Posted by Mandy McClanahan on Thursday, September 10, 2009
Title: Surrender of a Siren
Author: Tessa Dare
Genre: Historical Romance
I love this book. There. That's it. I'm kidding that's not it. I have a lot to say about this book. First, this novel is a significant change from the paranormal romances I've been addicted to of late. No ghosts, goblins, fairies, or vampires. There are goats though, if that means anything to you. :) Surrender of a Siren is a Regency romance, but unlike most the regencies I'd read prior to now the characters were believable and had actual human reactions. The female lead isn't a stand-offish, superficial twit only concerned with gaining a husband and making the best appearances at the appropriate "Ton" parties. No, in fact, she's running from the "Ton". She's created a scandal and is doing the thing her family would never expect...hopping the next boat out. Similarly, the male lead is anything but the expected. He's not a complete alpha male equipped with cave man brains. He's also not one of society's fops who is surprised by the concept of love. These two things alone were enough to keep me interested.
Other things I love:
1. Our girl reads dirty books and masturbates. I was trying to come up with a nicer, more polite way of saying that, but then realized that not talking about it or using polite euphemisms is exactly what I dislike about most regency novels. I have this memory of the heroines all being virgins and swept away by lust, love, romance. Perhaps, they had a friend who was scandalous and sexified, but never them. Ms. Dare gave us a girl who is sexually awakened enough to be aware of her wants and her body's responses, but proper enough to not give it up to just anyone.
2. The hero is also given an interesting story. He's actually doing the exact opposite of the heroine by running towards society. He's been on the fringes of society (i.e. pirate) but now wants to become a respectable business man.
3. There are goats. There are lots of goats on the boat. This is hilarious for many reasons, but primarily because my family raised goats for a bit, while I was growing up. They are unruly beasts. I can only guess the chaos that would occur when forcing goats onto a boat.
4. This is number four, but is actually the most important thing to me....bodice ripping. There is an actual, honest to god bodice ripping! I don't think I've ever actually read a novel where her dress was ripped in two. I've jokingly called romance novels - bodice rippers, but primarily because the cover images had a look that suggested that those dresses were just going to be torn off.
Thing(s) I disliked:
1. This is quickly evolving into a pet peeve of mine. I really hate when people don't talk to each other, but seem to expect their partner to know what's going on. I know. I know this is something that happens often in real relationships. It bothers me there, too....extremely. There is a bit of this phenomena in the novel, but it is pretty one-sided. The hero fully discloses. The heroine doesn't give him a single thing..........until the very end. Frustrating!
I'm very glad I was given a chance to read this book. Like I said on Twitter (shortly after I started reading), it's official I adore Tessa Dare. Thank you for signing my book!
Now, I just have to get my hands on the other two books!