Suzanna's Surrender, by Nora Roberts (The Calhouns #4)

>> Friday, November 14, 2003

Right after book 3 in the series, I continued with number 4, Suzanna's Surrender, las in Nora Roberts' The Calhoun Women series.

Suzanna Calhoun and her sisters simply HAD to find the priceless emeralds hidden somewhere in their ancestral home. The jewels were the key to the deadly mystery that had threatened them for so long. And for Suzanna they were something more - her link to a man whose past was tangled with hers in ways she was only beginning to understand.

Holt Bradford had loved Suzanna for more years than he cared to remember, loved the laughing girl she'd been and the gentle, fragile woman she'd become. He'd never once told her what was in his heart, but now he had no choice...He had to protect her from the shadows swirling around her, and he had to make her his at last….
I thought I was not going to like it much, but ultimately I did. A B.

Suzanna's Surrender was originally the last the series, but later on, Roberts wrote another book about a related character. Still, I get the impression that book was just an afterthought, because this one very much closes the series. No plot threads left hanging at all here.

Suzanna was likeable, but I had a few little problems with her, basically, that I couldn't stand the way she behaved with her husband. Or rather, I was just mildly bothered by what I saw here, but very bothered by what had happened in the past. And I'll admit the self-martyring mommy is not a fave character of mine.

I liked Holt better, much better. He started out as a jerk (every time he called Suzanna "babe" it was like hearing nails screeching on a blackboard), but he fell in love quickly, and became a sweetie. I loved the scene where he tries to stage a romantic proposal and then gets all frustrated because it doesn't go exactly as planned!

Still, about the falling in love quickly, as in the first one in this series, Courting Catherine, the realization they are in love feels much too sudden and pretty baseless. Other than that, their relationship is nice. I like stories where the protagonists used to be the bad boy and good girl of the town. They noticed each other all those years ago, and now they do something about it...

In the previous books the actual love story between Bianca, the Calhouns' ancestress and her lover had been a distraction. I'd enjoyed the present-day search for the emeralds, but not the flashbacks themselves. Here, they enhanced the story, because of the strong parallels between Suzanna and Bianca. This was very well done.

All in all, the whole quartet was stronger than the individual components, which were pretty good in themselves.

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