Monday, December 7, 2009

Julie Anne Long "Since the Surrender"

If you've been following along you'll know that I am a Julie Anne Long fangirl. I have to admit it's probably revealing that I almost sent this latest book away on Paper Back Swap without remembering to review it. Ouch.

Chase Eversea and Rosalind March met during the Napoleonic War when she was the wife of his Colonel. They shared a kiss practically by accident and almost couldn't live with themselves because it was such a betrayal of their friend. Rosalind wasn't in love with her husband but she loved him as friend and father figure. The Colonel died in Waterloo, Chase did not. Now, years later, her younger sister has disappeared so she appeals to Chase for help in tracking her down. So far so good.

But two things (in my opinion) go wrong. The plot surrounding the sister seems to go nowhere for a long time, then when it does finally get revealed, it's, well, completely preposterous. Maybe if the pacing had been better I wouldn't have cared as much.

Then the other problem; the sex. Again, I think it's a pacing problem. Longing, longing, longing and they never give in. Finally in what seems the most inappropriate time and place, they get it on. Why now? If they didn't need an emotional breakthrough, or a 'safe' place and time, then why have they been waiting! It felt as if this could be made into two books, one with the sex and one without, to be sold in two different genres without any real impact on the character arch or storyline. Don't get me wrong, the scenes are fun but to have them feel so extraneous to the arch of the relationship in the end undermines their effectiveness within the book.

Is it horrible? No. The characters have the intent, intelligent, humorously self effacing internal voices that I so love about Ms. Long's characters. This story continues to flesh out the world of the Everseas so if you're committed to the series, you should read it, but overall with my high expectations it was a disappointment.

Historical Romance 2009: 2.5 of 5 bawdy angel paintings.

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