Well, I just finished Defiant Hearts by Janelle Taylor. It was, uh, something.
I started the book and found the overwrought writing to be amusing. The story was okay. The background of the war was interesting. The sex was terrible.
The heroine is a Laura Adams, who is running a hotel in Richmond and a part time madame. Of course, she is a gloriously beautiful virgin and she’s so smart and clever. Her fella has luscious flowing black locks. And they’re both spies! But they don’t know it! Oh goodness! Can you imagine!?
“Some things are worth dying for if necessary to protect them; the woman you love, home, children, parents country, honor, and peace.”
“You’re a soldier and a past adventurer, so risking your life is as natural as breathing to you.”
“Now that I have you, woman, I’m careful about risking my neck.”
“I hope so, Jayce. I love you, and couldn’t bear to lose you.”
“Don’t worry, Laura, you won’t lose me; I promise.”
Every single one of their conversations goes something along these lines. “Oh, I love you! Be careful!” “Oh woman, I’m careful and yours!” It gets so repetitive.
Another thing. When I’m reading a historical novel where the location plays a role, I like to have a map. If I’m laying in bed reading, I don’t want to go have to pull up a map to see where everything is happening. Especially when it’s mentioned in such detail.
Jayce guided the horse down the street, crossed a stone bridge over Shockoe Creek, went down Twenty-first, and turned right onto Cary. He observed as she pointed out prisons, and told him about Rockett’s Landing for Confederate boats on the James River, a sugar refinery, the Navy yards, and Chimborazo Hill and hospital.
Ok, I know that I just admitted to being a super lazy bastard. It was too much work to do this and pull up a map. But, I mean, this book mentions so many Civil War battles, too. I think it’s poor design to not include a map of that either.
And, let’s talk about the sex. Oh, please, let us talk about the sex.
His mouth moved back to hers as he moved atop her once more. His manhood entered her feminine domain and reveled in the welcome it received, this time without discomfort, from her reaction. He began to thrust and withdraw as he kissed and caressed her. When passion threatened to overwhelm him, he paused and took several deep breaths, retreating unit only the tip of his organ was poised at her netherland. But Laura’s hands and mouth protested the delay and her hips and legs urged him to resume his previous actions. “Easy my love; I want you so fiercely I’m about to lose all control.” That was a situation which surprised him, considering he had sated himself only a short while ago.
Ugh. Oh my God. Seriously. It’s all like that. The one thing I will give to this book, it did not use the word testicle anywhere. Something about testicle in a romance novel and I want to gouge my eyes out. Like, ball play is all good and fine, but testicle…. just no.
I give this book a -6 lady boners, 3 hearty guffaws, 3 walk away from the book in disgust and an “Oh my, that was tedious.”