I had high hopes for this book, because I really enjoyed Gabriel's character in The Lover, and was looking forward to re...moreWell color me disappointed. :(
I had high hopes for this book, because I really enjoyed Gabriel's character in The Lover, and was looking forward to reading his story. Unfortunately, it fell a bit short in my opinion. The twist, while surprising, was a bit contrived (even moreso that "the man" in The Lover), and again the technical jargon during sex was a put-off for me. I don't know if it bothered me more in this book because it was more prolific, or if it was merely my getting bogged down from it having read three Robin Schone books in a row.
What worked for me: *Oooh the twist as to why Gabriel hated Michael *falls over* Even though it falls under the "contrived" description I mentioned above, it was still a "Say what??" moment, in a good way.
*The concept -- gutter born bastard who's been raped and abused and prostituted all his life to the point that he hasn't touched another human being in over a decade falls for a spinster governess who's fallen on such desperate times that she's auctioning off her virginity to the highest bidder. Would've been better had they not had the whole "second man orchestrating everything solely to ruin his life just because of the mess that went down in the first novel with Michael", but hey, I'm not all THAT picky
*How Victoria refused to give up on Gabriel, and how Gabriel longed to find a woman who would accept him for what he was, good and bad, light and dark, and make all that he'd suffered worthwile *swoon*
*Unlike other reviewers, I DID feel that there was love between Gabriel and Victoria. I admit it wasn't the sappy, besotted kind, but was instead the I-don't-WANT-to-love-you type, but still, I felt the love :)
*Still got that issue with the servants I mentioned in my last review, but not NEARLY to the point of the other novels, so I'm counting that as a favorable point :)
What didn't work for me: *Sex reading like a technical manual. Again. All this talk of vaginas and clitorises (clitori?), and vuvlas and penises and so forth are just flat out not sexy.
*I swear, if she'd referred to the electrical lights as "blinding", or the flyaway hairs on Gabriel's head as "areola" ONE MORE BLOODY TIME, this book would've been in the DNF category rather than read. It's called a thesaurus. Use it.
*The buttsecks made me laugh. I don't think buttsecks is supposed to be funny, but I'm not kidding you, it wasn't until almost a chapter after everyone was done orgasming that I was actually certain that buttsecks had even occurred. I mean, yeah, I knew they'd scrumped, but for an author who's so determined to use the word "vagina" in every third paragraph, you'd think she could've made it a little more clear of what was actually going on. Though, I suppose on further reflection, the absence of the word "vagina" should've been enough to confirm that it was, in fact, buttsecks.
*What the hell is up with the modiste? Just. Really. And forcing Victoria to be naked all the time, from the first undressing to the appointment with the modiste, to the being clad only in a towel while Gaston was in there, to the final twisty bit of being spied on during sex with Gabriel. I swear I was starting to think this was a Jaid Black novel or something. Oi.
You HAVE to read the first book in the series or you won't know wtf is going on. This is more like "Part II" of The Lover rather than a standalone sequel.
So, not to the standard of her other books that I've read, but not quite a wall-banger. 3 Stars(less)