Doesn’t stand the test of time
I’ve read a few of Jude Deveraux’s historical romances in the past and found them reasonably good. So I was looking forward to trying The Enchanted Land, especially as it had what sounded like an interesting setting to me (New Mexico). I was disappointed.
I hadn’t read more than a chapter or so before I began to wonder whether the author was a different Jude Deveraux than the one I usually read. The writing style seems very basic, and characterization
is non-existent. The plot lurches from unlikely to remarkably unlikely.
One look at the publishing information (first published 1978), and it all fell into place. This
is a reissue of an old story and, as has happened with reissues from Iris Johansen and some other authors, the passage of time has not been kind to this
One notable thing about older romances is that hero and heroine seem to have a tiresome tendency to shriek “I hate you!” at each other for much of the plot, and that happens here, too. Heroes also tend to threaten violence to the heroine, which is always a bit of a turn-off to a modern reader. I found it very difficult to plod on reading this book and kept putting it down for long periods but eventually picked it up again. At the point where we have to watch a woman being raped in front of her husband whilst the heroine, too-stupid-to-like Morgan Wakefield, looks on, I gave up for good. I was only a third of the way through the book, but I had found no romance, no characterization, no believability, no in-depth scene setting and absolutely no identification with or even warm feelings towards hero and heroine.
Perhaps the book picks up later when (presumably) Morgan and her husband, Seth Colter, get to New Mexico and presumably fall in love,
but there was no way I was wading through a couple of hundred more pages of this
boring book to find out.