Sweet Surrender

Sweet Surrender - Cheryl Holt This book is... OK. I liked it, don't get me wrong. But it didn't thrill me. Why?1. Too much arguing: Yes, I know that the sexual tension between Grace and Jackson is supposed to make the book. But these two can't hold a single conversation, it seems, without arguing. Everyone seems to argue their way through the book. It was a little grating...2. Too obvious a solution: They all seem to take the long way home to figure out what to do about this "problem". While I appreciate the dilemmas about love and marriage, the dilemma about what to do with Michael and Percy seems obvious. There are a couple of good paths to choose from, but Jackson gets too caught up in what's "right" and what society allows, and then he gets jumbled by all the romance and his mother/sister-in-law stuff.In my own roundabout way, I'm trying to say that this book takes a very meandering, roundabout way to tell a very simple story.I *do* appreciate the dilemma and the attending scandal. It's not easy to announce that the previous Earl fooled everyone by illegally marrying a second wife, because she happened to be the "right" society choice. Just because the first wife thinks her husband is dead doesn't mean that the Earl can get away with polygamy!The real scoundrel in this whole story is Edward Scott, the elder brother and former earl. He's the one too weak to decide what he really wants... he's the one bullied into marrying his brother's girl, even though he knows that he's already married. He's the one who makes his first wife and son think that he's dead, simply to spare them and to live his life with his illegal second wife.It's almost too difficult for me to get past all of that and pay attention to this story.3. The "sex" stuff: OK, if you're going to introduce steam into a book, let's not get all prudish about it, shall we? The terms used (like "phallus" and "copulation") might very well be how a Regency gentleman thinks of things. Perhaps we're too spoiled with our modern sensibilities and modern views; but when the author interchanges such stuffy terms with the more modern "c*ck", it makes me think that she isn't sure, herself, which direction to go in. And it's just plain silly to this reader. Besides, the steam isn't all that steamy - perhaps because of the hilarity of the terms and descriptions. Are we venturing into the prudish Victorian era or are we still in Regency England? (The date given is 1814, which puts us in the more liberal Regency England, but I'd swear the author got her times and monarchies confused.)All in all, this isn't a bad book. It's just that with so many other books on my TBR shelf, I'm not sufficiently impressed as to seek out similar books by this author. I like an author to KNOW what the book is about and not to try to impress me with the number of words or pages.