There were many scenes that broke my heart but this one was one of the specials... Fitz had a pet dormouse named Alice, given to him by Isabelle. Fitz took care of it like it was a treasure and last link to her. He never, once, while Alice was alive, let Millie hold the mouse or pet it, even though Millie craved this little attention from him. It was as if Millie will sully it with her touch. It rubbed me raw, that he dismissed her feelings just like this. But, knowing how much Fitz loved the mouse, later Millie made taxidermy of the mouse and kept it on his study. Fitz kept on treating Millie like a tree-stump and took up with other women soon enough. He would leave her for days to be in London (and more women), while she was alone, working to restore his country house or some other duties. Yes, Fitz liked to talk to her about the house and the business etc., he even got that his wife is intelligent but that was about it. Millie knew it all but she was still guilt ridden about everything, though I don’t know WHY, and let him have the free reign. She thought she could spend her life like a martyr. At least for the next 8 yrs...


As time passed by, Fitz tried to remember her birthdays and so on, but those were nothing but duty. I can’t explain it in any other way. Millie would remember everything about him though, would even give him small gifts that reminds her of Fitz (like that walking stick that has the same blue on it as his eyes). But Fitz remained as callous as ever. At some point, some of his supposed kindness towards Millie begins to chafe raw on me, as if she deserved these crumbs and nothing else. It also grated on my nerves that Millie would think of him the ‘perfect man’ for her, who’s always doing ‘the right thing’ (seriously?) and that she was happy to be his (pretend?) wife. Someone kill me now! Fitz would become upset with the news of Isabelle’s marriage and subsequent coming of children, be a moron and drink and f*ck other women, while his wife pined away for him and got hurt and hurt and hurt. Millie was even sadistic enough to tell Fitz that she’s in love with a married man. I think you know whom she meant. Fitz took her by her words, never once trying to delve into this reserved woman, who became his good friend in a very short time. I can’t possibly explain the misery, the feeling of it, for Millie and for me as well.

So, I understand that for the first 3/4 years, Fitz didn’t see Millie because had his head inside his arse (and other women’s for that matter) but in one flashback, it was revealed that in the 4th yr of their marriage, he began to feel really attracted to Millie (and her brilliant business focused mind that so far helped them build an empire of sort). But did he do anything about it? Did he consider pursuing her, finding out if there could be anything between them? NO! He kept on finding new fuckb*ddies instead, never once feeling guilty about it. SOB!! I was SO MAD, when once they went on to this vacation in Italy (in flashback) to celebrate their recent business success. By this time, their relationship was much better, consisting of more affection. Millie was still putting up this façade of ‘good friends’ to keep her sanity. But of course, Fitz the cheater didn’t disappoint and soon found someone to f*ck, even there. Millie observed and knew. What was that Millie? You started talking about his sluts after you found that out? Asking him how does it feel to seduce women? You even gave him clues as to how he works on getting his next slut, as you’ve observed over the years? Fitz discussed them as if it was nothing but a sport akin to horse-riding. He even confirmed that he slept with two sisters at a time. After all, Millie is his close friend now! *gag* Then, in your mind, you begin comparing yourself with them, that how it’d feel to be one of them? For this undeserving dirty f*cker who kept his virginity for his beloved Isabelle, until he knew he was marrying YOU? OMG, I felt like brushfiring Fitz!! Millie, GOD, MILLIE!! What is wrong with you woman? How could you sit there all those years, enduring this misery when I knew you had so much more to offer? I loved you woman, I still do and I believe we could become best buddies if you were real but I would never tolerate what you did! NEVER!! Why didn’t you stand up and took him by his d*ck and let him know who’s the boss??!


And thus, I found out that discussing Fitz’s sluts was an old ‘friendly hobby’ of theirs. God, I feel sick, plain SICK! argh

The flashbacks were distracting the hell outta me because I wanted to learn more of their relationship development at the present, rather than that gigantic mass of utter misery and the boring tidbits of their business world. I just didn’t care if they sold millions of canned foods or soft drinks or whatever. I just DON’T give a F*CK! I want to know what’s going on now. So I got really annoyed and skipped the business part and kept thinking of killing myself (or Fitz) with each and every wretched scene that reminded me that Millie was nothing to Fitz but a means to money and duty and just maybe a little affection. I didn’t believe in his supposed kindness. He was a man I would never respect! How can a man be so oblivious of this woman, with whom he was living and who worked with him every day to build his home and hearth, rain or shine? How was it that he never even thought about delving in and at least to know who she really was? Oh yes, that’s right, insensitive SOB who was also immensely immature. Fitz never grew up from his 19 yrs old self, and I can sadly confirm that neither did Millie from 17 yrs. old. And because of those flashbacks, there weren’t enough stories between them as far as their no-existent romance was concerned.

Then, Isabelle was returning and this cheater f*cker started planning away adultery, even arranging a townhouse, with Millie’s money. He was thinking of buying a house somewhere, with Millie’s Money. Every freakin’ thing on his back was bought with Millie’s MONEY and he had the temerity to think cheating on her was alright? And Millie, who never was jealous of those thousand other women (Fitz, shy? MY ARSE!), now suddenly is hurt because of Isabelle? Isabelle returns and Fitz the cheater goes to meet her with springs on his step. Ooh, my beloved has returned after 8 yrs! *gag* Millie inquires after these meetings as if she’s discussing some close friend.



Then, there are more gagworthy scenes between Fitz and Isabelle. She’s oblivious that she’s going to wreak a home, planning away their adultery too. It’s as if Millie’s feelings don’t count at all. I sat there, agape, thinking how callous people can be! I saw it much earlier what Fitz saw at the end (though maybe not in my way), that Isabelle was just looking for someone to take care of her and manipulating Fitz was just plain convenient because he was a moron of the first order. Isabelle becomes angry when Fitz takes something from his and Millie’s farm to give it to her, because it had Millie’s touch. Oh really b*tch? She tells Fitz how not cool it is for a man of his station to ‘engage himself in businesses’. She even had the audacity to present herself in the train station, when Venetia returned home from her honeymoon, as if she belonged there and Millie, who was a bit late to arrive, had no place, even after all she’d done. Isabelle was unwanted by everyone but Fitz.

Then Fitz thinks, oh, it’s time to make legitimate heirs, then move on and so, time for another stupid plot. Have sex with the ignored wife of 8 yrs for 6 months, get her with child, then leave her for committing adultery. My head was hurting because neither Isabelle nor Fitz even considered the ramifications, be it Millie or the child. The home-wreaker b*tch was even angry that Fitz would bestow this much attentions to his wife. OMFG! And then, when they finally started having sex, everything turned from misery to plain awkward. It was painfully clear that ST has lost her focus and rhythm, as if she was grasping for something that wasn’t quite coming out right... Millie was still compromising as ever, always saying sorrys that Fitz didn’t deserve in the first place. NO WOMAN, no one asked you to be that understanding! I felt nothing from Fitz but lust. He never really had to prove anything to Millie. He NEVER ONCE apologized for his deplorable behavior throughout the years, while she proved herself over and over and over again and only got hurt in return. She NEVER voiced herself, until the very end and it wasn’t even for herself but she was concerned for the children Fitz might have with Isabelle. They will bear the brunt of their illegitimacy and so, Millie asked for a divorce, so that Fitz can marry Isabelle.

Till the end, I had to witness Millie getting hurt (no matter the reason) and I wanted to question ST about why she was being so cruel and make Millie suffer so? Why not just kill the freakin’ woman and give her some relief! She broke my heart over and over again, never quite delivering enough balm to heal my wounds. I don’t want to read such misery that gives me nightmares. I don’t want to read about a callous hero who humped OWs and pined away for someone else throughout the book. And I don’t want such a ‘saintly’ heroine, who doesn’t know when to think of herself and stand up when it’s absolutely necessary. And I don’t want to talk about this book ever in my entire life!!!!


I still feel like I haven’t done enough ranting!

PS: Some development about Helena and Hastings’s relationship were there too, and saved me from keeling over in misery. It seems like Hastings wants to become a writer and gave Helena his personal erotic writings aka porn *winkwink* to publish. Loved it! The only bit of fun I got from this book. Anxiously waiting for Tempting the Bride.

PPS: The author’s note explains that the home-wreaker b*tch would be getting her story, a novella, in an upcoming anthology. I’m plain horrified by ST’s attempt at making a wounded party out of her. Whatever! You can rest assured I’m not reading that.