Friday, May 27, 2011

Five Umbrella Friday: One Week as Lovers by Victoria Dahl

Yes. I know. I'm on a Victoria Dahl kick. Y'all suffered through the Lorelei James phase, you can bear this one too. And like Lorelei James and my other auto-buy authors, discovering Dahl a few weeks ago was a little bit like getting a giant box of Godiva chocolates with a lock and a credit card slot. I want to gobble them all up, and I'm limited only by my bank balance. Luckily, Dahl's backlist is very reasonable (And if you are a Nook user it's lendme--hint for my Nook Friends).

This book is also a great rebuttal to the AAR blog I mentioned yesterday that argues that all this social media interaction between readers, reviewers, and authors may not be a good thing. I found this book via social media, and while I would have been bitterly disappointed to have wasted my $, the fact that I love Victoria Dahl's tweetstream has nothing to do with how much I loved this book.

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book purchase was brought to you by social media. Victoria Dahl tweeted a link to Daisy Harris's blog where she discussed common tropes used to up the sexy factor. This book was mentioned as an excellent example of the "kink as therapy" trope. Ding! My finger was on the "buy" button on my nook before I even finished reading the blog. And, as an added bonus, I now have a name for one of my most favorite tropes (Please share in the comments if you have other recommendations for books with this theme/trope!). Because I absolutely love dark and tortured characters, especially heroes, and dark and tortured characters who have to work it out in the bedroom? When done right, it's a ticket straight to my keeper shelf. When done poorly, it's so disappointing--like watching a good team fail to make the playoffs. Here, thankfully, it's done really, really well, in combination with several other tropes I love, including childhood friends-to-lovers.

Cynthia and Nick grew up in the same small village (yay! We're not in London!) But, now Nick is a charming Viscount on the verge of marrying a heiress who wants nothing to do with him. And Cynthia's family has also fallen on very hard times, and she's had to come up with her own creative solution to her troubles. Nick and Cynthia reminded me a lot of the dynamic in Loretta Chase's Last Night's Scandal. I liked that book tremendously, but I like this one even more as Nick has this dark edge that Lisle just doesn't. But, there's great banter between two contemporaries and equals, and there's the hero being dragged along on reckless adventures, including treasure hunting.

Cynthia is far more free-spirited than the times probably allowed, including being way more blase about sex than a proper, single regency heroine usually is. If you want strict historical accuracy in your regencies, this book might not be for you. Which would be a darn shame because it's just so much fun. I want to believe that there were women with Cynthia's pluck and spirit roaming about the British countryside. For everything good and light that Cynthia brings, Nick has a dark cloud chasing him due to an incident that happened in his early teens.

Nick is a DARK hero in a charming disguise-- his backstory is somewhat similar to that in Liz Carlyle's Never Deceive a Duke and Kresley Cole's Demon After Dark. I love dark and tortured heroes, but these heroes are all literally tortured--terrible things happened to them against their will. And for some readers, I think that level of darkness is a bit much or simply not something they wish to think about. For me, I love watching this type of hero triumph over his demons and find a way to true happiness. Because this book is otherwise so light and fun, Nick's darkness is greatly muted, but he's still the driving force of the book.

He's what made this a five star read for me--dark and tortured, blonde, genuinely nice person with strong moral code, outside the box thinker, and not afraid to let his heroine lead. Without revealing too much, I loved how the treasure hunt ultimately worked out and the decisions Nick made. I didn't neccessarily agree with one action he took towards the end of the book, but I certainly understood where he was coming from, and it let him truly let go of the past and protect his woman in a single action. Oh and the whole "kink as therapy" thing? Totally worked too. (It's a mild kink--if you read Elizabeth Hoyt, Jennifer Haymore, Liz Carlyle etc, you won't be too shocked and should enjoy the wicked little edge it gives this otherwise sweet tale).

1 comment:

  1. Speaking of Nook friends. I updated my nook color a few weeks ago and now it won't let me see you or your list of lendable books. Can you see mine? :( I need new books