Thursday, July 26, 2012

Reluctance by Jen Black

You’d think he’d be grateful when she saves him from drowning, but Jack is living in his own private hell after the death of his wife.

Frances thinks he’s a rude, insufferable idiot. When Holbrook arrives and dazzles the neighborhood with his glorious regimentals, Frances does not care for him, but her mother, dazzled by his looks, claims that he’s admirable husband material even if he is without funds. He thinks Frances is just the heiress for him.

Then the newspaper publishes an ugly letter that, without naming Frances, questions her recent actions and her reputation. Horrified, she believes Jack is the culprit and challenges him…

 Reviewer: BlackTulip

Something unusual happened to me when reading this book. I was extremely excited by this story, until I stumbled on a drastic and dramatic  situation halfway through, and unfortunately I've never been a fan at all of such an occurrence (I will not elaborate more here) and I was  quickly finishing the thirty pages in question, with a sinking heart ...! But against all odds, the author succeeded in recapturing my curiosity at a given time, which is a first because once my interest is  lost, it is lost! 

Set in 1803, Jen Black does a marvelous job at painting a very brilliant picture of the strangely attractive countryside of  Northumberland that has a very important place in that story. I never visited that part of England but I definitely felt at home and ready to go there. 

She has created a whole string of wonderfully lively characters. The two main protagonists, Frances and Jack, are a joy to observe and listen to as they interact. There's a very exciting tension between them that began from the first moment they met. There is a lot of emotion and drama with a magnificent and infamous villain who will let nothing and no one stand in his way; he's ruthless and he'll use all possible means to reach his nefarious goal. 

Life is often unpredictable and these two people who both went through some difficult times and were not destined to be together, find themselves forced to deal with the accidents of life and at one point they'll have to decide what kind of future they want to build for themselves. 

I have to admit that I do understand why the author developed her story the way she did, and the fact that I didn't like a  little part of it doesn't diminish in any way the quality of this book.  Ultimately I don't regret having read it. She was able to catch my attention again and to me it says a lot about her skill. This will not prevent me from reading her other books. In fact, I already have  two on my reading pile ... Fair Border Bride and Far After Gold.   

Overall I found this novel very engaging, attractive and moving with some clever and thrilling dialogs. I give 3.5/5. 

Publisher: MuseItUp Publishing     

Source:  Purchased


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