Monday, March 16, 2009

A Kind of Honor - Joan Wolf

Her mariage offered everything but love
When beautiful Amanda Doune wed the Duc de Gace, the elegant exiled French noble offered her full enjoyment of his wealth and position in return for her total worship of him. But her early adoration could not long blind her to the fact that her husband was capable of loving only himself.

Her lover offered everything but marriage
Brilliant and gallant Adam Todd, Lord Stanford, offered Amanda all that she could want as a woman at the cost of all that she had vowed to be as a wife. Was the loss of her good name and her beloved young children worth the promise of pleasure she tasted in the arms of her husband's most deadly enemy? Amanda's future and the fate of England itself hung on her moves in a game of romance and intrigue where kisses courted disaster and love rewrote the rules...

One really can't say that Wolf stays away from original/difficult subjects. In this quest to read most of her books I have been surprised with the variety of subjects and interests she tackles.

In this A Kind of Honor she surprised me because it's not often that I read about adultery in traditional regency, at least involving both the hero and the heroine. I do like her writing but I think it lacked a bit of emotion and I must say I was a bit bored and had to force myself to end this story. Adam and Amanda fall in love after he is invited by her husband to be a guest at their house while he is in London investigating a possible traitor who has been revealing Wellington's plans to Napoleon. They were in such a difficult and emotional situation that I felt I should be more involved in their story and not just an outsider. Moral considerations aside it couldn't be easy to have your husband and your lover under the same roof, I think I would have liked to read more about their moral dilemmas and struggles with conscience. That psychological aspect was approached but very lightly.

Since this is a romance you can guess that the husband was a villain or else it wouldn't be easy to justify the adultery. I don't think she was successful in that department because he wasn't truly villainous towards the heroine, just disinterested. They make much of him being a spy for Napoleon but at least in my eyes that wasn't enough to make him truly hateful.

I think another problem for me was that for the hero and the heroine to be together there had to be either a divorce or a death. Since the story wasn't angsty enough for me to be waiting for the resolution with bated breath, I thought it was predictable and disappointing. It did happen differently than what I had imagined but it seemed to me that the end came about a bit too neatly...

Grade: 3/5




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