Friday, January 27, 2012

Sabrina Jeffries: A Lady Never Surrenders review

There are a couple of things that are expected when you buy a book/e-book that's written by Sabrina Jeffries. You will get a decent characterization of the heroine and hero, a solid story for the chemistry of both characters to shine, passable to good structure that builds on what the two factors given and good pacing that optimizes the story and the characters that she created. Most of her books have always taken advantages of her strength as a writer while minimizing her issues within the framework of the genre she works with. In the last book of her Hellions of Halstead Hall series, she somewhat delivers on creating good characters and chemistry but was hampered by the pacing, plot structure and aspects of the story.

A Lady Never Surrenders has Lady Celia Sharpe and Jackson Pinter as its central characters, if you have read the books preceding this one - you knew that Ms. Jefrries have been hyping this pairing for a while now. The story centers on them finding an honorable fiancee for Lady Celia since she's the last Sharpe who hasn't caved in to her Grandma's ultimatum of getting married to stop the Sharpe family from getting disowned. The worst of it all is that Lady Celia has only two months to go get married which the author doesn't take advantage as a plot device. While that problem exists in the story - they also have to solve the mystery of who killed the Sharpes' parents which can be a monumental task by itself. The mix of the romantic aspect along with the mystery/suspense structure of the story really killed the flow and pacing of the story as the author tried to juggle these into the book. Jeffries' ambitious desire to spread out the mystery of who killed the Sharpes' parents shows her deficiency as a mystery writer. The red herrings she has given to her readers tend to be uninspired and tedious. It's as predictable as a Godzilla movie where the Aliens who were interested in Godzilla got blasted by the monsters electric breath blast. While she uses whodunnit aspects in some of her books before - it doesn't hamper the romantic vibe of the story since it's not really a big driving force in her books. It tends to be passable and easily dismissed since her penchant for writing good characters and romantic plots camouflages her inability to write a decent secondary plot most of the time.

The characterization of the Hero and Heroine were well fleshed out that they were well rounded and sympathetic most of the time. The angst aspect though tends to be overdriven by the author to such a degree that it does sound like both characters in some cases act like tweens who discovered Catcher In A Rye and tends to act it out in front of an audience for weeks on end. The Hero's obsession with the Heroine's wealth and station in life can be grating. As a device to flesh out his characterization - it is effective but cheap in some way. It is repeated a lot as a factor for them not to be together that the execution leaves a lot to be desired. The heroine has a more balanced development out of the two that she comes off as extremely likable, but even she tends to act out of character near the book. Both of these characters though were decently characterized that the book shifts to high gear when the two interact. The chemistry and sexual tension between the two made the pages fly fast until it shifts again to them trying to solve the murder of her parents and the Hero's comical way of being angry about his lack of pedigree that makes him unable to offer for the Heroine even though he has ruined her already. The Hero's issue with being a bastard was cheaply solved also that there wasn't foreshadowing at all.

The supporting characters in this book compared to the other books in the series tend to be more like fillers. They don't really add anything to the story...though you can probably say that the Sharpes' well elaborated character, Grandma Hetty tends to be vexatious in this book that even in the end, her redemption tends to be bland and awkward. They tend to make the plodding vibe of the story really heavy handed that regardless of the books positive points - you tend to magnify the negative aspects of the book because of these factors.

Regardless of its cumbersome plot pacing and structure that makes this one of the author's least satisfying books, A Lady Never Surrenders provides decent romance writing that the author is known for that makes this a good read when you want to spend your hours reading a book after a long hard days work.

3.5/5 Rating

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