This is the first story in the Shakespeare in Love series and is a retelling of The Taming of the Shrew. I would think out of Shakespeare’s works this would be one of the harder ones to sell as a romance. Forcing a woman to obey seems more misogynistic than romantic, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. Here is my review of How to Tame a Willful Wife by Christy English.
I was pleasantly surprised. By giving the story a villain who was actually a threat, we were able to at least see some kind of reasonable motive for Anthony’s more demanding ways. Sure it would have gone a lot better if he was just honest about the situation (although we can argue that same point for another well-known hero of the literary world) but it’s a lot easier to take knowing it’s not just based on control.
My favorite part about this was the way The Taming of the Shrew was sprinkled in a few times. Particularly when they went to go see the play and Caroline noticed the actress adding some irony to ending soliloquy on obedience. Since the story itself was not identical to Shakespeare’s work it didn’t seem like something the characters should have already noticed they were living.
I thought the chemistry between the two was great and it was a fun and easy story to read. I plan on reading the rest of the series. I give it four out of five stars.