Did you come over here thinking you'd be reading a review of the fourth Sabina Kane book by Jaye Wells? Ha, nope. Barbara has that privilege, since she's read and loved the series. I'm sure you'll be reading her review soon...
In the meantime, Jennifer Blake's Silver-Tongued Devil is an old book outfitted with a fancy new cover and was re-released at the beginning of this month. It was originally published in 1995, and is truly an old-school "bodice ripper" novel. Jennifer Blake is one of those classic romance authors (I think) and has written sixty some odd books. When I saw this book on Netgalley, I thought to myself "what the heck?", requested it and here we are.
It's been awhile since I've read an older romance novel, and it took me awhile to back into the language and style of writing. I won't write a detailed synopsis, since the one I provided above does a pretty good job of explaining what happened. Renold seeks revenge against the man that inadvertently caused his father's death, by stealing the one thing that means most to him: his daughter. Enter Angelica. Her mother died at an early age, and her father practically abandoned her to live with a strict aunt. Angelica is very beautiful but a little naive. All of the characters come together on a steam boat, an accident happens and Angelica wakes up in Renold's bed where he promptly announces she is now his wife. Renold is the devil indeed, but sees salvation in Angelica's love and seeks to get that love at any cost.
I have never seen a heroine so resistant to the manly charms as Angelica was. She didn't capitulate until about halfway through the book, actually. I know Renold was extremely bossy and high-handed, but I would have liked for her to get over it and move on quicker than she did. The couple spent more time fighting the attraction and feelings than they did being together. It was a bit frustrating. Renold pulled out all the stops to get her to love him, and she kept resisting.
The characters were consistent throughout the novel. Although Renold softened a bit after falling in love, he never pretended to be anything other than he was. He knew what was best and did it without asking permission. Angelica was naive and delicate throughout the whole novel. I didn't find her to be a particularly strong woman, and she relied upon Renold to provide for her and save her. I'm not sure if that's Jennifer Blake's style of heroine, or if that is the overall style of romance heroines of that time. I can't remember. It seems like heroines this day and age can hold their own a bit more than heroines of the past.
The book was set in old world New Orleans, and Jennifer Blake did an excellent job at paiting a vivid and colorful setting. The way she described everything made me want to take a trip back in time, just to visit New Orleans and see the character it had even then.
My Summary: Overall, it was worth the read. Not my favorite book of the year, by any means, but it was fun to take a little trip down memory lane and think about all my old favorites I read back then. If you're looking for such a trip, Silver-Tongued Devil is perfect for the job. It's also perfect if you're in the mood for a bad boy novel. I'm not sure I could find a male character more devilish than Renold!
My Rating: B