Beanbag Love's Reviews > A Lady of Persuasion

A Lady of Persuasion by Tessa Dare
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Dec 17, 09


This one actually only rates 3.25 from me.

Isabel and Toby are somehow the title for this series, and their story really doesn't deserve to be elevated that high. While I still love Dare's writing, I was disappointed in several aspects of this book.

First of all, Dare loses one star right off the top for squeezing Joss and Hetta's HEA into a tiny side story. Their back stories and their personalities, the difficulties inherent in an interracial marriage during the Regency era, are enough to fill a whole book. This felt rushed, forced and, frankly, like a cop-out. At least give them a novella fer cryin' out loud.

Sorry to rant, but they're two of the most interesting characters in the whole series and I think they got ripped off.

Okay, that huge mistake aside, I didn't like the heroine all that much throughout. She had her moments. She was funny at times with her inner thoughts, but mostly she was just tedious. She's very devout and pours her energy into charity work, which unfortunately makes her pretty darn judgmental and pushy. Devotion to civic duty doesn't have to make one that way, but that's the way she acted and it really hurt her story. Her history is interesting but, although we saw those inner thoughts and got some insight into the hell she'd experienced as a child, the hero really never does.

Toby's a nice, if vapid, hero. He's pretty dashing, saving everyone from ruin and potential serious injury or death. He comes off a bit selfish at times, but he's gone the extra mile to keep several people from being hurt badly. His need to keep his happy-go-lucky lifestyle is challenged, however, by his fiance/wife's demands that he help her change the world.

World-changers annoy me. Sorry. When someone sets out to "change the world" it's the most arrogant and narcissistic motive for whatever action they're taking. It's all about them. As if they have the ability or even the right to "change the world". There's a fine line between feeding the poor and the poor feeding your ego. I thought Isabel crossed that line a few times.

HOWEVER -- I do love Dare's writing. I was frustrated because I felt this couple was well-suited, but I never got to see their true personalities outside of their inner thoughts. When they do reconcile at the end it seems contrived. Like they just decided they had to be together, but I didn't see a rational thought process on getting there. It's not unromantic. It's just not as well put together as the other ones.

If this were the first book of Tessa Dare's I'd picked up, I still would go for the backlist, and I'm still very much looking forward to her next release, so I guess it can't be all that bad. It's just that I know for a fact she can do better and good characters were not served as well as they could have been. :^(
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Comments (showing 1-10 of 10) (10 new)

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message 1: by AgentScully (new)

AgentScully Aw Bean, did you just drop this from a 4 to a 3*?


message 2: by Rane (last edited Dec 17, 2009 09:43PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rane Great Review Bean.
I agree wholeheartly with you about Joss's HEA, I wanted him to have his own book it would have been a great novel with it dealing with a interracial marriage in a time where it was not even heard of!
I loved Toby but Isabel bugged me to.


Beanbag Love Agent wrote: "Aw Bean, did you just drop this from a 4 to a 3*?"

No, this is my first rating of it. I did almost give it a 4, but then, once I got writing, I realized I felt it was more of a 3. The story had potential, but too much got in the way and it felt inorganic and forced. IMO.

I'm still a big fan of this author. I just hope her next series is more to Goddess of the Hunt level. All of the books are keepers though for their connections.



Beanbag Love Rane wrote: "Great Review Bean.
I agree wholeheartly with you about Joss's HEA, I wanted him to have his own book it would have been a great novel with it dealing with a interracial marriage in a time where ..."


Thanks Rane! Yeah, that was a truly infuriating move, to squish Joss's story in like that. I wanted so much more for both of them. So disappointing.






Dina Great review, Beanbag! I agree with everything you said, but I still gave it 4 stars because TD's writing is really good and kept me interested in the story despite its "flaws".


Karen Bravo, BB. You summed up my feelings exactly. I was really disappointed in this book but not sorry that I read it. I gave it 3 stars too.

As for the title of the series...I have to confess that I did that. I got the name from the Fantasticfiction website. The series didn't have a name and I wanted to make sure everyone knew in which order to read. I'm open for suggestions to change it if anyone has ideas. :D


message 7: by [deleted user] (new)

Great review, Beanbag! Toby made up for most of Isabel's flaws for me (I loved him). But IA that Goddess of the Hunt was the best of the series.


Beanbag Love @Dina: Thanks! I also almost gave it four stars. I just stayed too frustrated for too long. But it doesn't tarnish my view of her as an author. :D

@Karen: Thanks. As far as titling the series, I'm not sure what I'd call it. All I can think of is something like Waltham Manor Hunting Party, since it starts and ends with that. Or "Goddess" since Toby called both Lucy and Sophia 'Diana' and ... I can't remember if he called Isabel a specific goddess or if he just called her "goddess". It's a tough one to name, isn't it?

@AJ: Thanks! Yeah, Toby was great. Without him being as great a character as he is, it definitely wouldn't have worked.


message 9: by Angelc (new)

Angelc Great review, Beanbag! I've heard similar things about this one. Maybe she was rushed since all three came out right in a row.


Karen Beanbag wrote: "@Dina: Thanks! I also almost gave it four stars. I just stayed too frustrated for too long. But it doesn't tarnish my view of her as an author. :D

@Karen: Thanks. As far as titling the seri..."


Goddess Trilogy is good. I think it fits the theme of the covers too.


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