Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Meredith Duran - Written on Your Skin

Beauty, charm, wealthy admirers: Mina Masters enjoys every luxury but freedom. To save herself from an unwanted marriage, she turns her wiles on a darkly handsome stranger. But Mina's wouldbe hero is playing his own deceptive game. A British spy, Phin Granville has no interest in emotional entanglements...until the night Mina saves his life by gambling her own. Four years later, Phin inherits a title that frees him from the bloody game of espionage. But memories of the woman who saved him won't let Phin go. When he learns that Mina needs his aid, honor forces him back into the world of his nightmares. Deception has ruled Mina's life just as it has Phin's. But as the beauty and the spy match wits in a dangerous dance, their practiced masks begin to slip, revealing a perilous attraction. And the greatest threat they face may not be traitors or murderous conspiracies, but their own dark desires....

Comment: I decided to read this book after seeing many comments about it and most people said the book was great and different. I was hooked and put it in my TBR list. Last month I was able to pick it and finally see what all the fuss was about. This is the story of Phin, a British spy passing by as American to denounce a conspiracy in Hong Kong. Mina is the daughter of the villain's new wife and she tries to look more airhead than she is in order to other don't see her as important. She saves Phin in a party and after that he has to leave Hong Kong but is unable to help Mina or her mother, who suffers abuse on her husband's hand. Mina is left feeling hopeless but Phin goes away without apparent remorse. 4 years later they meet again, in Britain, and once again Mina must hope for his help but this time there's a different outcome and because of that, their relationship also changes. I'm not very fond of historical novels with spies...there are exceptions of course, but usually no. The reason is simple: some things must happen in whatever way, like a bad guy has to be found and the act of spying always carries a certain dose of darkness for its host. I don't like a tortured hero dealing with all the ramifications of his behavior because he was a spy, it's just a kind of situation I don't particularly enjoy reading about. In this case, Phin not only felt unworthy of several things because of the things he did as a spy but he also "thought" them. Throughout the story we have Phin's inner thoughts and sometimes rhetorical comments about what he was doing, why was he acting like this, why did he think some things and it was all so despairing that I must confess I wasn't feeling very connected to him and after a while his tribulations started to look to repetitive. The there's Mina, she's a young woman and she feels why bother with emotions, let's be practical about everything. For a moment this seemed perfect, she was promising to be the kind of heroine we only dream about in historicals. But there's a reason too "adventurous" women usually don't connect so well with me, I think she wanted too hard to be smart and uncaring abut mundane things like feelings that she bordered on cocky. And I didn't sympathize with her character despite doing so with her fears. So, I have two protagonists I don't particularly care about, a storytelling style that bothered me a bit and a story that bored me quite a bit too. I think it's safe to say I didn't really like the book. I didn't hate it either but based on this one I don't think I'll try another one soon. I'm sorry but this type of book just wasn't for me.

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