Friday, July 18, 2008

Madeline Hunter "Secrets of Surrender"

Madeline Hunter has long been one of my favorite authors. She consistently weaves the mores and realities of the historical time period she's using into her plot and storyline. Sometimes the required description and explanation for us non-historian's is a bit distracting or can feel convoluted within the context of the story, so I could understand if some people don't enjoy her as much as I do. But if you are a historical fiction lover and appreciate having the time period be more than just a notation at the beginning of the book, Hunter is for you.

It's 1826 and Rose's brother Timothy embezzled a lot of money from a lot of people and then fled to Europe. Her cousin's new husband paid off all of his victim's but it's just a matter of time before what he did becomes public knowledge. Kyle is a coal miner's son who was educated as an engineer and architect in France. He is now a man of business, making his living on the edges of polite society.

Rose makes the serious mistake of having an affair with a very nasty Viscount who puts her up for auction at a less than polite country house party. Kyle happens to be there and saves her by buying her.

Rose is smart, has fended for herself before but is also realistically swayed by various bad ideas that appear to better her sad circumstances. Kyle is physically powerful, quiet and has a razor sharp mind, he's always a couple steps ahead of me with the ramifications of each action. That's what I love about the Rothwell brother series.

The author writes people very well, granted these are very smart, self aware people, which might not be entirely realistic, but I think that is where these books fit so well into romance instead of historical fiction. This is fantasy by definition, right. The sex is down to earth, not quite as raunchy as Hoyt's books but still a significant part of their relationship, and yes, Rose is actually a romance heroine without a hymen! Amazing! Was it my favorite Madeline Hunter? Maybe not, but it's very, very good.

Historical Romance 2008: 4.5 of 5 lateral mining tunnels.

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