Cry for Passion
Berkley, Mar 2009, $15.00
At the Old Bailey courthouse, James Whitcox wins acquittal and freedom for his client, widow Frances Hart from her son’s complaint. James and Frances are lovers who both belong to the Men and Women’s Club. Jack Lodun loses the case. Afterward thirty three year old married Rose Clarring asks Jack to obtain her a divorce from her husband Jonathan of twelve years. He says that is impossible to obtain and besides she being a member of the club he raked her in court in the Hart case as a loose woman; everyone even her family believes she is a slut. She explains her spouse like her wanted kids, but he caught the mumps soon after they married and became sterile.
Rose leaves Jonathon a note that she is leaving him although she knows her husband can have her committed. A drunken Jack asks her to prove passion exists. She says no because she will humiliate her husband. She explains the last time she had sex was in 1875, eleven years ago. He asks why now and she says the look of love between Whitcox and Hart. Jack says he wants to have sex with her, but she says no and asks him how he felt when his lover, James’ wife Cynthia died in an accident. Jack says he loved her but could not attend the funeral. As their attraction grows, neither knows what the future holds except in the long run not together as a married woman only has the rights her spouse grants her.
The nonexistent legal rights of women in Victorian England even with a queen ruling the country already for five decades are fascinating. The relationship between the lead couple is interesting as both know it can go nowhere while the erotic scenes are graphically described so sub-genre fans will enjoy them. However, a late abduction adds suspense to an already deep historical that did not need it. Still fans will enjoy the latest Men and Women’s Club Victorian saga (see SCANDALOUS LOVERS).