The Angel in My Arms by Stefanie Sloane

August 1, 2011

Stefanie Sloane is a trickster! Spoilers! If you read the endings of books like I do, beware, there is a surprise...and things are not what they seem - or are they?

Quick note: I did not find the number of typos that were present in the last Stefanie Sloane book...they may have been there, but I didn't see any. So, it appears that Ballantine does support their authors.

Now, to the The Angel in My Arms. Here come the Young Corinthians, Romancelands latest group of hunky manly-men spies. We follow Marcus, the Earl of Weston as he infiltrates a group of smugglers in search of some stolen emeralds. Along the way he meets Sarah Tisdale and her animals. Yes, we have cute animals, in fact her dog Titus is a contender for the Gus award. Although, the peacock was pretty funny also. The animals almost stole the show.

As with the first book in the series, there were some moments in the book that I really liked - some brilliant writing. And, then there were moments that I would scratch my head wondering if I was missing something. To say nothing of the suspending belief moments. So, let's explore.

Sarah Tisdale. I really enjoyed Sarah, I found her to be a refreshing heroine - outspoken, honest, tenderhearted and a lover of profane words. Her interactions with her young brother Nigel are some of the best parts in the book. They seemed like real siblings, arguing, playing tricks on each other; but also having a strong loving bond. You know what, I am having a problem lately with parents in historical books. Aren't parents the heads of families? Don't they have the last word? Wouldn't they be concerned when their twelve year old son is out gallivanting with smugglers? Especially when two of his closest friends are murdered? It's too bad that historical romance parents are little more than background and frankly I'm getting tired of those shadowy parents. I digress, Sarah...she is a fun heroine and there are a number of amusing scenes involving Sarah and her mouth. A chuckle out loud moment occurs when she tells her best friend Claire, in great detail, about her first sexual encounter with Marcus. I also found it amusing that she thought she wasn't a virgin anymore...until she was told differently. Oh sure, she has a TSTL moment toward the end of the book, in fact, I found her very irritating when she was trying "help" Marcus save Nigel. Why didn't she stay where she was told to stay? This was one of those suspension of belief moments. For the most part, Sarah was a delightful heroine, only occasionally traveling down the P-u-l-e-e-s-e road.

On to Marcus. I found Marcus to be the weak part of the book. He mostly seemed to be a cardboard character only there to be Sarah's straight man. I also thought the sexual tension between the two was almost non-existent. Oh sure, there were a couple of sexual encounters, but there wasn't any building of tension prior to those moments. (I did like that Sarah was the aggressor.) Rant coming on: why do historical couple take off all of their cloths when they are supposedly in a sexual frenzy? Let's get serious here, we have a couple who can't wait to do the hoochie-coo and what do they do? They take the time to take off all of their clothes. And, we are not talking about a bra and undies here...we are talking chemise (boned or not), with a ribbon or lace of some sort. The corsets, the garters, the hosiery. Then there are the petticoats, one or more depending on what the final look is that one is going for. And, then let's look at the male...he has that long shirt, depending on whether it's early or late 1800. That long shirt by the way also doubled as underwear, because until the late 1800's men did wear any. EEEWWWW. It wasn't till later that the brief (with strings, flap or button) made it's appearance. Now, what I've always thought was rather funny was that women didn't really wear bloomers/underwear/panties until the later part of the 1800's...which to me would mean easy access! I just wish that once in awhile, when a couple was in a sexual flurry, they would erupt with all their clothes on. Wouldn't that be more of an indicator of uncontrollable lust? Then they would be all rumpled, but who cares, it would make for a more interesting story, maybe even provide a few laughs. While I'm digressing, it must have been an fascinating time for women without underpants...I wonder if they were cold in the winter? And what about that mother-nature time? EEEEWWWW.

Where was I?
Oh yes, Marcus and Sarah, I didn't feel any sexual tension. I did understand why he fell in love with her however. Didn't quite understand why he felt unworthy, his character needed to be explored just a little bit more. I felt like I was missing something when it came to Marcus.

I would have to say that this is a mystery book with romantic elements in it. And the skulduggery is actually pretty good. There were some things I didn't see coming. I was also surprised that Ms. Sloane had some very young victims in her book and it was this part of the book that I found very poignant. Some excellent writing on the loss of someone you love.

So, this book is light on the romance, heavy on the intrigue and has a number of silly adventures with TSTL moments. But, it also has a delightful heroine (most of the time.) This was a good book, (not earth shattering) and I will continue to read the series...there is a mysterious antagonist that has been introduced, we will see where that leads us.

Time/Place: Regency England
Sensuality Rating: Medium Warm

1 comment:

Tracy said...

LOL About the stripping in a sexual frenzy! Do you KNOW how long it would take to get HER undressed? Just throw up the skirt and be done with it. :)

I haven't read any Sloane so thanks for the review.