I never know to say in these things. I guess that says something about me. I read a lot, write stories, and like books. I like a good debate. Nothing else is to say. :-)
That's pretty much what it comes down to really.
I really liked the book up to the point where we found out his secret. It was full of all the things I like..witty banter, great female lead that I could relate to, and lots of humor.
In fact there was one scene where Iris's family put on the play, that as so funny that I laughed till I cried. Literally. Tears were running down my face. It was so great. The build up to the romance was good, I bought how these two people fell for each other. Why they were drawn to each other that was all believable and written so well.
From the start the reader knew that Richard had secret motives for why he needed to find a wife, and why he had to get married so quickly. So when he manipulated Iris into marrying him...really he played that whole situation well...I held on to the hope that once we find out why he had to do this...that it would excuse his terrible manipulation. And the love they fell into would make it all better. But...man...nah. I don't know....
Richard's secret was pretty big, but I don't think I would EVER forgive him. Not only did he manipulate Iris into marrying him, but once she was married and basically trapped/stuck with him, he sprung this bullshit on her. This is not some little favor he asked her. This was going to affect her life and those of his family, like forever! Iris had every right to feel used, and abused and lied to...and to pack her things and go. Because that he was capable of doing something like that, said a lot about his character. But of course she couldn't leave. Not in those times, she was stuck in that marriage unless she wanted to be ruined, and Richard knew it. She was basically had no choice but to do as he asked. And he excused it as looking out for his family and trying to protect them...but what about Iris? Was her life, feelings and freedom not worth his concern?
So now...can't get over it. All the good of the book, and his begging and pleading, to me can't make up for his abusive, and make no mistake it was abusive, behavior. NO.
Here is the secret:(show spoiler)