Sinful Surrender
Beverley Kendall
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Buy *Sinful Surrender (The Elusive Lords, Book 1)* by Beverley Kendall online

Sinful Surrender (The Elusive Lords, Book 1)
Beverley Kendall
352 pages
January 2010
rated 3 of 5 possible stars

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Sinful Surrender is one of those variable books which the reader fears they won't be able to finish, when suddenly it picks up and improves. By halfway through, I was a bit fed up with Missy (Millicent) Armstrong and her supposedly all-consuming love for her brother's best friend, James Rutherford. She apparently fell in love with James when she first saw him as a young girl and vows to marry him, despite his reputation as a rake and apparent lack of interest in her. But James does find Missy interesting; it's his friendship with her brother that makes her out-of-bounds. He also knows what she wants out of marriage and what he wants are rather different.

The book struggles to find its way up till the mid point. Many of the scenes between James and Missy are repetitive, and when James finds himself engaged to another woman who is pregnant with his child, well... at that point I felt like giving up.

However, I persevered, and the story improved. Beverley Kendall doesn't string out 'big misunderstandings' as much as some authors tend to, so events move at a reasonable pace. Of course, things aren't plain sailing for hero or heroine, and our heroine's choices sometimes (well, quite frequently) seem a bit suspect. I wasn't entirely convinced by some changes of heart by various characters and remain unconvinced that our hero is entirely reformed, but I certainly enjoyed the second part of the book much more than the first and felt that Missy had grown up a bit - well, some of the time, anyway.

The author focuses quite strongly on Missy and James, although we glimpse other characters who look likely to have their own books in due course. Although we are privy to both James's and Missy's thoughts, the characterization isn't entirely convincing. They also occasionally lapse into Americanisms - which, for the English aristocracy, is a bit peculiar! I was left with an impression of beautiful but somewhat selfish people; some of the side characters, such as Missy's brother, might be more interesting to read about in future.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at Helen Hancox, 2011

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