The Innocent's Surrender by Sara Craven
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Let me just get it out there in the open right here and now, if you don't like forced sex, whether it's violent or otherwise, in your romance reading, don't read this book. If you can get past that, this is a worthwhile book to read.
It's really, really complicated. I had no idea just how complicated things would be when I started this book. I am a fan of Sara Craven, and I know she pushes the boundaries with her character interactions. I am not a person who would not read a book with that theme on principle. For me, depends on the execution.
In the case of The Innocent's Surrender, I read the 'scene' and didn't like Alex for doing that. I thought it was pretty cold-blooded what he did, and it made it harder for me to accept him as the hero of this book. As things continue, I found myself wondering what would motivate him to do what he did. And the answers come, but not until the end.
Ms. Craven did a clever job of writing this. We don't see much more of what Alex is thinking than Natasha. In essence, we experience the narrative as Natasha does. What motivates this cold-blooded man, who feels such fiery passion towards Natasha? He does some very sweet things for her, but at other times, he ignores her and dismisses her. You would think that is a good thing. After all, wouldn't you want to be a neglected mistress if you had to be a mistress to a man you disliked? Well, Natasha finds herself falling in love with the man she should hate. Maybe that's not realistic, but this is a fiction book, and I can buy something if the author does a good job of writing it. I think Ms. Craven did. I had this burning desire to find out what made Alex tick, what made him so cold and angry. How he could act as though he adored Natasha, when he seemed like he hated her and what she stood for.
And at the end, you find out just how convoluted their path to love is. A vendetta that is older than both of them, is the root of hatred between Natasha's adopted family and Alex. You find out just how awful Natasha's adopted father is, and what he did to make Alex hate so much. And you also find out that Alex fell in love with Natasha years ago, but couldn't have her because of that very vendetta. When Natasha was dangled in front of him by her low-life adopted brothers, and her spiteful adopted sister, he takes advantage of the opportunity to have her. Even though she's not the sweet innocent he fell in love with, or so he thinks because of a vile letter that was supposedly written from Natasha to him. But he doesn't spare her family the vengeance that they fully deserve in his eyes.
So, I have to say that I thought this was a good book. I know it's not for everyone. What Alex did was wrong, but since Natasha was able to love and forgive him, then I can accept what he did and still enjoy the book.
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