Summary: In this update of Jane Eyre, 19-year-old orphan Jane Moore takes a job as nanny to the daughter of a reformed bad-boy rock star. Plain, prudish and timid, Jane falls for her older boss only to find he's been keeping a terrible secret.
Verdict: Like Jane Eyre? Like strong heroines? Then RUN from this book.
Yay!: The concept is fun, and the book makes a strong start.
Nay!: Okay, there may be some spoilers here if you haven't read Jane Eyre. If you've read Jane Eyre, continue without fear. The author lifts most of the plot of Jane Eyre and gives everyone modern names. I have no issue with that strategy, but it doesn't quite work in this case. I bring you....
Creepy Things Our Hero Does!
For one thing, keeping your crazy wife in the attic may have been preferable to packing her off to an asylum in 1847, but this is 2011. The hero's insistence that even good mental hospitals are bad mental hospitals is a ridiculous stab at the mental health field. Besides, said hero is incredibly rich. He could easily have gotten Mrs. Firebug her own house with a staff of trained professionals, not locked up a woman who is apparently okay if she takes her meds!
Every time he asked Jane for a hug (this was before any mutual declaration of feelings), I thought, "There goes Creepy Uncle Nico, copping a feel." I mean, he's a rock star. Does he have no better seduction methods? Really?
Speaking of rock stars, his assertion that a silk-lined mahogany box of condoms is standard rock star equipment left me highly doubtful. I'm glad that they used protection, but a special condom box? The man is a little too devoted to his prophylactics.
And then there are the mind games he plays with Jane, his eagerness to use a beautiful gold-digger to make her jealous, his possessiveness, his petulance... Yeah, it's a lot like Mr. Rochester, but Mr. Rochester was a) a character from 1847, b) well-written and c) hit with comeuppance in the end, unlike this guy.
Oh, I suppose I should mention Jane, too. You know how Jane Eyre was strong and clever, passionate and compassionate? Well. This Jane is a doormat. She's repressed, mousy, and easy to push around. I didn't connect to her or care about her, and the nanny job disturbed me. She should not be raising a child. She's too helpless herself.
Cover: Great cover art! Too bad Jane at no point dresses in cool outfits and stands on the moor. That, I could have gotten into.