Saturday, February 21, 2015

Julie Anne Long - I Kissed an Earl

Violet Redmond's family and fortune might be formidable and her beauty and wit matchless—but her infamous flare for mischief keeps all but the most lionhearted suitors at bay. Only Violet knows what will assuage her restlessness: a man who doesn't bore her to tears, and a clue to the fate of her missing brother. She never dreamed she'd find both with a man whose own pedigree is far from impeccable.
"Savage" is what the women of the ton whisper about the newly styled Earl of Ardmay—albeit with shivers of pleasure. Born an English bastard, raised on the high seas, he's on a mission to capture a notorious pirate for vengeance. But while Violet's belief in her brother's innocence maddens him, her courage awes him . . . and her sensuality finally undoes him. Now the man who once lost everything and the girl who has everything to lose are bound by a passion that could either end in betrayal . . . or become everything they ever dreamed.

Comment: This is the fourth installment in the Pennyroyal Green series by Julie Anne Long. The books feature the enemy families of Everseas and Redmonds and each book alternates a family member from one side to one of the other.

In this book we have Violet Redmond's story. She's the most reckless and unpredictable of the Redmonds because she knows who she is and her position among the society and she never backs away from a challenge or the need to have her way. The only thing that didn't go so well was her brother Lyon's disappearance which she took hard because he's family.
Asher Flint is a new earl who's been a sea captain for many years, since he was a boy. Being a bastard only because of his work for the king is he allowed to have a title but he sees his life as oriented. His only trouble is the pirate who killed his old friend and mentor and he plans on catching him.
Flint and Violet know each other and after a coincidence that makes Violet take a risk on Flint's ship, could those two give in to love?

I had good expectations about this book. So far all the books in this series have been quite amazing, one of them even reached perfection for me.
This story features Violet, she's one of those smart, almost sly characters, someone that in flesh and bone would certainly annoy many people because at the beginning of the story she seemed quite mean and without care about anything besides herself and her family. Caring about her missing brother is actually the first clue she's not as odious as one might think, however, the author did a good job in developing her into someone I liked and enjoyed knowing. 

I think is mandatory that we readers must care about the characters. I don't mind not caring what happens to a character exactly in terms of plot, but I must feel some empathy towards her and being invested in how it all ends and if the path was worth it. This especially in romances. 
So, I was concerned at first Violet would end up being a snotty person that would only have an HEA because it had to be, not because she would be worthy of it. I shouldn't have lost faith in ms Long, but my caring for Violet took some time.

I' m not particular fond of stories et in ships but I do have to confess some of my favorite stories - not all romances - that take place on ships were totally worth the effort. Of course things aren't as detailed as that, the presence of description and scenes set on it are usually to empower the environment surrounding the action, but I thought it was quite credible what we see and most important of all, the ship scenes had a purpose. Very well done indeed.

Asher Flint is quite mysterious at first even when we know his intentions for the future. His interactions with Violet escalate and the love between them took time but was very believable, it really seemed their relationship developed and escalated with each conversation, every meeting. I think the author did a good job in putting them on opposite sides when it came to business and so close and falling for each other personally.

The story has many references to other characters. It's not mandatory to have read the previous books to get this one, but it certainly makes it much more enjoyable.
We get to know more about the long lived mystery of Violet's brother and why he went missing and we even see some interactions between Violet and her other siblings, being them in presence or spoken for.
The action comes to a dilemma at some point. I was glad to see justice doesn't always have to met in hand and that love is indeed stronger than any revenge. What a beautiful message to pass forward.

I liked this book for the most part, but the beginning wasn't as great when I thought Violet wouldn't be the type of heroine I can stand. The pace also seemed not so well here in there. I guess this needs to be so, because things take time to be explained and developed, but still... nevertheless, the good parts surpassed he weaker ones a lot, thus the positive grade.

I'm taking next month off, but I'm still very much eager to keep reading this series and Genevieve Eversea is next. Can't wait.
Grade: 8/10

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