Thursday, May 04, 2006

Night of Sin by Julia Ross

I was enthralled by my first book by Julia Ross, The Seduction, and was pleased with her lush, sensual descriptions that reminded me a little of Judith Ivory.

Night of Sin was also very lush and highly sensual but the prose was also much more poetic and lyrical bordering on purple and that's where Ross sometimes lost me. I'm was going to dig up some quotes to make my point but I took it back to the library.

Oh, wait, here are a few I found on the internet:

"But she had not been wrong about his eyes, colored like winter forest shadows dappled with sunlight."

"Her hair smelled of lavender water and roses, the fragrance of a Dorset summer garden basking in the sun"

Oh, guess what Ross is talking about here:
"the rainbow tumult of their mutual release"
Some of the imagery was quite vivid but some of it was a bit over the top at times.

World traveler Lord Jonathan Devoran St. George, aka Wild Lord Jack, returns to England from the Far East in search of a valuable stolen fossil. He follows the thief who has stashed the fossil in an innocent woman's basket. Anne Marsh is the engaged daughter of a minister. After he finds the thief murdered Jack knows that her life is in danger and insists that she leave her home and accompany him to his family estate so that he can protect her.

Jack has learned all kinds of mysterious exotic sexual skills on his advertures in the Far East that were only hinted at. But he is ashamed of some of his experiences and the things he was forced to do. Anne, our virgin heroine, realizes that sexually-experienced Jack can teach her a few things and literally begs the hero to make love to her. What man would turn that down? You all know I'm a big fan of highly erotic or sensual romances but I think this plot with the innocent maiden pleading with the worldly hero to tutor her in the sensual delights has been done too many times before. After they make love Jack knows he has compromised her and so they have to marry.

Jack with all his secret shame was a dark complex character. Anne turns out to be a surprisingly brave and adventurous heroine despite her initial timidity and I liked her character even though I thought her behavior was at times implausible. The mystery/suspense was well done and did not overpower the romance. The entire story flowed pretty smoothly except for those moments when the purple prose and poetic style went over the top.

My grade: B-

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