Imprisoned by a Vow by Annie West
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Imprisoned by a Vow has Annie West's characteristic intense writing and a compelling story. Readers who enjoy a romance between two troubled souls will probably enjoy it.
While I liked this story and I gave it four stars, it doesn't quite appeal to me the way some of this author's other books have. I think part of it was I didn't quite care for Joss for most of the book. While I love a rugged, tough hero, I liked them to have more accessibility than Joss had, especially in this kind of book. I can understand a cold as ice, impenetrable spy, but a businessman with that much ice around his heart was a little harder to reconcile.
I think that Leila makes this story. Her struggles to regain the sense of self destroyed by her cruel stepfather and her strong spirit in the face of very crushing emotional and mental abuse spoke to me. Honestly, I think she was much too good for Joss. I was hoping he would realize that a lot sooner than he did. It took him a bit too long. The ending was nice, but I would have preferred a more drawn out redemption process.
Joss goes from being Man of Ice to I Might Have a Heart way too quickly at the end. Yes, he does show some caring touches for Leila, but she was always about to explain them away as acts he did for his own convenience. As a reader who strongly appreciates "the gesture" as showing love, even as much as the words, his gestures didn't speak loudly enough for me in this book.
The passion is well written, as always. And Leila's journey of coming back into herself was inspiring. Annie West doesn't tend to disappoint this reader. While she didn't disappoint me with Imprisoned by a Vow, per se, I just wanted a little more out of her hero than I got.
But overall, a very good marriage of convenience turns to love story.
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