Friday, August 9, 2013

Lord of Vengeance review

Lord of Vengeance

Regular readers of my reviews will be familiar with my love-hate relationship with historical romance novels. On the one hand, the ones that are good are amazing and I love them. On the other hand, the ones that are bad are truly awful and make me ask myself why I continue to read historical romance. Unfortunately, I seem to find far more of the latter than the former.

Lord of Vengeance by Tina St. John, an alternate pen name for Lara Adrian, falls into the awful category for me. I hate to say that as I love Adrian's paranormal romance novels. In fact, her vampire books are the reason I decided to read Lord of Vengeance in the first place. 

"Have I been that cruel? Have I mistreated you so, you were willing to risk your life to be away from me?" - the answer is yes and sums up this book almost entirely.

Gunnar is not even remotely a hero, in any sense of the word. He's out for vengeance, a not uncommon theme in historical romance, but he's not a good guy or a gentleman. It's frustrating to read a "hero" and not want him to get the girl. Is he better than the villain? Yes, but that doesn't make him good or a hero. Being better than completely evil isn't good enough.

Raina was completely insipid and rather pathetic. I get that this is a historical romance so she's not going to be a 21st century woman but I don't read these books for accuracy. I want a female character with a spine and a brain - even if the story is set in medieval times. Raina has neither of those things.

The romance between Gunnar and Raina isn't believable. Lust, sure, but not love. He treats her like crap and she harbors rage and hatred because he wants to kill her father. Then suddenly they are in love. Um, no. It just wasn't believable.

Unfortunately, I can't recommend Lord of Vengeance and I won't be reading any more historicals by St. John.


Taken captive by Gunnar Rutledge, a dark knight sworn to destroy her father, Raina d’Bussy must teach forgiveness to a man who knows no mercy and lives only to exact revenge on his enemy. But time in Gunnar’s keep stirs an unwanted passion in Raina, and something far more perilous, when she finds herself falling in love with the one man she should never desire.

For Gunnar, vengeance is all that matters. He seeks the ultimate price from his enemy’s beautiful young daughter, claiming Raina as his hostage. But the proud beauty defies him at every turn, tempting him like no other. Setting out to break Raina’s glorious spirit, Gunnar instead finds himself bewitched by her goodness, her strength. Can he seize the justice he is due without losing Raina forever?

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