Wednesday, June 1, 2011

SCARLET NIGHTS by Jude Deveraux

Publisher: Pocket Star
Date published: May 2011
ISBN: 978-1439107997
Women’s Fiction, Romantic Suspense
Mass Market Paperback
Reviewed by Gina
Obtained by Library

Mike Newland is and always has been, a man on a mission. From his difficult and often abusive childhood right on up through adulthood he’d been the one to rescue the damsel in distress. Be it his younger sister, Tess or a crime lord’s unsuspecting wife or the girl next door, Mike is there in a pinch. What Mike has never been is a man who stayed in one place or anyone’s life for very long. Oh he keeps in constant touch with Tess and is loyal to his police department. It’s the other people out there that he doesn’t get close to.

Sara Shaw is days away from her wedding to Greg Anders. To Sara, Greg is everything a woman should want in a man—handsome, successful, a total lady killer in terms of charm. What’s not to like? That’s something she wonders about everyone in her home town of Edilean, Virginia. Why can’t her family and friends see what a terrific guy he is?

A mother/son team of criminals have their sights set on Edilean and Sara is at the center of what they are after. The problem is, no one knows exactly what Sara has they want. To find out, Mike is sent by his department to Edilean, to find and protect Sara from what is sure to be murder. In an elaborate scheme to keep her safe while keeping the dangerousness of her situation from her Mike is on his way. What neither Mike nor Sara expect is their growing attraction for each other.

Where is Jude Deveraux and what have you done with her? Obviously SCARLET NIGHTS was a disappointment to me. The prose was nothing like the Jude Deveraux I have loved and read for almost as long as I’ve been reading romance. This is an entirely different voice; a flat voice. After LAVENDAR MORNING and DAYS OF GOLD, the first two books in her Edilean series I was so excited to see SCARLET NIGHTS. I was walking down an aisle at my local library, saw it and picked it up right away, asking my friend “how did I not know this book was out?”

I know Ms. Deveraux knows how to write a fabulous story. From THE DUCHESS to KNIGHT IN SHINING ARMOR to the first two books of this series she has penned mesmerizing and believable stories. So what happened? In SCARLET NIGHTS it is almost as if a beginner writer sat down with a list of the elements a romance is supposed to have and one by one ticked off those elements as she met them. If a character needs to go from point A to point C, they just bypass B with only a bit of narration about how they got there. The situations are implausible and despite a glowing thank you to the gentleman who helped with her research, the book does not seem well researched at all.

If you read the first two in this series you will want to take a look at SCARLET NIGHTS if only to catch up on well liked characters from the first two books as well as meet a few other, quite interesting new ones.

This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.

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