Monday, October 24, 2011

BOOK REVIEW: In Total Surrender By Anne Mallory

Avon Romance September 27, 2011

384 pages By Anne Mallory


Andreas Merrick is the king of London’s dark underworld, having amassed unimaginable wealth and power . . . and a fierce reputation that leaves even the bravest men quaking in their boots. Yet one person is maddeningly unintimidated by his fearsome presence: the persistent Miss Phoebe Pace.
And one kiss always leads to another . . .

Equal parts honey and steel, Phoebe will stop at nothing to find her missing brother and save her family. Though associating with Andreas means peril and scandal, she never expects to experience a passion so intense that it threatens to consume her. But enigmatic Andreas is no ordinary man to love. He brings dangers from all sides— without and within—while tempting her beyond her wildest dreams . . .


Here is another Anne Mallory novel I am torn by. Her previous book I gave 2.75 out of 4 (One Night is Never Enough) I give this one a slightly higher rating.

There is no denying Anne Mallory is a skilled writer. But I find her plotting murky and confusing at times, and it carries over into this book. What I did like (but some reviewers didn't) was the POV was kept solidly on Andreas the first 100 pages of the book. I understand why, she wants to keep us in the dark as to the heroine's motives. I think it works from a storytelling aspect.

The hero is Andreas Merrick, he is a criminal underworld figure who oozes danger and menace. He is also an embittered and snarly man in spite of his astounding looks, people scurry away from his overbearing presence. While in his POV, we get a glimpse of Andreas' inner thoughts, torturous as some of them are. If you like a brooding hero, then Andreas will appeal.

He is being pursued almost to the point of annoyance by the heroine Phoebe who has some convoluted, confusing reason to enlist Andreas help and ask for his protection. This is my main criticism of this book and the previous one, a weak heroine. I found Phoebe a bit of a pain, she is like Martha Stewart on crack. She bustles about making cookies and rolls, cleaning dirty alleys, you are almost waiting for cartoon birds to land on her hands. I found no depth to her character. However, their bantering was well done, humorous at times, but there was a decided lack of heat to the sex scenes, which disappointed me. I was waiting for Andreas the virile, damaged man to really break out, he never achieved my hopes in the sex department.

That being said the book was very readable, I love Anne Mallory's style of writing, it is witty and intelligent and I did find Andreas fascinating. But the murky subplots and Phoebe's Snow White personality did not do a thing for me. A satisfactory read that could have been so much more.

3 out of 4 stars for the book


Lover of Romance said...

Great Review! I can't wait to read this one! I have enjoyed the books of Anne Mallory's that I have read!! I just found your blog and love it!! I am your newest follower!! Looking forward to exploring your site!! Feel free to come visit me at Addicted To Romance Happy Reading!

gamistress66 said...

think you summed up my feelings on this book too (I read it Sunday). On one hand I enjoyed it -- Andreas was sexy broody hot, the banter fun, the tension good, liked how the pov at the start worked for the story. on the other, Pheobe a little hard to grasp, the sex -- I had to read back a few pages to try to confirm if they consumated or not as it seemed as if that was cut almost, what would expect in later scenes not the first time, and the ending a little muddled. But over all I enjoyed it and had trouble putting down (hence finished in an afternoon). Thanks for making me feel "normal" in my opinion again :)

Karyn Gerrard said...

Hi LOR, I will definitely be by your blog! And thanks so much about my humble little blog and the review!

be sure to stop by my author site as well,


Karyn Gerrard said...


This was a real schizophrenic read for me, I felt like I was on a roller coaster ride. The lack of heat in the limp sex scenes were a disappointment as you said. And Phoebe annoyed me to no end.
But a fine read regardless. I know some reviews gave it top notches, I didn't feel that way. The passionate payoff just wasn't there, too bad, this could have been a 'it blew me out of the water' read. Cheers and thanks for commenting!