Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Devil's Temptress by Laura Navarre

Title/Author: The Devil's Temptress by Laura Navarre
Publisher/Date published: February 15th 2011 by Dorchester Publishing
How I got this book: received it from the publisher through NetGalley

Goodreads summary: "In the glittering, sumptuous court of Eleanor of Acquitaine, betrayal lurks around every corner. The queen is at odds with her king, and to obey one could mean treason against the other. Even Alienore, considered the most virtuous lady at court, holds secrets; He is called the Raven — his face scarred by a Saracen blade, his voice raspy with the effects of Greek fire. His parentage is unknown, his prowess legendary. And he'll sell his sword to the highest bidder. As his piercing eyes track her every move, Alienore wonders who he's working for now."

So, I've read a lot of historical romances lately. And most of them share a common trait: it's not so much about the historical as the romance, with balls and pretty dresses. This one actually dealt with the history and I've never read anything set in the time of Eleanor of Aquitane before, so that was refreshing as well.

I'm kind of conflicted about how I should review this, because while I really enjoyed most of the book, there were also things I had issues with.
Alienore is a likeable heroine, she is brave and loyal and there's this thing I have for women dressing up like men (this is how we meet her the first time). Though she does it only once in the book, it made me like her right away.

And then there's the Raven, by the way: it totally bothered me not knowing his first name for almost the whole book. And I know, it's mysterious, blah-di-blah, it didn't ring any bells when I finally learned what it was, so it wasn't that important to the storyline. He's conflicted and has good reason to be. I thought the author gave him a good voice, except for the occasion in which he expressed certain sexual desires in his mind, which left me going: wait, WHAT DID HE JUST THINK??? Completely out of context and unnecessary in my opinion.

They did have wonderful chemistry and I cried for them when they were figuring things out, I loved it. I'm also intrigued by Eleanor of Aquitane and feel like I should get to know her better. If I'm correct, her son Richard is Richard Lionheart? He comes across as a total sleazeball in this book, which I have a hard time connecting with the King Richard from Robin Hood...

I was a bit confused by the timelime of Alienore's childhood, but that could be just me. I didn't get how she could have spent 6 years in a convent and raised a wolf at the same time at home. She has a pet wolf, how cool is that?
One other thing I had issues with: the author mentions Raven having 'self-hatred churning in his belly'. Seriously? This is a big strong man, he doesn't have a belly, that sounds so childish. Not manly at all.

Reading this, I sound kind of negative. But I'm not, honestly. It was a really nice story and I liked the main characters, the things mentioned above just stood out to me and made me pause and go HUH?! in an otherwise enjoyable read.

My rating: 3,5 stars

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for bringing up the good and bad points, I love that time period, I've always found Queen Eleanor and her period very interesting.

    I may not go out of my way to get this, but I'll keep it in mind anyway.