Innocenza e seduzione by Anne Stuart PDF, TXT, ePub, PDB, RTF, FB2.
|Title||Innocenza e seduzione|
|Review||What a phenomenally disappointing and supremely crappy romance novel :-/ I have to wonder, if it wasn’t Anne Stuart writing would it really be getting all the accolades it’s been getting? I’m a big Anne Stuart fan as well as a lover of the dark and brooding alpha hero but this story is just plain bad. It has that ‘80s romance “dark” style to it that’s overly dramatic, over the top and overly long. Some serious editing could have helped to tighten up the story to avoid the feeling of repetition and plot stagnation.|
The novel takes place primarily in Paris. Stuart does an excellent job of showing the seedy dirty side of the city where the hopelessly poor live, as well as the opulent decadent parties hosted by the rich. It’s the story of the hero and heroine that just doesn’t work. He does nothing but f*ck around and she's poor with a b*tch of a mother. They meet by accident while she's trying to save her mother from gambling away the little money they have left. She intrigues him in a cat and mouse kind of way, and so the story goes.
The hero, Viscount Francis Rohan is a horrible creepy man that has zero redeemable qualities to him. He comes across as a lascivious old pervert who’s only 39 but is shown as someone more like 89 who would probably walk around with his wiener in his hand shouting “come here my pretty” while drooling. He constantly refers to the heroine as “my child” and “my precious” making him appear not in the least bit sexy but more like a pedophile. He’s just plain gross. He’s known to one and all as the King of Hell because he’s the head of this club for aristocrats who like to indulge in the forbidden side of sex. You reach a point in the book where all that “we’re so bad look at us” starts to get silly and annoying. They call their club the Heavenly Host which never worked for me and I thought it sounded dumb from the get-go but I tried (really hard) to like the book nonetheless. Some of the things they do there start off as an illicit look at underbelly of the rich and powerful but then it just got old and felt icky not sexy.
I found Francis’ character to be similar to the disgusting hero in Stuart’s older romance To Love a Dark Lord. These guys aren’t nice –at all--ever. They’re morons. They’re as unlovable as they are unlikeable. He’s a total prick to the heroine from day one and says so many disgusting things to her and about her that it’s very hard to find anything remotely decent or genuine about this guy. He ignores her, treats her like week old trash, bullies her, he’s condescending, rude, and thinks he’s just the cock of the walk when if anything he needs a hard smack upside the head. Why would she see anything in him? Francis makes Bastien from her RS book Black Ice look like a saint. He’s rotten to the core.
The heroine Elinor is just ‘there’. She tries to escape her poverty and protect her family but she never wins and if the heroine is always thrown to the ground and stomped all over well there’s not much to like about her unless you enjoy the non-stop victim/pity party. She dislikes Rohan for nearly ¾ of the book and then suddenly does an about face and she’s all set to the bang the guy (!) Why?! What’s he done to make her want him? He was such a pig to her just before they did the deed. He rams himself into her knowing she had the farthest thing imaginable from a good first time, she gets nothing out of it but she loves him? Why? She’s a masochist at heart?!? The sex scenes are sleazy and she’s gross with her “I want to keep his seed and my blood inside me” –yuck! Then after they sleep together he starts having regrets because **gasp *shock* gasp** he realizes he may be falling in love with her and that won’t do because he’s the bad and nasty King of Hell. It’s ridiculously contrived :-/
There is an okay sub story with Elinor’s sister Lydia and the horribly disfigured Charles Reading but there isn’t much of it. The girls’ mother who was in the last stages of syphilis was well-done. She was a despicable woman and Stuart did a fabulous job showing the horrors she inflicted on Elinor.
Anne Stuart can write some of the best black hearted heroes around with a winning love story attached but this guy and this story are just way too out there. The book is 409 pages of Ooooo he’s so bad, look how bad he is, he has no heart, he’s evil, everyone’s afraid of him, his quiet words are like steel and all around shake and tremble in his presence blah blah blah. Enough already :-/ Yes usually these guys are bad to the bone but they have something redeeming about them that makes you like them in the end and you can forgive them because they’re as good as gold with the heroine, but that’s not the case here. Rohan is an a**hole in the beginning and he’s an a**hole right up to the end. Elinor is an idiot for wanting to have anything to do with him because he treats her like filthy gum at the bottom of your shoe all the time. There is no sexual tension or war of words between these two because he just keeps dishing it and she seems to take it or she yells back at him but he’s so smug that it doesn’t wash well. The rushed “I love you so much” ending isn’t believable and just made me roll my eyes and say with a heavy shot of incredulity, whatever”.
Do What Thou Wilt, But Don't Fall in Love!
I don't even know what to say! I loved this book so much. I savored it, stretching it out, not wanting it to end. I was completely immersed in this book. I was no longer in Texas, modern day. I was in France in the 1700s.
I don't know how Ms. Anne Stuart does it. She can take the most objectionable type of hero, and make me fall in love with him. Let me say, I am a devout Christian. I can't even imagine even pretending to worship the devil, or to hold orgies in which one does things that are unspeakable, just because you can. That should have turned me off of Lord Rohan. But, with Ms. Stuart's incredible writing skill, it wasn't even an issue for me. I am very glad that she didn't dwell on those aspects, although they were there in the background. This is a book about a rakehell who was the leader of festivities along the lines of the real Hellfire Club, so that aspect had to be present. But, I didn't have to see him doing any of that. I was fine that I didn't. Now, he definitely did some fornication (even after he met Elinor). I was okay with that, because that was who he was, before he fell in love. Once, he had Elinor in his heart, that was over for him, even if he didn't want to admit it to himself for her. And I was gratified that he didn't allow anything to go on there that wasn't between consensual adults.
No question about it, Elinor and Rohan are one of my favorite couples now. Anne Stuart-wise, and period. There was something so delectable about their interactions, the by-play between them. Even though Francis was sixteen years older than Elinor (old enough to be her father, and he was quite active at that age, in his own words), Elinor was able to hold her own with him. Elinor had some serious pluck. I love a heroine who is strong, and no question about Elinor's strength. She is no Xena, and she didn't have to be, in order to captivate Rohan, and to make me love her. She is true to herself, forthright, and brave (in ways I can't even fathom). Francis was a very bad boy, but he had a core of him that was good and decent. He did things for Elinor that he really had no reason to do. He showed her love even before he knew what the word meant. How could I not love him for that? The sexual tension in this story was off the charts, and the love scenes aren't even until near the end. That's talent to me. I felt the sizzle through every conversation, the exchange of glances, the way Rohan pursued and Elinor fled. It was magic on the page.
Yes, I know. It's clear that I love Anne Stuart so much, that some may doubt my objectivity. But, I will say it if I don't think a book by a favorite author is my favorite. But, with Ruthless, there is no question that this one is a stellar read. I wish that Ms. Stuart released books every year. When she doesn't have books out, I mourn the dearth, and I pine for her books. I have especially longed for her historicals, because she writes them so well, with the dark aspects, the multi-faceted characters, the writing subtlety that conveys so much, the intensity that I crave in a romance story. I am happy to say that this book truly makes me happy. I am still replaying the scenes in my head. The skillfully nuanced courtship of Rohan and Elinor, and the powerful love story here. The sad, heartbreaking things in their pasts. I got choked up a few times. I was touched on such a deep level, I feel it right now as I write this review. I think that readers who enjoy meaty, intense, darker historicals with strong, vibrant characters will be very happy with Ruthless. I foresee myself rereading this book soon and often. Bravo, Ms. Stuart.
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