Friday, May 30, 2008

A Lady in Waiting by Samantha Kane

TITLE: A Lady in Waiting
AUTHOR: Samantha Kane
PUBLISHER: Ellora’s Cave
LENGTH: Novella (roughly 22k)
GENRE: Historical erotic romance
COST: $4.45

Much to her chagrin, Sylvie, the Dowager Marchioness of Bartlebyrne, has developed feelings – both lustful and loving – for the new vicar, a would-be reformed rake named Edmund James. Perhaps it wouldn’t be quite so bad if he wasn’t thirteen years her junior, or if she hadn’t succumbed to a single night tryst with her young coachman in an attempt to assuage the lust building inside her, except she is and she did, so Sylvie must find a way to live with her desires in secret. Now if only Edmund would heed her warnings and not confuse her with his own lust for her…

In spite of numerous recommendations, I must confess that I’ve never bought a Samantha Kane book before. I’m not sure why. Wait. That’s not entirely true. I’m obsessive. She first started getting recommended to me just before the third ménage book came out. I just can’t start a series in the middle 99% of the time, even if they are brand new characters, so I just never got around to going back and getting the first book. After reading this short novella, I think I might understand why she’s so popular.

Edmund is a man who’s spent his past as an unabashed hedonist. There’s a freedom in his sexual expression that’s very refreshing, and on top of that, he’s alpha and sexy as hell. Though I never really cared for Sylvie, I liked him enough to totally fall into the sex scenes – as numerous as they might be – and want an Edmund for my very own before their first day of trysts were through. I even put up with his over-the-top dialogue, though that started getting a tad much by the time the climax came rolling around. But the thought of a not-really-reformed vicar wanting to dirty the older yet innocent widow? Oh, my. More, please. And then a little more after that.

My issues with Sylvie spring mostly from her general weepy nature. She’s very conflicted about her desires and feelings for a younger man, and while it’s probably appropriate for the time and setting, that type of heroine bores me. She was sexually aggressive when the moment came for it, but it always felt like she was on the border of breaking down into tears, which made it more difficult for me to engage with her personally.

But I mentioned the hot, right? Because it is. Even the epilogue is hot, if not the hottest scene in the whole story. I might have thought the conflict needed to carry this short novella through to its ending a little contrived, but in light of the fact that it’s an erotic romance that is actually erotic for me, I’m willing to overlook that. Because ultimately, I cared enough about Edmund to want him to have his happy ending, and isn’t that what falling for romance heroes is all about?


8/10 – Except for some of the dialogue that gets a tad over the top by the end, this is very compulsive reading.


8/10 – Want one. Now. Though it would be nice if his language wasn’t quite as flowery as it gets in the end.


6/10 – A little too weepy for my tastes, though at least she ends up owning her sexuality

Entertainment value

8/10 – Hotter than anything I’ve read in the past month, it only gets held back because of my annoyance with the heroine.

World building

8/10 – Rich enough for its purposes, though if the story were longer, I would have needed more.




Josh Lanyon said...

AT LOVE'S COMMAND is the one I keep hearing about. One of these days I'm going to have some spare time and catch up on my recommended reads.

Book Utopia Mom said...

Sometimes it's worse getting people recommending stories all the time. My TBR pile is already huge, lol.

Samantha Kane said...

Thank you for the review! It's amazing how many people are fascinated with the idea of a naughty vicar hero.

As for the language, when writing historicals you always ride a fine line. If you stay true to historical accuracy then modern readers don't like it, as you said it's often too flowery. But if you go too modern in dialogue, then historical sticklers will not like it. I'm constantly trying to find that balance, and I appreciate any feedback I can get.

I'm glad that it worked as an erotic novel for you. ;-)