Marsden can not believe Flora is serious about marriage. She is definitely not his type. She is young and naïve, not the sophisticated type he is used to dating. He likes his women to be the tall, willowy, model-types and she is just a little thing that barely even reaches his chest. He does not even want to think about her hair, an untamable mass of curls. However, there is the fact that she is the daughter of his enemy and how better to get revenge than to marry the daughter, taking away her father's control over her future.
Margaret Blake has written a fascinating contemporary romance about a young woman, that while trying to avoid a loveless marriage stumbles right into love. Two compelling characters try to fight their attraction and deny what they feel only to discover some things are out of their control. Their's is a relationship built on ups and downs. When Marsden agrees to go along with the plan to marry Flora for revenge, Flora knows she risks having her heart broken.
The interactions between Flora and Marsden are at times very difficult to watch. There is extreme passion between them that must find a way to be expressed either through fighting or giving in to their attraction. They spend a lot of time doing both. The characters are frustrated by how their lives are turning out and that frustration is conveyed to the reader. I hate the way Marsden treated Flora at times and that made me dislike him. He makes assumptions without knowing the truth. His purpose for helping Flora began for all the wrong reasons and seems slowly to change. He cares about her, I know, but there seems to be many unresolved issues that I wish had been settled. They are not much more than strangers when their story begins yet she asks him to go along with her crazy idea. She does not really think about how this may affect his life but she is desperate. It is only because deep down it is obvious that there is love that the story gives the illusion that they may have a chance at a happy ending. BELOVED DECEIVER is a fascinating romance because it shows the progress that two people make in their relationship from being strangers to falling in love. Through ups and downs, mistakes and misunderstandings, their only hope is love.