I'm changing my previous review from 4 stars to 5! And this is my new favorite of the series! First, let me start by saying, yes, these are light-hearI'm changing my previous review from 4 stars to 5! And this is my new favorite of the series! First, let me start by saying, yes, these are light-hearted historical romances that Ms. Jeffries writes, but it doesn't make them any less worthy or enjoyable. In fact, I'd argue with anyone who says writing these are easier than the darker more angsty stuff. Just because they are easy to read and maybe not as serious as others would like doesn't mean it's not well done. The story still has to flow and make sense, being an aspiring writer myself, I know nothing in writing is as simple as it looks. This is why I love Sabrina Jeffries! Sometimes I don't want the dark or heavily laden plots, sometimes I want something simple and sweet and steamy!
First off, I want Lachlan for myself, but I guess if Venetia is the one I lose him too, I don't mind at all. I love all the characters, all of them!! Not a one angered me or annoyed me, not even poor Jamie when his feelings were hurt by his unrequited love of Venetia! Everyone in the book is well thought out, enjoyable and distinct, which is a rare accomplishment, in my honest opinion. The buildup of the Scottish Scourge throughout the first two books does a great job of heightening expectations of this simply horrible man who must be villainous. Except, in the first book, when kidnapping Amelia and Lucas, he is gentlemanly to Amelia, and does not want them harmed. You get a glimpse of his true character even then. When he is introduced to us in this book, being his charming and dashing self at a masquerade, it doesn't ring false, as he's only being that way to win Venetia's trust, he really is charming as well as devilish. And Venetia is the kind of heroine I adore! She's smart, funny, minx-ish, emotional, quick to anger, all things I think should be expected of women. In too many romances today (be historical or contemporary) the heroine is portrayed as a strong and independent woman, when we all know we aren't all that way. At least I'm not! Yes, I can hang tough when needed, but everyone has a breaking point, everyone has a soft heart about something, and if you say you don't, they you have no soul and you're not the kind of person I want to read about in a romance. I want passion! Several times in this novel Venetia cries, and in none of them do I see her as weak. When she realizes how injured Lachlan is, and what he has endured, most likely at the hands of men her father hired, it breaks her heart. After she has gone out of her way to be cold to him while conniving with his mother to drive him mad, he goes to a lot of trouble to get her ballads and chocolate, things she adores, just because he wanted to, it makes her so happy she cries. But she's no simpering miss either, and I think the balance is important. Venetia stands up to Lachlan throughout her kidnapping, when he stoically denies he loves her and has bedded her in front of her father to right an injustice he believes has been done, she does not cry then. No, she gives him a piece of her mind, and an ultimatum! They are great characters in my opinion!
I know some have listed the dialog or the phrasing of the dialog as part of the problem, it not being true on Lachlan or Venetia's part. I honestly can't judge this, as I'm no expert. I can tell you that excessive brogue in a novel gets a bit distracting for me, especially if it's an audio book. I know the characters are Scottish, and every once in a while, a gentle reminder of it with a few words and phrases is enough for me. I think one of the reasons I didn't love Outlander is this point. I enjoy the accent something fierce, and if Gerard Butler were to whisper sweet nothings in my ear is that devilish brogue, I'm sure I would be distracted, but for other reasons! But when I'm reading a book, I don't want to be distracted by a dialect I'm not familiar enough with to make it sound natural to me. If a few modern day phrases are thrown in, I may or may not notice, as I'm a modern woman and they are commonplace to me. I don't need to be totally immersed in the culture or scenery or even the language to get the feel of the book. I do have an imagination, and I rather enjoy using it. As I've said in other reviews, give me the basics, and the important stuff, I can handle the rest, thank you very much.
If you can take this book at face value, as something that's fun and easy and has a devilishly sexy hero and an emotionally stable and tender-hearted heroine, then this is a book I highly recommend. I don't promise you'll love it, we all have different tastes, but it's worth a try! If you want to pick apart every detail, every nuance, then avoid, and let me avoid your reviews. I read for fun and enjoyment, if I wanted to have the book dissected, I could just read every critic's review ever of romance novels, as they all accuse them as light, fluffy, and a waste of time for their lack of depth. I only have to point out the loyalty and book sales of the romance genre to show how much people appreciate these kind of books!...more