Monday, 1 October 2012

Review: Season for Surrender - Theresa Romain


It’s 1818 and Earl of Xavier has created a problem for himself. He’s agreed to a bet he never should’ve agreed to, but a renown rake and gambler must keep up appearances. Oh, well, he could always manipulate the circumstances in his favour by rewriting the Christmas celebration guest list to ensure Louisa Oliver and her aunt would stay the full two weeks. Fortunately, reputations deceive. Louisa is as little a bluestocking as Xavier is a thoughtless philanderer, but it turns out both of them are seducers. 

A few wagers later Louisa owes Xavier hours of her time and they start discussions beyond normal scope of society gossip and imminent scandals that are so closely associated with both of them. As Xavier reluctantly tempts Louisa’s virtue, she seduces him into showing the man behind the numbered expressions. 

Season for Surrender starts slowly and I had trouble getting into the story. I did come to like both Xavier’s and Louisa’s voices, but unfortunately I wasn’t ever fully captivated. That isn’t to say I didn’t like the story—I did—but I have the attention span of a gnat and I need to be continuously lured into turning the page and starting a new chapter. Most of the time, the chapter titles did that by reminding me of Gail Carriger’s wit and hinting just enough to what was was coming. There were a couple that could have been considered as mild spoilers, but I didn’t mind them.

I liked the fact that Louisa’s interest in books wasn’t something to be taken on faith; it was shown and it helped to provide her an organic connection with Xavier. It also helped me to suspend disbelief long enough to accept the sexual aspects of their encounters. <spoiler>A twenty-one-year-old girl who is familiar with human anatomy and reads Fanny Hill can be just as curious about sex in the 19th century as in the 21st centuryspoiler. 

Their discussions over the state of his library and literary in general helped to mirror the progression of their relationship. I usually hate when authors start quoting other people’s works, but here the quotes were used sparingly and chosen for the maximum impact—it is to say I didn’t feel the need to automatically skip them and that I did in fact read them through. 

More than just the quotes, though, some things about this book reminded me of Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice. It wasn’t just the descriptions of regency era festivities with a bigger company than three or five, but also a few—one in particular—specific scenes in the end that made me imagine Colin Firth striding across a long room thinking of Jennifer Ehle. 

I also liked Lady Irving and Xavier’s cousin, Jane, whom I suspect could be the heroine of a future Theresa Romain novel. More than that, I’d be interested in seeing whether or not the author can turn the villain, Marquess of Lockwood, into a character with a bit more depth. 

4 stars



I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for this review.

Series: Sequel to Season for Temptation
Pages: 368 (paperback)
Publisher:        Kensington Publishing Corp.
Imprint: Zebra Books
ISBN: 1420128868
Published:   October 2nd 2012 (expected)
Source: Theresa Romain

28 comments:

Blodeuedd said...

Thanks Rameau! I so wish I had read this one now ;) You say PP and I go all must have :D

The Bookworm said...

This sounds like a good one, I heart P&P too.

Heidi@Rainy Day Ramblings said...

I have seen this one around it is becoming a bloggy slut! An attention span of a gnat? Ha ha! loved that line!

Carrie at In the Hammock Blog said...

ooh, I like the reading/literary storyline! I'm wondering...is this book really Christmas-y or is there just one or two scenes? sometimes it's hard to tell how much holiday theming there is in a book.

Kimberly @ Caffeinated Reviewer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kimberly @ Caffeinated Reviewer said...

I totally agree with the P&P comparison. I gave this book four cups of coffee for the slow pace, and like you I loved Jane and hope the next book is about her. Awesome review!

Melissa (Books and Things) said...

I know that Blodeuedd wants to read it now. Confirmed by her comment! LOL

I think there is enough here for me to keep my attention going. Might have to check it out.

Carol said...

I love seeing Christmas books out already!

Yvonne said...

I'm usually not into historical books much, but this sounds good.

Anachronist said...

A nice review, thanks!

rameau said...

Well, if you must, you must ;)

rameau said...

It's one of the better historical romances I've read. Not quite up to par with Milan, who is my favourite, but a good one.

rameau said...

Thanks. I was quoting a Twitter friend but because the description fit, I felt comfortable enough to use it.

I think the blog tour is still ongoing.

rameau said...

There were more than a couple of scenes, but I wouldn't call it overly an Christmas-sy book. In the end of the book, the author had a note about the regency era traditions and the artistic licenses she'd taken.

rameau said...

Thanks.

rameau said...

Blodeuedd reads so many series that I'm not sure of all the things she likes, but even *I* know all things P&P-ish are on the approved must-have list.

The slow pace was my main complaint, but it fits the era it's describing. If you do read the book, I hope you like it.

rameau said...

It is that time of year, although, it always boggles the mind to think someone writing a season themed book outside that season.

rameau said...

I prefer historicals, but this along with Courtney Milan's books would be something I'd recommend a romance fan who isn't necessarily a fan of historical romance.

rameau said...

Thank you and you're welcome ;)

Jenny said...

"but I have the attention span of a gnat and I need to be continuously lured into turning the page and starting a new chapter."

Hahahaha there are definitely days when I have a similar attention span with books, and I need something to just reach out and grab me immediately:)

Aurian said...

Great review, this is an author on my wishlist.

rameau said...

Sometimes I have more patience, but lately almost none at all.

rameau said...

Thanks. *crosses fingers for you*

Carrie at In the Hammock Blog said...

Thanks for the info!

Cherry said...

Slow read huh?

Melliane said...

It sounds like a nice book but I don't know if it's for me. I'm not so used to contempory romance.

rameau said...

It didn't suck me in in a way that forced me to finish it in one sitting. That kind of slow read.

rameau said...

Contemporary? Surely you meant historical. But yes, everyone has their preferences.

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