Shawna's Reviews > The Surrender of a Lady

The Surrender of a Lady by Tiffany Clare
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Aug 01, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: historical-romance, harem-sheikh-sultan-romance, captive-kidnapped-hostage-slave, hh-widow-or-widower, historical-romance-victorian, exotic-wild-settings-survivor-lovin, rt-book-reviews-top-pick, angsty-dark-heavy-lotsa-drama, heroine-abused-traumatic-past-rape, pregnancy-fertility-baby-kids-drama, author-tiffany-clare, favorite-beautiful-lush-cool-covers, hero-i-wanna-smack, hero-alpha‎, hero-stalk-me-baby-possessive, hero-cad-rake-rogue‎-scoundrel, heroine-courtesan-prostitute-escort, hh-aristocracy-nobility-royalty, i-read-no-longer-own-sold-swapped, hh-social-class-wealth-matters, hero-addict-excon-lawtrouble-thief, hero-abused-scarred-tortured-angst, hero-cold-cruelbrute-dark-dangerous, hero-gentleman, heroine-beautiful-bombshell, hh-addiction-recovery-sobriety, star-crossed-lovers, wager, 2011-reads, hero-not-enough-groveling, hh-big-constant-misunderstandings, hh-bad-communication-conflict-mgmt, controversial-memorable-event-scene, erotica-dark-psychological-taboo, 4-stars, dubious-consent-force-nonconsensual, hero-asshat-award-hall-of-shame, hero-bad-guy-ruthless-villainous, unrequited-love-crush
Recommended for: Fans of unconventional, emotional, dark historical/harem romances

4 stars – Historical/Victorian/Harem Romance

I’m slightly apprehensive about reviewing this because I know The Surrender of a Lady probably won’t work for many traditional romance readers, but this represents how I feel about it, so just take from this what you will.

Solely as a romance, I didn’t love it, mainly because there isn’t much “romance” expressed between the H/h, but instead reminiscence of their past, youthful courtship and lost love, explosive desire, mutual longing, emotional conflict, sexual power struggles, and dark obsession. But as a saga of the heroine’s suffering and sexual journey, discovery, and transformation from proper English lady Elena to prized Harem courtesan Jinan as means for survival and sacrifice, it’s compelling, daring, emotive, provocative, sensual, moving, and completely captivating.

I loved the exotic setting, unique story, beautiful writing, quick pacing, and intriguing characters. My only real complaint is that the hero, Griffin, Marquess of Rothburn, was an utter ass, and his actions were selfish, brutish, obsessive, domineering, and hypocritical. I think if there had been deeper romantic development between Elena/Jinan and Griffin or further details of their past relationship, I would have better understood his compulsion and found their erotic passion, intrinsic connection, and intense yearning a bit more believable. The ending is rather abrupt, but thankfully the epilogue provided a satisfying HEA.

This was a great debut read, and I’m looking forward to Tiffany Clare’s upcoming books, The Seduction of His Wife and The Secret Desires of a Governess, both of which have appealing and seemingly more conventional storylines.

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Reading Progress

August 1, 2010 – Shelved
August 1, 2010 – Shelved as: historical-romance
August 29, 2010 – Shelved as: harem-sheikh-sultan-romance
August 29, 2010 – Shelved as: captive-kidnapped-hostage-slave
August 29, 2010 – Shelved as: hh-widow-or-widower
August 29, 2010 – Shelved as: historical-romance-victorian
August 29, 2010 – Shelved as: exotic-wild-settings-survivor-lovin
December 31, 2010 – Started Reading
December 31, 2010 – Shelved as: rt-book-reviews-top-pick
December 31, 2010 – Shelved as: angsty-dark-heavy-lotsa-drama
December 31, 2010 – Shelved as: heroine-abused-traumatic-past-rape
December 31, 2010 – Shelved as: pregnancy-fertility-baby-kids-drama
December 31, 2010 – Shelved as: author-tiffany-clare
December 31, 2010 – Shelved as: favorite-beautiful-lush-cool-covers
January 1, 2011 – Shelved as: hero-i-wanna-smack
January 1, 2011 – Shelved as: hero-alpha‎
January 1, 2011 – Shelved as: hero-cad-rake-rogue‎-scoundrel
January 1, 2011 – Shelved as: hero-stalk-me-baby-possessive
January 1, 2011 – Shelved as: heroine-courtesan-prostitute-escort
January 1, 2011 – Shelved as: hh-aristocracy-nobility-royalty
January 1, 2011 – Shelved as: i-read-no-longer-own-sold-swapped
January 1, 2011 – Shelved as: hh-social-class-wealth-matters
January 1, 2011 –
page 336
100% "Riveting...review to come."
January 1, 2011 – Shelved as: hero-addict-excon-lawtrouble-thief
January 1, 2011 – Shelved as: hero-abused-scarred-tortured-angst
January 1, 2011 – Shelved as: hero-cold-cruelbrute-dark-dangerous
January 1, 2011 – Shelved as: hero-gentleman
January 1, 2011 – Shelved as: heroine-beautiful-bombshell
January 1, 2011 – Shelved as: hh-addiction-recovery-sobriety
January 1, 2011 – Shelved as: star-crossed-lovers
January 1, 2011 – Shelved as: wager
January 1, 2011 – Finished Reading
February 6, 2011 – Shelved as: 2011-reads
April 3, 2011 – Shelved as: hero-not-enough-groveling
April 4, 2011 – Shelved as: hh-bad-communication-conflict-mgmt
April 4, 2011 – Shelved as: hh-big-constant-misunderstandings
May 15, 2011 – Shelved as: controversial-memorable-event-scene
June 11, 2011 – Shelved as: erotica-dark-psychological-taboo
June 16, 2011 – Shelved as: 4-stars
July 27, 2011 – Shelved as: dubious-consent-force-nonconsensual
October 24, 2011 – Shelved as: hero-asshat-award-hall-of-shame
October 24, 2011 – Shelved as: hero-bad-guy-ruthless-villainous
May 6, 2012 – Shelved as: unrequited-love-crush

Comments (showing 1-22 of 22) (22 new)

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message 1: by ♥ Beth (new)

♥ Beth Wow.. this sounds really dark and interesting Shawna.. the reviews have me intrigued! I am anxious to see what you think of it!


message 2: by Mitzi (new) - added it

Mitzi It seems everyone hates it or loves it.....have it on my wishlist and can't wait to read your review.


message 3: by Adrienne (new)

Adrienne I've just added it, ticks alot of my 'favourite things' boxes.


message 4: by Adrienne (new)

Adrienne Ladies there's an excerpt and a jolly good one at that over on Tiffany's website:)


Shawna It was definitely a dark, interesting, and unconventional romance, but I really liked it. It would have been a 5 star read if the hero hadn't been such a jerk and if there had been just a bit more romance between the H/h.


message 6: by ♥ Beth (new)

♥ Beth Thanks Shawna,great review and definitely something I might want to read.


message 7: by AgentScully (new)

AgentScully Nice review Shawna! Not for me though.


message 8: by Lisa (last edited Jan 01, 2011 04:26PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lisa Great review! I just didn't know what to say about this one but you summed it up great. I am anxious for her next books as well as they sound a bit more traditional and I hope people that hated this book give those ones a try b/c Clares writing was great


Diana~ (Kiss Me Books) Very nice review Shawna! Looking forward to reading this one. :)


message 10: by seton (new) - added it

seton Great review, Shawna!

I agree w/ Mitzi that this is a love it/hate it book.


message 11: by MelissaB (new)

MelissaB Great review Shawna! I will have to think about this one.


message 12: by Adrienne (new)

Adrienne I'm planning on reading it. As you know doesn't bother me if the HEA is only weak or non-existant.


Shawna Thanks, ladies! It's probably not for everyone's taste, but I really liked it, especially the uniqueness and dark, dramatic elements. And I was very impressed by Tiffany Clare's writing and look forward to her next two books.

Seton, Are you the "Seton" TC referred to in the author's acknowledgment in this? If so, that's very cool!


message 14: by Dina (new)

Dina AgentScully wrote: "Nice review Shawna! Not for me though."

Ditto. :)


message 15: by seton (new) - added it

seton Shawna wrote: "Seton, Are you the "Seton" TC referred to in the author's acknowledgment in this? If so, that's very cool! "


LOL, yep, that's me! I'm always surprised at how many peeps read the acknowledgements :-)


message 16: by AgentScully (new)

AgentScully Wow Seton that's awesome! what did you do - help with editing the smut scenes? :-)


message 17: by Shawna (last edited Jan 02, 2011 11:25AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Shawna I always read the author's dedications, acknowledgments, notes, etc. 'cause it seems that there is usually some fascinating, useful tidbits to learn that way. Very awesome indeed, Seton! I had an Elf "I know her" moment when I read it, LOL!


UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish Great review! I agree about author notes. You always almost always find something insightful, or totally confusing but amusing, in them.


Shawna Thanks, Dhes! Definitely!


message 20: by Tara (new) - added it

Tara Great review :) Maybe I should finish it :S I think I made it about halfway through and gave up. There was NO romance up until that point at least. If I pick it up again I probably should expect very little romance?


Shawna Thanks, Tara! There are emotional, volatile sex scenes between the H/h, but not really much "romance/love" between them until the end of the book.

Thanks, Sarah! I understand and that seems to be the case for many romance readers.


message 22: by Jujubee (new) - added it

Jujubee I loved the first two reads in this series and Tiffany Clare's writing style, but the content in this one so took me by surprise it left a sad taste in my mouth. I just came across your review as I was scrolling thru my TBR list...see I always felt guilty that I abandoned Elana somehow (yes, she's fictional, but you get that LOL) because "acceptance" of her life as Jinan, no matter how wise or practical, was just too much for me to get through at the time of my first read in 2010. Plus there is the whole slavery thingy that never sits well in my heart...
So when I read your review today it put in prospective what I didn't get at the time I DNF'd this! A wonderful review, by the way! Wished I had been a GRs member earlier, because your revies is both insightful and thoughtful.
The author should give you kudos, because a review like this is what a truly honest review is all about. Getting a reader to read their books. So encouraged today, I'll dust off my paperback, put it back on my TBR list, and show some love toward Jinan! Thanks for keeping it real, Shawna!


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