Monday, October 24, 2011
BOOK REVIEW: In Total Surrender By Anne Mallory
Avon Romance September 27, 2011
384 pages By Anne Mallory
BLURB ON BACK OF BOOK:
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