A couple of DNFs

>> Friday, May 03, 2013

TITLE: The Silent Touch of Shadows
AUTHOR: Christina Courtenay

The plot of this one made me think of the wonderful Mariana, by Susanna Kearsley, so I picked it up even though I'd never heard of the author before. The heroine, Melissa, is invited to visit her estranged aunt at the ancestral family home. As soon as she arrives, she begins to have visions about a mysterious knight, for whom she feels a strange attraction. Then she meets a young vet in town, and faints at his feet, because he's so similar to her dream man. And it turns out he's been dreaming about a woman with an eerie similarity to Melissa, as well.

I liked the idea of it, but I couldn't stand listening to it. Mainly, I found both Melissa and Sibell (her 15th century ancestress, whose story we also get) exasperating. They were both very limp and annoying, and the audio didn't help. Their internal thoughts often sounded a bit hysterical. Part of that might have been the reader (a couple of times I tried saying some of the dialogue in my mind in another tone to see if it would sound any more logical, and it did), but there were some definite issues with the characters. And it wasn't just Melissa and Sibell, several other characters behaved in unbelievable, cartoonish ways, like Melissa's aunt and husband.

I was really struggling, even with the audiobook, so I gave up.

MY GRADE: A DNF.

AUDIOBOOK NOTE: As I mentioned, not great. It was this version, narrated by Jilly Bond.


TITLE: For The Love of a Soldier
AUTHOR: Victoria Morgan

Lady Alexandra Langdon, a well-born but impoverished young woman, desperately needs money. To get it, she decides to dress up as a man and gamble. But things don't work as planned, when notorious war hero Garrett Sinclair, the Earl of Kendall joins the table and wins all of Alex's money. Kendall is not one to ruin a young man, though, and seeing Alex blanch, he returns her money. Which is why, when she later accidentally overhears two men plotting to kill him, she feels obliged to warn him.

I just didn't connect with the writing, and the lack of logic in Kendall's actions annoyed me. Instead of being grateful to Alex, he's suspicious and accusatory. Even after realising he is a respectable she, that she has got injured basically saving his life, and that she's in a very vulnerable economic situation, he's all smarmy innuendo and aggressively tries to get her to bed even though she has said she does not want it. I did not like this man, and the writing didn't inspire me to spend any more time with him.

MY GRADE: A DNF.

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