February 11, 2015
Here's the deal.
I am not a big fan of glowing, over-the-top, love-love-love book reviews. I don't trust them.
Years ago, I bought a hard-bound copy of a book based on a "wonderful" review and after I read that book, I wanted my $25.00 back because the book really stunk. All of that is by way of saying that here at my blog, my refuge, my place, a book is awarded an "outstanding" review because I like the book, not because I am a friend of an author or like that author or have always bought that author. I'm also not saying that this particular book is an "outstanding" book, rather it was a pleasant read. What I was pleased with when I read Never Surrender to a Scoundrel is that Ms. Dalton's writing style is improving and someday I suspect that I will be able to give one of her books a glowing review. She tackled a subject matter that could be problematic, and while I wasn't happy with every path she directed me down, I also saw some promise of things to come.
In this book we have Carissa Bevington, the youngest daughter and supposedly the last book in the Bevington sister trilogy. (Although the very last pages of the book hint that we haven't seen the last of the Bevingtons.) Our hero is Dominick Kincraig, aka Blackmer, and if you have a copy that says Donovan instead of Dominick, you must have an ARC copy, because there was one of those author foo-pa's with the name between early review time and publishing time. Anyway, in the previous two books Dominick has been protecting the Bevington family while in disguise and in the second book the ending revealed to all the Bevington's that he was disguised. This book picks up right where the second one ended.
I liked Dominick a lot. Even though he supposedly was a rake, a rogue, and a drunkard, he did an awful lot of above and beyond honorable things. One of the biggest being marrying Clarissa because she has fainted in his arms and her family jumps to the conclusion that she is pregnant with his child. Well, she's pregnant but the child isn't his and that's why I say he does some pretty waaay above and beyond things. Really, how many men would knowingly marry a woman who they know is carrying a child which isn't theirs? Especially when that woman seems to be a tad bit immature. At least that was my opinion in the beginning of this book. I found Clarissa to be pretty annoying and very immature. Toward the ending of the book, she starts to grow a backbone. If I had written the book, I would have had Clarissa confronting the father of the child - yelling and screaming and shrieking at him. In front of everybody. But, hey I'm not the author.
I was also a little perturbed with her sisters and their husbands, who were heroes and heroines in their own books. I thought their treatment of Dominick was a little harsh. Yes, yes, I know they think he dishonored their sister, so yes they had a reason to be disagreeable to him. However, their actions made it harder for Clarissa and created a very tense and unnecessarily ugly atmosphere. Being as how they were previous worthy people, I would think that in this book they should have been more supportive of Clarissa.
The other issue I had was the speed at which Clarissa hops into bed and love with Dominick. In one chapter she's in luv with the father of her child, in the next she's ogling Dominick's chest muscles and big "thighs." The romance should have been allowed to grow just a little more slowly than it did.
Overall, this was a charming read. It was not the bestest book I've ever read and I wasn't crazy about Clarissa. However, I will continue to pick up Ms. Dalton's books because I see some promising material coming from her pen.
Time/Place: Regency England