I wrote this yesterday, but for some reason it wouldn't post so I am retrying today. Forgive?
First off, Happy St Patty's Day, friends!
Though it started off as one of those religious holidays, I think it's safe to say that today has become more of a secular event then anything else, with green everywhere, no mention of those dratted snakes, and beer to boot!
I, myself am not a beer drinker, but I did go out for St Patty's exactly one time to try out that great green beer thing everyone was hollering about. Evidence, you say? Here's a picture from that night:
Satisfied? Yes, it's green beer. It wasnot very tasty. I gave it to my friend and made him drink mine, and ordered an iced tea. I suck, I know.
Anyways, funnily enough early this morning, I finished a book called "Green Eyes" by Karen Robbards. So with the theme of green, I will review that book today! :)
Anna Traverne will never forget that evening back in England when a bold intruder stole into her chambers -- a dark and daring jewel thief who came for treasures and inflamed her passions with a brazen caress. She thwarted the dashing rogue then. But now Julian Chase has followed her halfway around the world. Julian has come to take what he believes is rightfully his.
And he has vowed to have his tender, sensuous revenge on the enchanting, silver-blond angel who robbed him of his birthright ... and purloined his heart in a single, unparalleled moment.
I like the fact that this book took place in somewhere far off - Ceylon (i.e. Sri Lanka), to be specific. I think it gave the novel an element of uniqueness. It begins in England, though, during a cold night where our heroine is trying to hide from her unscrupulous brother in law who wants her to submit to him, and eventually become his mistress, in order for him to fund her and her daughter's life, after her husband dies of the fever during the monsoons.
Enter Julian Chase, a half-gypsy thief with a ship on his shoulder the size of Ireland, and an emerald bracelet that may hold the key to all their problems, and you have a promising plot.
Two things stood out in this book for me: one was the mysteriousness of it - and by this I mean, the novel is steeped in the language and the opinions of the time it is set. To modern ears a lot of it can be seen as racist or sexist, etc. But Robards uses this to create a world that is part gothic mystery, with hidden dangers and strange people. She does this rather well, mentioning bits and pieces of strange events or dream-like occurences to build a tension almost on the sidelines to the romance. And it's when all this comes to a head that you realize that you've been expecting something for a while.
The other thing I liked about this book was the romance itself: the wariness, the fighting, the battling of wills and then the loving - fitting all together it worked really well, particularly since the two character were just so distrustful of one another. Also, the fact that they don't do things half way - when they fight, things are thrown, fists come out and words get said. I like that in my characters, it works to bring them that much closer to reality for me. And the steam scenes are to die for - there's this great mix you get in historicals sometimes, like a propriety vein and a wanton vein and they work well together to show just how all-encompassing a love can be.
I think the only real criticism and it's really just a personal prefence, is the order of some of the events - there are parts I think should have gone in different place. In all, it works, but I think it would have worked a bit better as a Historical Romance, had the events been changed a bit.
All in all, great book - awesome steam scenes, and some great dialogue. Really funny too, at times., Highly recommended!