Jennifer Blake: Tender Betrayal



T no it was not to be The heroine discovers she s in love with the hero her husband in the middle of a scene that has left the reader so irritated and exasperated that no amount of realisation could stay one s hand from throwing the book across the room The heroine realises she loves the hero immediately after running out on him and his mother whom she had previously publicly insulted at a ball having left in the company of another manher ex fianc a man she neither loved nor desiredeven though she was going to marry him a man whom she considered weak cowardly etc a man for whom she has no feelings et whose company she constantly courts ands seeks out creating a completely unnecessary scandal the kind of scandal romance heroines create only if they love the man with whom they leave and risking ostracisation for absolutely NOTHING for zilch Nevertheless the reader is supposed to swallow such infantile reactions and focus on the heroine s realisation Although I finished the book after skimming over large chunks of it I wish I hadn t wasted my time Truth be told Blake is not a bad writer in the early chapters she sets up some nice scenes and writes some nice exchanges between her lovers so one looks forward to following the fortunes of this pair with their story of misplaced loyalties and pride poisoned minds and emotional sclerosis All those expectations are soon disappointed Blake s heroine is painfully vain although Blake tries to hide the obvious factcouettish and not the brightest bulb in a box of twelve she s also what in the romance readers lingo is called TSTL A heroine who s endlessly indulged by everyone in her vicinity and who s given a happy end she has neither earned nor deserved this reader longed to see the hero do a Rhett Butler and slam the door in her face at leastthe vain and selfish Scarlett O Hara had one little excuse she thought she loved another man what does Blake s heroine have As with many books of this kind one is left wondering how the hero could have ever loved such a heroine As much as I enjoy Jennifer Blake s southern romances this isn t one of her stronger ones The main story is focused on heroine Melanie Johnston believing Roland Donovan responsible for her grandfather s death after some dirty deeds while they were serving in the TexasMexican wars It s all too complicated to try and explain but she wants revenge and the silly girl gets it in her head to ride to Roland s hotel in the seedy part of Natchez in the middle of the night in the rain and shoot him dead Well he s not in his room and she has to wait and since it s cold and her clothes are wet she takes some of them off to dry and when he does return he s been drinking and he doesn t recognize her in the dark and he assumes the half dressed woman in his room is a ou know what Not really a spoiler since it s in the first chapters but view spoilerShe says no so for the PC minded set that s rape no matter what Ronald s mindset was hide spoiler I read this for my Bodice Ripper selection in HRBC Romance Across the Ages Challenge As per usual with a Bodice Ripper I come away feeling very conflicted There were moments involving the hero that were decidedly non con And then there was reluctance but I found myself really liking the hero and heroine and liking them together He was a complex and intriguing character and the biggest miss for the book for me was getting none of his perspective It was all hers She was a resilient heroine and I really liked her The heroine faced the prospect of rape several times from multiple men and it got to be a little much Or a lot much This was just a bit too far on the OTT side for my taste But great period appropriate details which were at times disturbing due to the time and place pre Civil War and Deep SouthOverall a good read but not definitely an easy one Blake can be an enjoyable author and one of the rare ones to put an actual authentic historical flavor to her bodice ripper lite fare but this one was too clunky flat and boring to make it further than approximately halfway throughWe have the usual trope of the H who bodice rips his way through our Southern Belle s bloomers via a Great Terrible Big Misunderstanding followed by a marriage of convenience to preserve our compromised heroine s honour Hero is of course smitten and heroine is full of traitorous body feelings but and Great Big Terrible Misunderstandings continually block what we know will be their eventual LURVE declarationI stopped my numerous attempts to continue trudging with the plot when I realized despite my best efforts to focus that the words on the page were all morphing to Yaddi Yaddi YaddaDNF at 63% It s been a while since I picked up a bodice ripper I think I might have to dive back Enge she would marry him and then use her every feminine wile to destroy himBut Melanie did not dream then of the strength of her own hungers and the weakness of her fle.

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At the end both bare their true feelings to one another and Melanie confesses her love for Roland he of course confessed his love way before herI believethe book was so dang long I lost track Through many trials long separations misunderstandings tragic events great losses the couple finally come together in heart and ou just know that they are going to live happily ever after with a deep abiding love This book had a Gone With The Wind type of flavor But in this story the leads are sure to find success in their marriage Unfortunately there was no epilogue I really enjoyed the narrator Her southern accent was great Overly long and sometimes very boring Historic and geographic facts tend to become lecture like There is not much as far as relationship development concerned because most of the time they h and H are separated or not in talking terms I just couldn t get into it Tender Betrayal just wouldn t end The storyline had promise but the actual book was lack luster Sad to say but I don t think I ll read another Jennifer Blake book Jennifer Blake s book proved a very mixed bag It starts off well with a hero and a heroine who promise interesting and intelligent conflicts only to disappoint almost immediately after managing to raise one s interest Contains SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERSAs a reader of historical romances who s used to all sorts of styles within the confines of the genre I don t feel I have to struggle to read through what used to be the dominant writing styles of the past I have no problem with the florid expansive sentences the profuse descriptivenessthe purple prose On the contrary sometimes I think such narratives managed to achieve interesting character and milieu shading than our contemporary historical romance writers who sugar coat the past and serve up characters who haven t the remotest connection to a past sensibility They are all 21st c people in costume However Tender Betrayal is not one of those books where some insights or even pleasures could rise out of its outmoded style After finishing the book this reader was left feeling that what Jennifer Blake gave with one hand she took back thrice over with the other The weakest point of the book is its heroine and since hers is the main and only perspective one can guess how that sabotages whatever merit the book could have had Blake wanted to write a heroine that was braveintelligent along with being the most ravishing beauty this side of the Mississippi naturallycharming full of the manners and mannerisms of our average Southern belle but what we get instead is a vain couettish feeble minded emotional nincompoop whose social manners are haphazardly treated by the writer one moment we are told that she cannot refuse to receive her ex fianc alone in her parlour and with her husband gone because it ll be bad manners and the next we see her publicly insulting a lady she s been introduced to by her husband Throughout the book with few exceptions there s little the heroine does that is not flippant thoughtless or childish What is worse is that she seems to be doing all those things behind her writer s back for Blake is completely oblivious to what is actually on the page and continues to treat her heroine with admiration probably as blinded by her creamy d colletage as half of Louisiana isThere are other serious problems with the narrative One does not expect to get a degree in History through the reading of historical romances although some writers are better than others in weaving their research into the plot avoiding the dreaded info dump and without being clunky but when our hero is heavily involved in the historical events our book evokes and to which a substantial amount of pages is devoted then his perspective is sorely needed What is not needed is of the insufferable heroine s POV We simply had enough of her Instead of history dramatisation through an account of the hero s woes and experiences we get a narrative that states the facts Cuba General Lopez etc and then swiftly moves to the heroine s idiotic justifications of her actions and by actions I mean her dancing and flirting on a steamer all the while the man she supposedly loves to destruction is risking his life in Cuba and have I mentioned that little matter of the heroine s betraying the whole Cuban mission in which her husband is involved to his enemies The narrative s serious problems are nowhere prominent than in the way the first crescendo moment of all romance novel s the moment the heroine realises she s in love with the hero and vice versa when there s a dual POV is handled In all that expansive and louacious narrative one would expect Jennifer Blake to allow for the build up to her heroine s epiphany in a convincing and felt manner bu. Night of mischief and madness forever staining her honor It was he who drove away the well born suitor she was to have wedThere was only one way for Melanie to take rev.

A bit out dated but goodMelanie frustrated me Roland was the man Dom was a cowardly wimp Plenty of intrigue and action to keep the reader interested There is romance but it is mostly underlying throughout the story This story is long and drawn out and not uite believable I began to get bored with the characters and seriously how many almost assaultsattempted rapesdisasters can one person survive in one novel I completely lost interest in what would become of these two people I m not saying the writing is bad nor even the story really I just think I personally would have enjoyed it if it hadn t gone on for so long I wanted to smack the heroheroine several times and just say Get on with it already Tell himher ou love himher Sorry this one was a bit of a disappointmentI do have to say though that I listened to the audio version and narrator Kayla Asbell did a wonderful job with all the southern accents and bringing the characters to life The underlying emotional current this novel evokes is ANGST Oh my goodness this novel will summon up Harry Potter a Me Ka Pōhaku Akeakamai: Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone in Hawaiian your fightflight responses and makeou feel on edge due to the suspenseful and revealing moments There is adventure in this book plenty of it but most of all this book chronicles the journey to love for a relationship that seemed doomed from it s beginningThis novel is beautifully written At first it takes some time to get used to the amount of detail and historical presence in the book Blake s writing style unfolds a vision of a southern society with polite gentlemen and ladies who live vigorous lives Yet the luxurious lifestyles enjoyed by the upper class are built on the backbones of African slaves whose wills have been swallowed up This book gives a complex historical perspective that may be hard to digest for the modern reader I know I had a hard time with the reference to slaves and some of their situations Blake also spares no sentiment when creating dangerous villains who are vicious in their intent in hurting the leads especially the heroine This novel is definitely what is known as a bodice ripper novel Those parts are very hard to read because they just make Falling Through Clouds you feel sick toour stomach My favorite part of this book was the hero Roland Donavan Jennifer Blake has given us such a worthy hero I mean the man has been through so many regretting events in his life that he should be afflicted with poor self esteem His father plantation owner rejects him he returned from the war with a stained reputation he gets caught up in various misunderstandings that lead him to marry a woman who despises him and the list goes on and on Yet Roland emulates strength of build and character he has a noble heart he fiercely protects his wife he works hard for herAnd he is a tall handsome man with green eyes He s simply delicious Roland does have flaws that impact his already troubled marriage though During hard times he tends to withdraw and he does not communicate his emotions with his wife The heroine Melanie Johnston granddaughter of Kernal Johnston takes a bit of getting used to as she is somewhat of an ice princess I warmed to her character by allowing some of her motives to be explained by reason of grief over her grandfather s death she lost her parents early in life in a tragic accident was alone and emotionally bereft Also on her grandfather s death bed he charged her with the responsibility of destroying Roland Donavan who he blamed for tarnishing his reputation in the war with Mexico I have to say Melanie does have nice ualities but certainly her reasons for marrying Roland were vengeful and unfortunate She is a rather pampered heroine because of her dependence on slaves even though she takes on chores than ladies of her era Melanie is described as a very beautiful woman with auburn hair and blue eyes with an hourglass figure The love development between Roland and Melanie drove me nuts My heart went out to Roland because it was apparent from the beginning that he entered the marriage with honorable feelings than Melanie I like how Roland made Melanie share his marriage bed even though she wanted them to have a marriage in name only Roland was such a tender lover that Melanie became a participant in love making with him right away even though she would never admit it Melanie tried to set up emotional barriers but the man just melted her cold heart in miniscule but consistent stepsThis is why the book is soooo long There are sweet tender moments between the couple but there are also many stupid misunderstandings that could have easily been solved if they would have communicated with one another Unfortunately as in a poker game both of these lovers played their cards very close to their chests not allowing too many advantages to the other Finally. Beautiful oung Melanie Johnston had every reason to hate Roland Donovan It was this man who caused the death of her beloved grandfather It was he who possessed her in

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A pseudonym used by Patricia MaxwellJennifer Blake has been called a “pioneer of the romance genre” and an “icon of the romance industry” A New York Times and international best selling author since 1977 she is a charter member of Romance Writers of America member of the RWA Hall of Fame and recipient of the RWA Lifetime Achievement Rita She holds numerous other honors including two “Maggi