miércoles, 16 de noviembre de 2016

TBR Challenge: ‘IN SEARCH OF SCANDAL’, by Susanne Lord

The topic of this month is Historical
Read in kindle

Published: 2015
Genre: Historical / 1850
My Rating: 2 stars

Part of a series: London Explorers #1

This month I had a lot of books in which I could chose, there are so many historical novels on my Kindle! I decided this would be a good moment to give this book a try. It was in my TBR pile because Courtney Milan recommended it and it had a good price the moment I bought it.

Charlotte Baker is a young and accomplished girl in search of a husband in the Victorian society. Her parlour is always full of young men who want to be the chosen one. But she has to be careful, so she makes them tests in order to discover the one she can love and respect.

She’s got this crush on an explorer she has never met and whose adventures she follows on the papers. And suddenly, it comes a day when that man, Will Repton, appears at her house. It’s not another beau; he’s looking for her brother-in-law. He has come from Tibet and is ready to go back on a kind of rescue mission. He’s not interested in loving or marrying anyone. Even though Charlotte is very attractive and it’s lust at first sight.

Charlotte decides she wants to Will. So she persecutes him, relentless. Will resists her advances as the important thing for him is this new expedition. All this happens in a trite atmosphere of dances and social events you’ve seen many times.

It is not a plot-driven book but a character-driven story. It focuses on the characters -what they think, what they feel, what they say and they do not say.

The truth is that these two young people are nice and you kind of feel affection for them. But I must admit that around 20 % of the book I did not care too much what was happening to them. If I were one of those who usually DNF books, I would have left this one at that point. There were too many details about things I didn’t care. You could have told the same story in half the pages.

I’ve read other books recommended or mentioned by Courtney Milan, and it usually the experience is the same ‑ I can see what’s good in it, what they have in common with Milan’s work, but they lack her intensity or elegant style, so it’s not enough to maintain my interest.

Or maybe the problem is not in the book but me. These days I’m reading other kind of books and less romantic novels. When I pick up a romance I want it to be so special that I cannot stop reading it.

Or, at least, something different I haven’t seen before.

And here the scheme is something we’ve seen so many times! An adventurous man that has had a terrible experience and has nightmares, and walks through London houses in a broody mood. And then, the virginal girl who redeems him comes forward and, of course, she’s beautiful, charming, and very joyful. The only thing she wants is a good marriage, to help her family and at the same time she wants to marry for love. I’ve seen it many times and –that’s the thing- better done.

There’s quite a silly subplot of someone who turns to be a bad person and does something despicable, but it comes all of a sudden and it’s swiftly resolved and you ask yourself if that was just another way of having more pages in the book.

About the secondary characters, I had this feeling that they were the main characters in other novels, as if this one was the second or the third of a series. But I discovered that it’s not only the first of a series but also the first book published by the author. As a first novel, it’s surprisingly well written. The problem is that it didn’t left me wanting to keep on reading more books about this author.

It wants to be a deeply emotional book. And there are intense feelings and moving scenes, yes, but they are lost in a sea of irrelevant minutiae and details that make this, in the end, quite a boring novel. For me, this is.

This has been my experience and perhaps it’s because of the reading moment I’m living right now and there’s nothing wrong with the book. What’s that expression you use in the US? Your mileage may vary.

5 comentarios:

  1. I'm finding that a lot with historicals in the last couple of years. The usual is just not good enough, and I find it hard to be interested.

    1. I'm glad to see I'm not the only one.

    2. I saw this one when Ms Milan recommended it as a wonderful debut, but when I read the sample from amazon, my main feeling was, 'meh,' so I didn't get it. It would seem I'm not missing much.

    3. I should do that (read the sample) more often.