Stolen Love by Carolyn Jewel

August 27, 2012

Have I got a deal for you, maybe.
As I've mentioned before, the publishing world is a very interesting place at this time. All the self-publishing and out-of-print author backlists can open up all kinds of offerings for readers. So, recently, while visiting one of my favorite author websites, Carolyn Jewel, I found that she had released one of her older that I had never read...and it was only 99 cents. Stolen Love was originally published in 1991 and, sad to say, this novel not only shows its age but also has some things that, for me, just shout, "I need a friend with a red pencil!" This book reminded me a lot of a beginner's manuscript, and one that was in need of some editing and rewrites. Although, I can see a future Carolyn Jewel in some of the story.

First of all the copy editing. I'm not sure if the original manuscript was turned in this way or if it is the fault of electronic formatting. But on page 307 is this sentence: "Carolyn Jewel "No doubt he was." Now, I'm sure that Ms. Jewel did not mean for her name to appear in the body of the story, but there it is. There were also a number of times where the scenes changed abruptly, without benefit of any kind of spacing: page 574: 
"Mr. Johns was quite anxious to talk with you, Elizabeth," Mrs. Willard put in.
"Was he?"
"Yes, so you mustn't be surprised if he is one of the first to call on you."
"Enough about Mr. Johns and this thief nonsense." Havoc stood up.
"What is that, Uncle Havoc?"
"Come with me, and I'll show you."
Nicholas stood up when he heard Mr. Baker walking down the hall to the. .."

Now, somewhere between Uncle Havoc and Nicolas there should have been a break/warning/space because these are two different scenes.  And, that wasn't the only time that happened in the book.  So, those editing problems were a little irritating but they could be a formatting problem.

Now, on to the general editing, and this is where the friend with the red pencil comes in.  This was so in need of someone going over this story and asking questions. Why was he a thief? What are his thoughts? What are her thoughts? What are any of these people thinking? What is Uncle Havoc giving Elizabeth?  What's up with the secondary character Jane? Who does Ripton really love?

This book had a lot of conversation between the characters, a lot of Jane Austen-like posturing, but no really in-depth POV. There was not a real spark between the hero (Nicholas) and the heroine (Elizabeth.) Even the eventual consummation, while it had the required grunts and sweat, was all same ol, same ol.

So, for 99 cents why am I griping? Because, having come to love the writing of Carolyn Jewel, I was expecting one of her first novels to be as good as the ones that followed. Stolen Love needed some rewriting. It had the beginnings of a good novel, but the finished product didn't have the polish of a finished Jewel novel.  If you want to read a good Carolyn Jewel, I suggest Indiscreet or Scandal.

Time/Place: Regency England
Sensuality: Yawn Hot

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