A set of books in the Gothic genre of historical romances. With brooding heroes and doughty heroines who fight for their right to romance etc.
For me, book 1 took quite a while to actually grab my interest. certainly a set of upper-class horrors were portrayed here, where a kiss makes a girl unmarriageable and age is no barrier, only money.
Women are possessions, things.
Interestingly, reading a recent article about millennial dating and sexual habits we seem to be coming back to this view – it is OK for a male to spit on his partner as one kind of kink/fetish, and semi-strangulation is OK too. Women put up with it as part of the norm for having a boyfriend rather than objecting. Women accept it and expect to be treated as a body rather than partner.
Whatever happened to feminism?!
So gothic heroes are perhaps more the normal type of male these days? Treating women badly is OK?
Luckily in the novels, the women fight back and demand better treatment and get it.
Not really my favourite genre but by the end of the set of novels I was enjoying them more.