Thursday, February 05, 2009

Taken by Storm by Marie Rochelle

This reads like an interracial romance for Diana Palmer fans (which I am). This book is a keeper for me because of the sheer pathos and angst within its pages. This book is a merry-go-round emotionally. Years of two people fighting their feelings for each other. Again, I say if you like the Diana Palmer-type "I Don't Want to Fall in Love" hero, Storm Hyde is your kind of hero. He does have motivation, having been raised by a seriously mysoginistic father who filled his head with junk about all women being whores and out for money. This dialogue keeps playing in Storm's head when he meets the woman he falls in love with, Syleena Webster,who is the roommate of his considerably younger sister. Storm is an affluent businessman/cowboy whose average relationship lasts about six months. He's definitely not the ideal man for inexperienced Syleena to fall in love with, but she falls hard and never recovers, even though Storm doesn't treat her well from the beginning (again, think Diana Palmer hero pushing away the woman he loves). One of the cool things about this story is, race is so not the issue. Storm is a White guy, and Syleena is a Black woman, which we know, but that's as far as the racial issues go. Instead the issue in this book is both characters' fear of trusting someone enough to give their hearts to them. Syleena does her best to overcome her past of having a mother who was a heartless, uncaring, promiscuous sometime-prostitute who treated her father like crap and goaded him into suicide. She has spent years paying off her mother to leave her alone, and her mother is a big secret that she tries to keep. This secret blows up in her face, when Storm realizes that she lied about both parents being dead. The diatribe against women echoes in his head, and conquers his determination to give his heart to Syleena. The way that he gets back at her is a scene that will linger in the reader's mind. I found it exceptionally well-written, and I must say that it is one of the cruellest things a hero has ever done to a heroine. (Nothing physical but very emotionally-wounding). So why did I keep reading the book? I wanted to find out how this couple could find happiness together. And Rochelle doesn't cheat the reader, as is done way too often. Storm has to work very hard to win back Syleena's love (thankfully). And Syleena ends up in a very bad place that really shows you how desolated and heartbroken she is by Storm's betrayal. Thankfully Storm is there to act as her self-appointed knight in shining armor, even though Syleena is far from ready to forgive and forget. There are some editing errors and a few areas where the writing was awkward, but they don't detract from this story. All you can do is keep reading to find out how things turn out. I probably would have finished this book sooner, but I am pretty lazy about reading ebooks. Had this been in paperback, I am sure I wouldn't have been able to put this book down until it is done. I definitely recommend this to the interracial reader who is tired of the race issue being the prominent conflict in the interracial romance they are reading. It's so not the case with this one. Also it's a breath of fresh air from the often oversexed interracial ebooks that an avid IR fan cannot help but come across. Yes there is sensuality and lovemaking scenes, but they are not overused, but definitely add to the romantic story unfolding. You should check this one out for a back to basics love story.

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