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Surrender In Moonlight (1998)

Surrender in Moonlight (1998)
3.68 of 5 Votes: 5
0786212640 (ISBN13: 9780786212644)
thorndike press
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Surrender In Moonlight (1998)
Surrender In Moonlight (1998)

About book: 3.75 Stars! Still trying to satisfy my craving for a Bertrice Small-style romance (which this did not end up being like), I decided to give this one a try, since it'd been chillin' in my TBR pile for awhile, waiting its turn. I've seen this author's name around a lot before, but I've never read anything of hers. I think now, though, I will seek her writing out. I liked her style, it was well-written throughout, with good details on location, scenery, clothing, etc. Could tell she did research for this book, but it wasn't overly bogged down with info-dumps. I don't often read Civil War set romances, not necessarily because I have anything against them, but because I've never really sought them out like I seek out, say, medieval romances. So, this was an interesting little change-up for me. I originally picked it up because the blurb on the flap said it partly took place on the ocean, so right there, I wanted it. I'm a sucker for the old sailing ships, and stories of sailors and such. So the set-up for this one is it's war time. Ramon is a blockade runner, captain of a sleek and fast steamer making highly dangerous runs through the Union blockade and delivering goods to the South. He's saving up money to one day buy back the plantation his father was cheated out of by a piece of scum named Nate Bacon. Well, Nate's son Franklin is engaged to marry Lorna Forrester, a deal Nate arranged by shady means as well. As the story opens, Lorna catches Franklin having his way with one of the housemaids, and she decides to go for a ride to clear her head. While out, the groom's horse throws a shoe or something, and so she sends him back, telling him she'll follow shortly. She rides on though, and soon it starts storming, so she takes shelter in an abandoned plantation house. Once inside, she hears music and follows it to its source, Ramon and his guitar. Before you know it, he's seducing her, and she's going along all too willingly, despite the fact that they've never met before. Surprise, surprise, along comes Nate with Lorna's uncle (who was her guardian after the death of her parents before the marriage deal) and some servants, and they find her. Nate recognizes Ramon right away and takes him prisoner for the crime of "rape". The next day, despit her protestations, Lorna';s forced to go through with the marriage to Franklin, who is told by Nate that he can do whatever he wants to Lorna now, punish her for doing Ramon. So, when the evening comes, and Franklin and Lorna are alone, he starts to get violent, and chases her around their chambers. She throws things, he tackles her, y'know a good fight scene! It was well-written too, got my pulse up a li'l bit. In self-defense, she cracks him on the head with a little marble bust, and ends up killing him. Lorna flees the house and goes down to the plantation's jail, and breaks Ramon out. They are pursued of course, but manage to make a narrow escape down the river. That doesn't stop them from gettin' it on again though. Then they hop a river packet to New Orleans, sharing a cabin and getting a little closer. Once in New Orleans, they discover the city in chaos, preparing for the ransacking to come by the Union fleet that is heading up the river. Ramon prepares to leave her behind, boarding his own ship, the Lorelei, and saying goodbye. But he changes his mind at the last minute and comes back for her. Their exit from New Orleans was kind of exciting, as they had to sneak past the Union ships, and even took a little fire at the end of the line. But they get away, and head toward the Bahamas, a trip that takes a couple of days, giving them a couple more days of passion. Once they arrive, he orders her up a new wardrobe and sets her up at a grand hotel as "the niece of an old friend" who he is serving as guardian of, giving a false front to his giving her money for things. Once ensconced as his "ward", they spend time apart, and she meets Peter, second son of an English aristocrat. He's a naval man spending his furloughs as a blockade runner to gain combat experience. He courts her a bit, and they become friendly, eventually to the point where Ramon trusts him enough to tell him Lorna's back story. But of course Ramon's still a bit jealous too. At a party held by Ramon's benefactor/investor and his family, Lorna meets Sara Morgan, a woman working for the Confederacy carrying messages all sneaky-like. She tells Lorna she's too ill to carry some important papers, and asks Lorna to go in her stead aboard the Lorelei. Lorna agrees of course, but doesn't tell Ramon she's taking the woman's place. Of course she eventually gets caught by him, and he makes her stay in his cabin, and they do some more lovin'. When they reach the Union blockade, they get run aground and boarded by soldiers who were tipped off by someone about the papers Lorna's carrying. So they do the whole search routine, but thankfully she's hidden the papers. Ramon's men end up overpowering the soldiers and they make a daring escape to their destination. When they return to Nassau, Ramon insists she stays there when he makes his next run. She reluctantly does, and Nate takes the opportunity to try and assault Lorna. Peter comes in though, just in time to save her. Turns out Nate's been driven just about out of his mind with wanting her, and the madder she makes him, the more viciously he wants her. He vows he'll get his revenge. By now, it's past time Ramon should've returned, and Lorna's more than a little worried. Peter tries to draw her out of it, and even confesses his attraction for her and asks her to marry him. Just then, they see the Lorelei on the horizon, limping towards the harbor, and it takes all thoughts of anything but Ramon out of her head. They race down to the harbor and row out to the ship, not even waiting for it to dock. Climbing aboard, it's apparent they've had a rough journey. They had to go way off course to escape chase by Union ships, and ended up burning most of their cargo and half the ship just to make it back. They took fire as well, hit with grape-shot, which is just a whole bunch of metal junk fired from a cannon. Old silverware, nuts, bolts, etc, anything the fighters could stuff in there. Ramon was hit, and due to all the excitement of the chase and trying to make it back to Nassau, rest and tending his wounds was delayed. So Lorna stays aboard the ship, nursing him back to health, wearing some of his clothes in a pinch, and of course giving him some all-better booty once he's healed. The ship is repaired as good as new too, and it's not long before Ramon is planning another run. On one of their fun excursions before he has to leave, Lorna sees Nate (who has in the meanwhile bought and outfitted a ship of his own) shaking hands and seemingly making a shady deal with some guy. She tells Ramon, but he seems to ignore her. Seeing no other option, she sneaks onto the ship dressed like a man and hides for the couple of days it takes to get to the blockade area. Then, she comes up on deck, spotting the man Nate made the deal with. Seems his simple plan is to light his pipe while they're trying to slip past the Union ships, alerting them to their presence since the runs are made on moonless nights in ships that are painted foggy grey and silenced as they go past enemy ships, invisible in the night, all aboard keeping quiet and all lights extinguished. Lorna holds a gun to his side, threatening to kill him if he does it. At the same time, one of Ramon's men is doing the same thing on his other side... and then Ramon comes over, sees her, gets mad that she snuck on board, explains that he had everything handled... Yea. So, of course they make it, deliver their load and take on more for the return trip. They head back to Nassau, get it on some more, it's all lovely. She confesses her love on the way, and he says he's glad, and he can't liove without her, etc, etc, everything but actually saying "I love you." Once back in Nassau, Nate makes his grab, stealing her away aboard his ship. Peter and Ramon's ships both give chase, but Nate's ship's big gun blows Peter's ship up, and Ramon stops to give aid. Lorna is slightly despaired, and trying desperately to figure out how to escape. When Nate comes down to the cabin, prepared to do his worst, she fights him off like a wildcat, and ends up catching the ship on fire when she hits Nate in the head with the lantern. She runs up on deck, just in time for Ramon to make a heroic entrance, swinging in on a rope. He fights and kills Nate, and they all board the Lorelei, Nate's crew included. Alas, a Union warship is coming quick upon them, drawn by the fire, and the chase is on! Only problem is, the Lorelei is about out of fuel. They've burned everything burnable, and will soon have no choice but to surrender and die. Instead, Ramon orders the ship run aground on some coral, and the people all flee toward the nearest island in the lifeboats. Once they're on the neutral ground of the island, the Union ship turns away, and a moment later, a wrecking crew comes to take advantage of what's left before the ship goes under. Peter ends up with the wreckers as they rescued what survivors Ramon's ship hadn't picked up after his ship was blown up. Everyone makes it safely and Peter goes with the wreckers to go and bring back a rescue ship big enough to hold everyone, which takes a day or two. Ramon finds him and Lorna a nice little private beach cave to set up camp in, and tells her he's going to quit being a runner and be an honest to goodness fighter on a Confederate ship. Then he proposes and tells her how after the war's over, they'll buy back his land and restore the old house and eat dinner at the table with their children. To that, she replies they'll be having a child a lot sooner than he's thinking. I myself was surprised at what took so long. They were going at it like rabbits for months. I'd figured she would've been pregnant a lot sooner. But it was a good ending, with a note of hopefulness and optimism. I liked the characters, though I didn't feel like I really got to know them in any real detail. Only barebones was given of their pasts before their fateful, magical afternoon in the old mansion. It also seemed like their relationship wasn't super deep, at least before the last quarter of the book. They just had a whole lot of sex and couldn't resist each other. I didn't feel any good bond besides that, which although it was nicely done, and steamy too, wasn't deep. But I did like the action, the adventure, the exciting parts. It was written so that I could easily imagine it in my head, and got me going, thinking, woo! I like the author's style, and would really like to try more of her work, especially if there's more seafaring and swashbuckling and stuff! :) 3.75 Stars!

Lorna Forrester's uncle sells her off to Nathaniel (Nate) Bacon, who plans to wed her to his feeble-minded son Franklin. Prior to the wedding, Lorna's caught in a storm while out riding and takes shelter in an old abandoned house, but it turns out not quite so abandoned as she meets up with handsome blockade runner Ramon Cazenave. Ramon charms Lorna into a night of passion, but after the deed is done they're caught and Lorna is returned to the *cough* loving arms of Franklin and Ramon is locked up by the evil Nate. Frank is a bit too aggressive on the wedding night, and after a wee bit of a tussle let's just say that Lorna needs to get out of Dodge fast, she frees Ramon and the two lead their jailors on a merry chase. So as not to spoil I won't reveal how it happens, but the action eventually switches to Nassau in the Bahamas, a major hub for the blockade runners and their valuable cargos. What follows are your usual ups and downs of true love that neither party will confess to (although thank gawd there's no real big misunderstanding), lots of complications from the evil baddies, plus some nail-biting derring-do and rescues at sea at the finish.All in all a very engaging read, and a good choice when you're in the mood for something on the *lighter* side of fiction. Don't get me wrong though, Blake is not just an average every day romance writer - she takes the genre up a few notches and for that gets four stars from me. Her settings are real instead of wall-paper, and I very much appreciate effortless way that Blake brings in the Creole lifestyle, customs, clothes and food into her books. Her heroines have a brain and not only do they know their roles in society, they don't go around stamping their feet when they don't get their way and then go rushing off into danger after they've been told to stay put (well, Lorna did do it once, but I forgive her for that). I really did get a chuckle out of this snippet,"She lay reading for a time, a novel she had picked up in a stall of used books outside a shop. It held her attention only to a degree, for the heroine was insipid, the hero overbearing, and the story filled with unlikely events and coincidences." I have yet to find a pair like that in a Jennifer Blake novel, although I've barely scratched the surface of her back-list. There is a lot of sex in this book, as Lorna and Ramon do a fairly good job of steaming up the pages (that was one sensual towel-down after the bath...), although once again Blake does it in a more tasteful manner with subtler language than you see in today's romances. Not recommended for younger readers because of that, but adult readers looking for a southern romance that won't insult your intelligence might want to give this one a whirl.
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Sol Gonzalez
De vez en cuando las chicas solo queremos ser chicas.Eso y leer cosas de chicas, de esas antiguas sagas románticas en las que la heroína cae rendida bajo los gallardos brazos de un rebelde, que extrañamente posee una cuantiosa fortuna.Queremos ser rescatadas, de una maraña de viejos raboverdes, de tipos sin escrúpulos que solo desean obtenernos… y por qué no… tener la opción de irnos con el chico bueno. (Y elegir al malo en el último momento).Ok, fue suficiente.Fué bueno perderme un día completo en el romanticismo de esto… y tenía mucho que no caía en sus garras… desde la noche en que me terminé completa la trilogia de Juan del Diablo… pero ya es suficiente. Creo que por otros dos años ya estoy curada de espanto.Esta muy lejos, mucho en serio, de las historias de Barbara Cartland, pero eso era lo único que me dejaban leer en casa en mis dulces 15, las otras historietas tenían tramas un poco subidas de tono que haría que preguntara a mi mamá cosas que ella sabía no quería contestar… al menos por un tiempo.Ok… fué suficiente.Me divertí y terminé diciendo Romeo Romeo…
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