Dangerous Indenture by Kelli A. Wilkins is a very fast-paced romance novel. It takes place back in the American colonial period when indentured servitude was common, and Shauna comes over from Ireland to work for Ashton’s father. This is a different type of romance novel in several ways. First, there’s nothing glamorous about it whatsoever. There are no castles, dukes, princesses, balls, fancy dresses, etc. It’s basically drudgery and discomfort, much like life itself.
Second, both the hero and heroine are… annoying. Ashton is a drunk. Now, there are plenty of romance novels that begin with the hero waking up in a drunken stupor, but he quickly gets his act together and does heroic things. Not Ashton. He keeps getting drunk. What the hell? Shape up, man! You’ve got Shauna to save. What’s wrong with you? He’s also horribly sexist, which of course you expect in the 1700s, but even so, most romance novels have the hero bucking the ways of the day and showing how he can think for himself.
Shauna also gets on my nerves. She’s so damn clumsy. Every time someone startles her, which seems daily, she drops and breaks a thing. I keep waiting for the dad to fire her (sell her indenture) for destroying all his dishes, but he doesn’t. She’s also flawed according to the genre, since she had sex before she meets Ashton and she enjoyed it. WHAT? Now, if you haven’t read romance before, you need to understand that, in the genre, only the hero is supposed to have the magic penis that pleases the heroine.
Third, while many romances have subplots of murders or other drama, the main focus is always the romantic relationship, and the narrative slows to focus on that. We don’t get much slowing of the narrative to focus on Shauna and Ashton’s feelings for each other in this story. They’re too busy working and dealing with the household drama/murder to ponder much over relationship stuff, which in a weird way makes the story seem more realistic than most.
For the first third of the book, I wondered if I would finish it, but I kept getting more hooked into the actual story and forgetting about the little annoyances. Then, after the halfway point, I knew I had to find out who the murderer was. I have to say that I did enjoy it overall, though I gave it 4/5 stars, not 5/5, because of the things I mentioned. There are explicit sex scenes in this novel.