Queue My Review

August 21, 2008

Review: Surrender to Me by Sophie Jordan

Filed under: Review — Tags: , , , , — jjmachshev @ 8:15 am
Surrender to Me by Sophie Jordan

Dear me, dear me. I read “Surrender To Me” by Sophie Jordan right after reading the most recent Julia Quinn release. Unfortunately, “Surrender To Me” suffered in comparison. I have read and enjoyed a couple of Sophie Jordan’s earlier releases, but this Victorian romance just didn’t resonate with me. I didn’t feel drawn into the story and I didn’t particularly like the heroine, who reappears after a small role in an earlier book.

Astrid is the penniless Duchess of Derring (a misnomer if I ever heard one). Her husband committed forgery, stole everything of worth in their home, and left her destitute and responsible for his sister and sick grandmother. This only reinforced the lesson her father taught her with his unforgiving, stern character in that she can only count on herself. After five years alone, she receives a letter saying her errant husband has assumed a false identity and is trying to wed an heiress in Scotland. On her journey to identify her husband and rescue the heiress from a horrible mistake, her carriage is stopped by brigands on the road. She and her maid are about to be raped (as there’s no money to steal) when they are saved by a stranger who talks strangely and is very handy with a rifle. When the stranger is injured in the altercation, Astrid has no choice but to take charge and tend to him.

Griffin is looking for family. On his mother’s deathbed she revealed that his Scottish birth parents died on a ship en route to America, fleeing their warring clans. After his adoptive father dies, Griffin leaves his farm in Texas and heads for Scotland. He hears the women’s screams and rides to the rescue, becoming injured in the process. He wakes to a strange woman tending him and is soon drawn to her despite her icy exterior. She refuses to accept his efforts to protect her and mistakenly thinks she’s in charge. He doesn’t care what her rank is, in his world men protect women…period. Her inability to lose her icy control confuses, angers, and then somehow attracts him.

Frankly I don’t see what attracts Griffin to Astrid. I know she’s had a rough life. I also know Astrid refused to accept assistance from her friends. Oh, she’s happy to attend their dinners and entertainments as it provides her a free full meal enabling her to spend less on food. In an earlier work by Ms. Jordan, Astrid desperately drugs her sister-in-law in an effort to marry her off to a titled Lord enamored with her. She changed her mind and sent assistance and the incident turned out well, but Astrid is determined to punish herself for this sin and denies herself happiness and pleasure at every opportunity. I didn’t like Astrid at the beginning of the novel and my feelings never changed. She never ‘warmed up’ for me and her treatment of Griffin was appalling. She placed him in danger via several TSTL (too stupid to live) actions, further irritating me. I also felt Ms. Jordan took a bit too much “author’s license” in her depiction of Scotland in early Victorian times. Other than two clans feuding, the book could have taken place in England!

Altogether, I guess you can tell I didn’t enjoy “Surrender To Me” by Sophie Jordan. Not every book can be a winner for me and just because I didn’t enjoy it, that doesn’t mean someone else won’t. I’ll still read her next novel because I have enjoyed other works by her, both her historical romance novels under the name Sophie Jordan and her paranormal romances under the name Sharie Kohler. But unless you’re a diehard fan, I’d give this one a pass.

Until next time…

 

Reviewed by Julie

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