Wednesday, 9 July 2008

Twice The Temptation by Suzanne Enoch

...two short novels in the one book. Linked by a cursed diamond.

Personally. I thought both novellas were too long.

I can understand a hero who wants to rescue a heroine from danger. But a hero who wants to rescue a girl from her mother????!!! What is that all about? Particularly when the reader knows that in 10 years time the girl will turn out to be a carbon copy of said mother. Yuk. Why not marry the mother in the first place? After all. She’s going to be around in his life for the next 20 years or so anyway. That’s the pitfall with historicals. The author writes one kind of story which the reader interprets as another.

The heroine, Gilly, reads as a precious pain. I’ve met 14-year olds who make more decisions about their lives and take more risks than this18-year old heroine. Gilly isn’t blonde but the best way to describe her is standard issue bimbo. Or just plain horrible. Despite her pretty looks. Even when she’s been deflowered by the hero, she still is happy to see her life as being married to her 51-yo suitor, denying him anything but an annual consummation, whilst maybe taking lovers. That is gross dishonesty. The poor guy has done nothing to deserve being treated with such disrespect.

I struggled to continue reading. Around page 138 of a 178-page novella the heroine eventually became less calculating and honest. Much too late for me to enjoy the story. Unfortunately it also became obvious that her future husband would have no trouble using s.e.x to get whatever he wanted from the dim gullible chit.

The plot device of a cursed diamond became quite interesting towards the end of the story. It almost developed into a joke at one point. For me this story is about the power of beauty. Why else would Addison have gone to all that effort to get the gal? Plus. This is one of those novels where the heroine is all feisty and difficult before the hero does her. But once the deed is done she mellows and becomes an all round good egg.

Reminded me too much of the dry historicals I was forced to read in school. Five chapters of torture until all issues are resolved in about 5 pages. Not much bump and grind either. Although what there was was freely given. End of.

The other novella in this book is another in the Sam n Rick story arc. The big disappointment is that the baddie is telegraphed out at the very start of the story. And I was truly amazed that Sam, with her supposed keen antenna for cops, scams and fellow thiefs didn’t rumble him as quickly as I did.

Sam is just as high strung and neurotic as ever. Sometimes she seems to have a good sense of fairness in her relationship with Rick. Like when she almost goes into the lake with Rick to search for the diamond she threw in the water. Other times she seems to make unnecessary problems for herself. Like when she plants the cursed diamond on Rick, knowing (and hoping) it will bring him trouble. I don’t get Sam’s chosen new career either. The security industry is basically one big scam. I can’t think of anything worse than having cameras and patrols all over all your big millionaire mansions. Some nicely steamy scenes though. With a lot less anatomical descriptions than some of the romances I’ve read recently. And a lot more post-coital talk. Which I enjoyed reading.

The cursed diamond wreaks havoc on a huge scale in this story. Rawley House literally overflows with security people, house-guests, armed ex-lover robbers and armed police. All in the middle of Devon. It’s a wonder Rick doesn’t die of shame. The palaver a guy has to put up with in order to get the woman he’s chosen to bear his children. Obviously he thinks she’s worth it. Good luck to the pair of them. The jewellery robbery scenes were unrealistic and irrelevent. I skim-read them until Rick joined in the action.

I think readers who aren’t familiar with Sam n Rick might find her a bit of a mean shrill bitch. And sometimes Rick reads like a trusted loyal lap-dog. I look forward to the novel where she has to grovel to him for a couple of chapters. By no means could Sam be described as a door-mat or one of those women desperate for a guy. But she still values her relationship with Rick. And that’s why I like her and hope there are more stories after ‘A Touch of Minx.’

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