Kiss an Angel by Susan Elizabeth PhillipsKiss an Angel on February 1, 1996
Pages: 384
Format: Paperback
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Wedding Day

Pretty, flighty Daisy Devreaux can either go to jail or marry the mystery man her father has chosen for her. Arranged marriages don't happen in the modern world, so how did the irrepressible Daisy find herself in this fix?

Alex Markov, as humorless as he is deadly handsome, has no intention of playing the loving bridegroom to a spoiled little feather-head with champagne tastes. He drags Daisy from her uptown life to a broken down traveling circus and sets out to tame her to his ways.

But this man without a soul has met his match in a woman who's nothing but heart. Before long, passion will send them flying sky high without a safety net... risking it all in search of a love that will last forever. 

How is this such a favorite for people?! How? Is it the nostalgia?

I feel like I hate-read this book.

I was prepared going in. I knew this would be a bananapants Russian Royal Doctor Professor Art Historian Circus Performer with an arranged marriage.

I thought it would be fun or endearing or even silly.

I cannot express how much I hate that I read this whole book.

I stayed up until almost 3am to finish this. I wish I had slept.

If I had read this when it came out, I don’t know. I can’t say my 15 year old self probably would have hated it, but I don’t think I would have loved it.

You know the movie Overboard? I thought it might be similar to that, minus the amnesia I guess. A wealthy socialite needs a little grounding and character building. I’m cool with that. I love Overboard. I love it. But I felt Goldie Hawn’s Annie held her own. I don’t feel Kurt Russel’s character was ever cruel.

Here? Everyone was cruel. Yes Daisy gets a bit stronger, but not really. She’s everyone’s whipping boy. And she’s okay with it. It’s like repeatedly watching someone kick a puppy.

Daisy is the sweet and kind daughter of a socialite who never had to worry about money, so when her mother dies, she’s lost and just spends until she’s in debt. Her father, a very wealthy and very serious man says she can either marry a man of his choosing and he’ll cover her debt, or if she says no, he’ll leave her to the authorities. Daisy says yes, then finds herself wed to a hard man. He drives her to the circus he works at in his beat up pickup truck to his dirty trailer. His goal is to scare her off so she won’t fall in love with him. Her goal is to stick it out long enough to get a divorce and some money and go her own way. But at the same time she feels that their vows were true marriage vows, so they should make a real go of it throughout the marriage. Meanwhile her father has his own goals.

Daisy makes the best of it. Alex is mean. He’s not a hero, he’s a jerk. Everyone is awful to Daisy, so when he steps in the very few times to stop them, I don’t see that as hero material because the only reason people are mean to her is because of him. Everything is his fault and he’s a terrible person. Daisy deserves better.

I can’t believe the amount of 5 star ratings this book has. The hero was mean to Daisy way longer than he needed to be. His point was proven very quickly. Bring awful and cruel should have ended way before it did. He humiliated her constantly, true awful humiliation. And why? She literally did nothing but exist and he’s like, “I must drive her away and make her think the worst of me so she doesn’t get attached. And she was like “our weddings vows are sacred and holy, I must make this work.” Like no. Why. Just run, girl. And I know this book was written in the ’90s, so I remember that theme of humiliating the heroine to prove a point to the hero, but I can’t see how this much humiliation was ever okay. How is this a favorite of so many?

If you loved this in the ‘90s, don’t re-read it! Keep the nostalgia and don’t read it again.

If you’ve never read this, don’t. Not unless you want to rage all night long and not sleep because of how everyone treats the heroine.

Update: I actually re-read the last quarter of the book hoping I was just tired or emotional about how Daisy was treated, but nope. Still unsatisfied, still angry, and while I can appreciate the author’s writing, I mean, that’s the only thing saving it from a 1 star rating, I can’t recommend this book to anyone.