Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Tender Rebel by Johanna Lindsey

My Thoughts

Tender Rebel by Johanna Lindsey proved to be a most enjoyable read. This result is hardly surprising as this author has been a favourite of mine for a long time. I’m not however, going to write another rather gushy review about the merits of Ms Lindsey, I want to see if I can pull this thing apart and evaluate the novel critically (all without giving away any spoilers).

As romance novels go, and particularly those by JL, there was not much about Tender Rebel, that made it stand out from others in this genre. It had all the essential elements, a rakish hero that enjoys compromising the heroine’s equilibrium as well as risking her reputation, an element of danger, a smidgen of mystery and of course a great love that is in doubt of being fulfilled. 

As good as this story was, I would have liked to have seen (read) more about the danger that necessitated Roslynn (our intrepid Scottish heroine) to get married; and less of what turned out to be two very easy escapes from the clutches of a vile relative who had his sights set on her inheritance. Roslynn was nearly kidnapped, twice! One attempted abduction was arguably successful and yet each time, she got away, a little too easily and with very little consequence - all without any help from the hero, Anthony Malory (WTF??). With the exception of his marrying the lass (and the odd romp ‘tween the sheets) there was hardly a point to his existence in the story. Even his search for the nefarious cousin responsible for causing the calamity was ill conceived and added little to the story apart from extending the romantic angst between himself and his bride... It also served to help set up the plot for next book in the series (more on this shortly).

Which brings me to the point of the romantic misunderstanding that occurred between Roslynn and Anthony. For me, the confusion and angst between the designated love interests dragged on a little bit too much. It was not overly believable and was intermingled with sexual encounters that seemed more directed towards propelling the story along than satiating actual carnal urges.  Then suddenly, after a relatively inconsequential offering of evidence, the conflict was resolved and the tale was all but told. 

Tender Rebel is part of the Malory series. I generally don’t buy into romantic trilogies where each book sees a family of siblings one by one fall foul of cupids arrow. My thinking is that by the time the next book is written, I’ve moved on... especially when it involves secondary characters. I’ve also always found that the little bits of information each successive book gives about those characters you’re already familiar with, is unsatisfying and a little bit skewed from the way I remember them. I normally steer clear of them, and if I do pick up one by accident I usually stop at the one book. This story however, alluded to other romantic liaison’s that I’m quite sure will be part of the series and I do find myself a little bit intrigued. I just might have to go out and read the rest of them now.

I might just sulk about that. Damn author’s angling for repeat sales, manipulating their audience and cementing their brand. It’s diabolical... and... effective?

My Rating

This review is totally unsolicited. I bought the story and chose to review it. The opinions expressed are my own. I don’t really like the concept of rating novels as they are subjective and subject to change. A five star book today, may be re-evaluated when compared to future novels.

Scottish heiress Roslynn Chadwick needs the safety of marriage to protect her from an unscrupulous cousin and from the army of fortune-hunting scoundrels who covet her wealth and beauty. And Anthony Malory is everything she has been warned against.

A ruthless, irresistibly handsome English rogue, Malory's sensual blue eyes speak of limitless pleasures. How she wishes she dare to love such a man... to believe the whispered murmurings of his passionate promise... and to follow the enchanting dream...

The Author
Johanna Helen Howard was born on March 10, 1952 in Germany, where her father, Edwin Dennis Howard, a soldier in the U.S. Army was stationed. The family moved about a great deal when she was young. Her father always dreamed of retiring to Hawaii, and after he passed away in 1964 Johanna and her mother settled there to honor him.

In 1970, when she was still in school, she married Ralph Lindsey, becoming a young housewife. The marriage had three children; Alfred, Joseph and Garret, who already have made her a grandmother. After her husband's death, Johanna moved to Maine, New England, to stay near her family.

Johanna Lindsey wrote her first book, Captive Bride in 1977 "on a whim", and the book was a success. By 2006, with over 58 Million copies of her books have been sold worldwide, with translations appearing in 12 languages, Johanna Lindsey is one of the world's most popular authors of historical romance.

Johanna's books span the various eras of history, including books set in the Middle Ages, the American "Old West" and the popular Regency England-Scotland. She has even written a few sci-fi romances. By far the most popular among her books are the stories about the Malory-Anderson Family, a Regency England saga

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