Lady of Desire, by Gaelen Foley

>> Thursday, June 05, 2003

Earlier this week I read Lady of Desire, by Gaelen Foley, book # 4 in the Knight Miscellany series. My favourite in that series so far is Lord of Fire, and LOD hasn't supplanted it in my preferences. It was a B-, while LOF was an A-.

Impetuous Lady Jacinda Knight is the daughter of a scandalous woman--and Society predicts she'll follow in her mother's footsteps. Then one night, in flight from an arranged and loveless marriage, Jacinda finds herself alone on a dangerous street face-to-face with Billy Blade, the notorious leader of a band of thieves. His stolen kisses awaken in her a longing for a man she can never possess.

A handsome outlaw running from a secret past, Billy Blade has never met a woman like Jacinda--her fiery innocence and blossoming sensuality set his rebel's heart ablaze. Having turned his back on the privilege and power of his tyrannical father's house years before, he vows to return to reclaim his title, Earl of Rackford--to win the love of the ravishing beauty who has stolen his heart.

I enjoyed LOD. Analysing it, I can think of quite a few flaws and things that bugged the hell out of me, but the fact remains that, on the whole, it left a positive impression.

Jacinda was 18 and she behaved 18. We should get this fact out of the way right now: she wasn't fully mature at all, and had a long way to go. Thing is, I'm not opposed to reading about young heroines per se, the problem is that they are so often paired with heros much older and more mature than them. When this happens, 99% of the times the relationship ends up not being among equals, and feels almost like daddy-little girl. Creepy stuff.

Here, however, Jacinda and Billy were equals. Billy was just a big boy. He had been forced to behave grown up in a rush when he started living on the streets of London at age 13, but inside, I didn't feel he was that much more mature than Jacinda.

Their relationship was very fun to read about. They genuinely liked each other and enjoyed each other's company. Plus, Foley created such great sensual tension that I almost didn't realize that Jacinda and Billy didn't really consumate their relationship until near the end of the book. And that's something that could have been better. They only have sex when everything in their relationship's already settled, so it was frankly a little boring to read.

The problems and flaws I mentioned before were several. First of all, the disgusting ending. Spoiler ahead: His father was a Monster, and I didn't buy his repentance at all. And actually, he doesn't even really repent, just gives a lame excuse: "my daddy used to beat me up, so I knew what I was doing to you was nothing you couldn't bear, since I bore it myself". I'm sorry, but I hated that Billy forgave him, and I really didn't see the need for that dramatic overwrought deathbed scene.

Another problem was seeing Jacinda's brothers, who I'd enjoyed as heroes in their respective books, behaving like dominating pricks. I'm sure overprotective brothers are considered oh-so-cute by some people, but I couldn't like their behaviour. To me, it didn't imply that they cared for their sister, but that they didn't respect her.

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