Thursday, 19 April 2007

The Devil's Advocate by Vanessa James

Oh brother. What a doormat. Luisa is her name. Not only is she a doormat to Julius but (can you believe this) she allows her ghastly younger sister to pimp her out. Truely revolting. Plus. I ask you. What kind of bloke sees the woman he loves almost raped by his brother TWICE and jumps to all the wrong conclusions both times. A total blockhead called Julius. That's why I had trouble believing in the HEA. It would have been nice if Claudia, Daddy and Kit had all died in some maniac car-crash - a favourite plot device of romantic authors. You just know that sometime in the future the malicious brother will drop some poison into the lives of Luisa and Julius...or the poet father will ask for another handout or...the sister...or ... I definitely fear for their children. But I wish them the best anyhow.

It's a great great story though. Vanessa James always had the most blindingly beautiful males as her heroes. And its thoroughly erotic how she uses the word 'womb' to convey sexual excitement. Quite unusual that. As is the fact that there is no pre-marital sex. A compact 188 pages written in 1983 that is set in contemporary times but has many of the sensibilities of a mannered regency novel.

Vanessa James unfortunately went on to write much more lucrative novels using a different name. I never read even one of them. A terrible loss to the romance community.

Genre: contemporary romance; movie rating 15; sexualised inter-family relationships; the hero originally falls in love with the heroine when she was 15 yo; an arranged marriage.

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