Monday, January 4, 2016

REVIEW: A Gentleman's Surrender by Mariel Grey

A Gentleman's Surrender
by Mariel Grey

Publisher: self-published
Page Count: 245
Release Date: January 1, 2016
Format: Kindle

How got: free copy from author

First attention getter: author's email

Synopsis:

From GoodReads:

Call her a romantic—or a fool, Lady Monique Cathdon is determined to marry for love. After watching her parents tolerate an arranged betrothal, life seems too short to be wasted on keeping up appearances.

After all, what's the point of having a heart if one refuses to follow it?

With a smile the devil himself might be proud of, James Stanton is not what her mother would call a matrimonial prospect. Still, there's something about the young man that sends Lady Monique's heart thumping around her chest, and silences her voice of reason.

Unfortunately for Lady Monique, the stakes are high, and young ladies of the ton make for very poor gamblers. Especially when James Stanton is on the hunt for revenge, and won't let an innocent woman—or his own passionate desires—get in the way of righting past wrongs.

My Thoughts:

Star Rating - 3

Ultimately, this book was about average for the historical romance, Regency subgenre. It had a lot of the cliché’s from the genre: social gatherings, posturing for position on the marriage market, rigorous protocols for propriety, and a Regency plotline I’ve seen done before. Yet for all that, I found this tale enjoyable if not totally immersed by it.

I did like the leads, Monique and James. I felt they had a sufficient chemistry and sweet romance between them to make a successful romantic story. There are enough heated glances and steamy thoughts to make up for the fact that this is a clean romance. I actually find it refreshing to find such in a sea of smutty, smexy heavy Regency novels.

The actual romantic storyline (the whole revenge thing), I’ve seen done before. I felt that the author held onto that whole scenario for too long, all the way to the end of the story. She kept having her hero go back to that motivation again and again. The whole thing with Monique shooting for a peer, also, was held onto for too long. I got tired of their constant usage of those excuses as reasons for actions and for why their relationship took so long to develop.

I also got tired of the constant ballet of social interaction: operas, balls, soiree’s, house visits, and meetings at the park. Again, the book fell victim to the flaw of many Regency’s in that they spend too much time on social exchanges to build their story rather than mixing it up with intimate exchanges or action sequences.

This book had a few of the one-on-one intimate scenes between Monique and James, the kiss being a star of this aspect for the book. However, I felt they were far too few in number for a historical romance. Way too much time was spent on the aforementioned social aspects that it seemed to drown out the romance and relationship between Monique and James at times. Maybe I just got too tired the of the constant attempts to run parallel to Jane Austen and her world.

At the heart of the book though, I did enjoy Monique and James. I liked how human they were and approachable. I could feel both of their dedication to family and familial expectations. Their struggle to break free of those and create a relationship of love between each made the book enjoyable to me. If you read this book for anything, read it for their building relationship. And really, isn’t that why we read historical romances in the first place?

Your average historical romance, the main leads and their budding relationship is the reason to look this title up. Unfortunately, it’s the only reason. Actual plot, scene setting, and even some relationship aspects are your normal romance tropes and clichés. I got bored more than once while following this tale. Still, not a bad historical romance all told.

Note: Book received for free from author in exchange for an honest review.

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