The Prodigal Son, by Susan Grace

>> Tuesday, February 24, 2004

I tried a new-to-me author, Susan Grace, yesterday. The book's title was The Prodigal Son.

DESTINY'S LADY saga continues . . . In Victorian London, the children of Lady Cat's tempestuous union have grown up. Each is thrust onto the path of intrigue and deadly peril. And each will discover a special bravery that lies within. . . along with an extraordinary love to last a lifetime.


Though identically handsome in appearance, Lady Cat Grayson's twin sons are different in all other respects. Trelane, a newly appointed member of Parliament, is reserved and measured in his actions, while Eric, a foreign mercenary, has a renegade's lust for life. While the two maintain an uneasy truce, it is an attempt on Trelane's life on the day Eric comes home to England that changes everything. Determined to trap the attackers, Eric will masquerade as Trelane --- only to find himself in danger of falling in love with his brother's betrothed, the achingly lovely, Belle Kingsley. As a sinister menace next threatens Belle, Eric cannot stop himself from yielding to the sweet, simmering passion between them. Yet even as he vows to keep her safe, he knows that the greatest risk lies in telling Belle the truth about his identity. . . . and losing her forever
Unfortunately, it was pretty bad. A D+.

Somewhere in there were the bones of a good book, but the characterization and the awful writing style ruined it.

I could have liked the characters, but these people never felt real to me. They never achieved three dimensions, but remained flat and carboard-like. I suppose the author's "tell instead of show" writing style was partly responsible for making their feelings never seem real to me. I suppose I might have been a little more interested in the secondary romance, but that one was cut short the minute it started to develop, and we only got to see the conclusion.

Also, the dialogue was the worst I've read lately. Stilted, awkward, silly-sounding... And the internal monologues were even worse. Want an example? Ok, I open the book at random and here we go: page 136. Eric has asked a friend to watch over Belle, and she's snatched while under his watch. The guy thinks: "I saw Miss Kingsley leave the stationers' a few minutes ago and cross the road in this direction, but I do not see her now. Did she go into another shop?. The whole book was this way.

Oh, and the suspense subplot? Lame, too lame.

Not good at all. I don't think I'll be trying this author again.


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