Thursday, June 10, 2010

Book Review: Surrender of a Siren

Well, it's finals week, which of course means that I have been prodigiously reading romance novels. This is what I do people. We all have our avoidance/stress management methods. Some people drink, some people smoke pot. I read romance novels.

And this romance novel was special, because it was the first full-size ebook I read! How exciting! I read the whole thing on my iPhone! I initially resisted this whole ebook phenomena because I really like print books, but I gotta tell you, this is some awesome shit. No going to the bookstore, no searching all over town for a particular book. I can be at home, in my apartment, wearing no pants, and instantly have a book at my disposal. Amazing. (Not so amazing are the ebooks that expect you to pay full (print) prices. Nice try, assholes.)

Anyway, onto the substance of the book. Surrender of a Siren is the "sequel" to Goddess of the Hunt." I put sequel in quotation marks because they are independent stories even though the heroine shows up in both books. At the end of Goddess, Sophia Hathaway had jilted her fiance and ran off to God knows where. Siren picks up with Sophia boarding a ship bound for the West Indies with six hundred pounds of her inheritance strapped to her chest. She books passage on the Aphrodite owned by Mr. Grayson, known as "Gray." Of course, Gray is hunky.

Most of this book takes place on the ship between London and the West Indies. It's a pretty common romance novel scène à faire, and it reminded me of one of my favorite modern romance classics, The Gift by Julie Garwood. Gray and Sophia are attracted to each other, but it takes them a while to act on. Gray is reluctant to take a move because he promised his brother, the ship's captain, that he wouldn't touch her. Turns out, Gray and his brother were privateers during the Napoleonic wars, and now they are attempting to set up a respectable shipping business. The last thing they need is for Gray to seduce a young passenger. Oh yeah, did I mention that Sophia is traveling under an assumed identity? Probably because she conned a bank out of giving her an advance on her inheritance and dumped a man a few weeks before their wedding. She doesn't want to be found.

I just read this book less than a week ago, but I'm having a hard time conjuring up any strong impressions. Maybe that is an impression in itself. I liked this book. Tessa Dare's writing is good enough to keep your interest, and the characters are all likable. Gray was a nice romantic hero. Manly, but also vulnerable, but not an asshole on account of his vulnerabilities. You genuinely believe that he fell for Sophia. Sophia is a fun little character, too, mostly because of the stuff she starts in Goddess that carries over to Siren in part.

At the end things get kind of annoying because no one just TALKS to each other. But that's to be expected because otherwise where would the conflict be? However, I actually kind of believe the obstacles standing in their way. At least I believed that the characters believed them. So, well done.

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