Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Since the Surrender

Since the Surrender Julie Anne Long

OK all. This is the last Pennyroyal Green book (until the new one comes out in October) and my last romance for awhile. I know this is a genre that not a lot of my readers also read (although maybe you should pick one up to try?)

Captain Charles Eversea (Chase) literally and metaphorically carries the scars and weight left over from the wars and Waterloo in particular. Since the end of the war, he's had a hard time fitting back into life in Pennyroyal Green.

Rosalind March lost her Colonel husband at Waterloo. For once in her life, she doesn't have to work just to survive. But then her sister is arrested for petty theft and goes missing from Newgate. She's getting threatening letters and certain names keep coming up-- men who served under her husband.

There's only one person who can help her, but they have A HISTORY AND A PAST. It's very sordid*

The thing I didn't like about this-- when they finally get together they do it in the worst possible place and time. Not once, but twice. FOR REALZ?! How stupid are you? The answer to the mystery is glaringly obvious and right around you if you could just keep your pants on and skirts down for 15 bloody minutes. Also, some glaring plot holes in terms of the length of a tunnel and how far a giggle really would carry.

BUT I DON'T ACTUALLY CARE. Because I really liked this one. In fact, I think it's my favorite! Mostly, because it handles some BIG TOPICS that you don't see often in books that are pretty much escapist fantasy.

There are some deep, hard looks at:

1. The war. Both the lead up to Waterloo and the battle itself, but mostly at its effects on the survivors, both physical and mental. It's very well done.

2. Street urchins/London's urban poor. Heartbreaking. Soooooooo heartbreaking.

3. English justice of petty crimes during this time period. (Stole a loaf of bread? HANG! or be transported! Either way, a bit overkill.)

And, they mystery of Lucy and what's going on is super sordid and shocking and HOLY COW. I'm a bit surprised she went there but am glad she did. There's a depth to this on that I'm not used to in romance, or even in this series. In fact, the mystery/other stuff plot may have overshadowed the romance plot. I actually found myself skimming the kissing scenes (and I NEVER skim a kissing scene) to get back to the other action. While that's usually not good in a romance, it worked in this one. Trust me.

*not really, but kinda. They make it out like it's much more sordid than it actually is.

Book Provided by... my local library via ILL

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