Thursday, March 22, 2012

Romantic Reads: His Conquest

I've been on a bit of a Romance kick lately. This probably has a lot to do with the fact that romances tend to run toward the cheap on Nook books (Did I tell y'all I got a Nook for my birthday, cause I got a Nook for my birthday).  So, I've decided I'll do a new routine type of posting, similar to my Classy Classics post (and by routine I mean when I feel like reading one).  Sadly, my latest read is . . . well, only so-so.

The Basics
Cosby, Diana. His Conquest. Kensington Publishing Co, 2010. eBook.

Diana Cosby is a retired Navy Chief Meteorologist and Oceanographer, which is pretty spiffy, you know. And, other than the fact that she's a Braveheart fan, that's about all I could find on her. So far, she has authored 4 novels all part of her MacGruder series of Historical Highland Romances.

His Conquest is the third in the aforementioned series.  Running from her fiendish brother, Linet escapes his clutches accompanied by the Highland lord, Seathan MacGruder, the Earl of Grey (snicker snicker, tea, snicker), whom she released from the dungeons.  Although he's supposed to escort her to the Highlands in exchange for her freeing him, they make a small pit stop at his castle, fall in love, run into trouble, and live happily ever after. The end.

The Book
As I've already hinted I was a bit disappointed with this book.  I like my romance novels with plenty of plot, and while this book had one it was fairly flawed.  It had an interesting enough premise, set during one of the Wars for Scottish Independence during the time of William Wallace.  Being a bit of a history buff, I thought that showed plenty of promise. While it kept my attention, the plot was minimal and had some serious flow issues.  Most of the book focused on their traveling to the castle, Linet getting shouted at, and then breaking back into her home. Rather than an interesting historical plot, the entire book centers around whether or not Linet can be trusted. Since readers already know that she can, this gets pretty old rather quickly. Maybe I'm out of the norm on this, but courting is just not enough to keep me interested.

Then there's the sudden about face that happens toward the end of the book. Seathan is all brooding suspicion for the entire beginning of the novel.  He's wary that Linet might be part of a ploy to gain valuable rebel information.  There's a brief interlude when they arrive at his castle, where she meets his family and stays in his grandmother's old chamber (and we'll get to that little tidbit in a minute).  Then, he discovers that she's his enemy's sister and immediately assumes the worst. Rather than locking her up, he decides to take her with him to confront a man he thinks is a traitor and later her brother.  On the way, their party is attacked by her brother's men; during the battle she shouts a warning to Seathan about an approaching warrior and gets a gash on the head.  Seathan suddenly decides that she can be trusted, out of the blue, because she got a cut on the head. And then they have lots of s- I mean, romance (wink, wink, nudge, nudge).  I could have bought the circumstances leading up to the change, but it happens too abruptly and without any explanation, making it rather unbelievable.  I followed the logic behind the move, but to do so I had to do the story telling for myself. Not cool.

For my last gripe, I direct your attention to Cosby's introduction of magic to the story. As you all know by now, I like a touch magic in my fiction; in fact, it's hard for me to pick books that don't have a little fairy dust floating around.  But this time, it was just completely unnecessary.  Maybe if I'd read the proceeding two novels, to which this portion obviously tied in, I would appreciate it more. But I haven't and I didn't. Even if I had, it should have been worked in better.  The room Linet stays in her first night has a whiff of magic in it, and every woman who stays in it winds up married to the man who brought her to the keep.  Oh, and there are magic necklaces that come in pairs. Seathan already wears his, and Linet is highly attracted to its match. In fact she steals it and it glows and feels warm.  Sadly, my explanation about covers the extent of this subplot's involvement in the book. Had it been removed, the book would not have been any different really, so why's it there?

All that being said, it was still an okay book.  The romance parts were well done, and Cosby does the witty couple well. I even giggled a couple of times.  It's not stellar, but if you like romance more than you do plot, you may find this novel enjoyable.  She hooked me enough that I still had to know what happened. You'll never see a truly awful book on this blog, because I tend not to get through those. I'd recommend the book to big fans of the romance genre and/or Highland romances, since it satisfied those needs fairly well. She's a pretty new author by Romance genre terms, so I'm kind of interested to see where she goes and what else she produces.


No comments:

Post a Comment

You know you want to . . .