Saturday, May 25, 2013

Lover Be Mine, By Nicole Jordan

Rating: 3/5
Publisher: Ballantine Books
327 pages
Source: LibraryThing Early Reviewers

Description: As the wickedly seductive Wilde cousins seek true love by taking a page from history's legendary love stories, Lord Jack Wilde plays a determined Romeo courting an enchanting Juliet.

The last thing Sophie Fortin expects at a masquerade ball is a dazzling kiss from a pirate. Her desire quickly falters when she learns that her masked gentleman is devilishly scandalous Lord Jack, a member of the captivating Wilde clan — and a man she’s forbidden to acknowledge. But when Jack begins a breathtaking seduction, Sophie can barely resist.

Jack never imagined that the daughter of his family’s mortal enemy would awaken such fierce passion within him—until one unforgettable kiss changes his mind forever. Soon, Jack is hell-bent on winning Sophie’s hand, going so far as to abduct her to save her from marrying a rival nobleman. Determined to woo Sophie and her unyielding parents, Jack is faced with the one decision he’d sworn never to make. The secret heir to a prince, Jack has spurned his royal heritage for years . . . but for Sophie he’ll risk all to turn a legacy of heartbreak into love ever after.
(From the back cover)

Review: This book does a lot of things right.

It has a silly premise, but it has the characters acknowledge that it is a silly premise, instead of dancing around or trying to hide the idea. The man Sophie's parents want her to marry isn't a bad guy, just not a great match. The motives of Sophie's parents aren't presented as unreasonable. It also has a refreshing discussion about birth control between the two leads, when they decide they want to be fully intimate before marriage, and the hero questioning whether he can really be in love with a woman he barely knows.

But it also goes wrong in several areas.

Some are minor, such as a habit of repeating information too often or the heroine's being surprised that a man she knows lived in France until he was six, actually speaks fluent French. Others are more glaring.

The main one for me, was the hero's reconciliation with his father. Jack seems to get over a lifetime of blaming the man, not completely unreasonably, for his mother's death, in the span of just a few days. This just felt too abrupt, especially considering the level of hatred the reader had been presented with up to that point.

I also had issues with the fact that every time Jack accused Sophie of not standing up for herself, it was to get her to do what he wanted her to do, instead of what her parents wanted her to do. Trading who's wishes you'll cave in to is not the same thing as growing a spine.

Then there's a bit just a few chapters from the end, where Jack seems to abruptly change his tune about marrying Sophie. It turns, at least partly, to be because he's working on something to help sway her parent's opinion, but there's no reason he can't tell Sophie about this plan. Nor does it really explain all of the inner turmoil he's suddenly experiencing. It seems like the author just decided to squeeze in piece of last minute conflict, which reads like arbitrary last minute conflict.

It's not a bad book. Overall, I liked Sophie and Jack and could buy their relationship, and I don't think the problems detract too much from the enjoyability.

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