Thank you for your valuable comments. I have obviously overdone the sex scene and will have to re-think it as it is not actually a rape, as you would see from the following pages. She adores Charles. She is unattractive and he is the first man to have paid her any attention. I think I will have to make Charles more sad than angry.
I did not want to include too much unnecessary backstory on the first page, but instead have fed it in slowly. I wanted to begin on the day that changed the MC’s life. It is an epic saga and Charles marries the girl after her father offers to set him up in business. It is the beginning of a family dynasty.
BTW – pummelled is the correct English spelling.
I went with the Concise Oxford on blonde. “The alternative spellings blonde and blond correspond to the feminine and masculine forms in French, but in English the distinction is not always made, as English does not have such distinctions of grammatical gender. In the noun the spelling is typically blonde, however.”
Thanks. I’ll do a re-write and submit again.