by Candace Camp
I picked up this book for my TBR Jar Draw in October. This book surprised me. It surprised me to get it back form someone I supposedly borrowed it to – I never remembered owning it in the first place. In my curiosity I did something I don’t normally do – check out reviews of others. The reviews I ended up reading were quite harsh on the main female character. I did not have high expectation from this book because of it.
My copy of the book is what some would call – well loved. Edition is old enough to drink alcohol in most of the countries of the world and then there is the unmistakable yellow color on the pages of the book.
I could not help but notice some differences in writing style of a historical romance book from the nineties in comparison to the some books that were written in the last decade. It is very subtle, but there is a general pattern to the female heroins in historical romance fiction then and now. I love it when romance authors like to add some historical facts and interesting details to their work. Romance is still in the center of the story but the characters tend to flare into quirky a lot more in newer books than they did just ten years ago.
I was surprised to find that I disagreed with the harsh reviews and opinions about the main female character – Charity. I had to cringe on the cheesy name. The main male character – Simon Dure was only slightly developed and as the rest of the characters did not have much substance to him. I might have been too used to some more complicated plot twists and deeper characters. This book caught me off guard with more simple approach. Even with that said I cannot claim the book was boring or simple. The tropes it follows were more common decade and a half ago but they were well executed.
Charity is blond, too good to be true, fair, only slightly naive, and very much competent to fend of physical attacks. She is also completely virginal and unaware of her own beauty. Simon is a thirty year old widower with short temper and rumors of have murdered his own first wife. Their steamy scenes were a bit exaggerated for my tastes but were interesting enough.
Neither one of the two characters is developed enough to have earned their flaws and character motivation. In this sense the book seemed a bit underdeveloped. As for the plot – that is something completely different. There are enough twists and turns in the plot to have made it interesting form me to the very end.
I might have had a different opinion of this book had I not been prepared for the worst. The cover was cheesy and while I wondered about the elements on it and how they fit in the book I was glad it was not just another cover with a woman and a man in some strange pose. I liked this book better than I expected. I liked that the plot was more than two characters meeting and falling in love until they get married. I might even think it made me look at the genre in a different perspective. All in all I’m glad I have read this book.