Friday, November 7, 2008

Her Savage Lover by Brenda Williamson

TITLE: Her Savage Lover
AUTHOR: Brenda Williamson
PUBLISHER: Aspen Mountain Press
LENGTH: Short story (roughly 14k)
GENRE: Historical romance
COST: $2.50

Eden has returned west, to the home where she was raised, to the half-breed Cherokee she loved before getting pregnant and being banished to Boston. She brings their son with her, to finally tell Brant that he is a father. But Brant can’t forget that she left him once. How does he know she’s not going to try and take his son away from him again?

One of my kinks came around to bite me in the butt again. I knew it was short. I knew that it sounded like there was a lot to cram into such a small space. But the excerpt seemed kind of sweet and romantic, and I decided to give it a shot. More like a shot in the foot.

Editorially, the story is a mess. One character changes name halfway through from Sully to Scully. Words get used incorrectly. Even the heroine’s last name has one spelling in the blurb, and a different one in the story itself. The simplistic prose doesn’t help matters, and the lack of any smoothness in character development or growth makes it next to impossible to engage with the characters. Reading it was a real chore.

The characters are just as muddled as the prose. Brant goes from cold, to hot, to seductive, back to cold again, while Eden is at turns fearful, needy, hateful, and loving. Sometimes all on the same page. There are no smooth transitions from mood to mood to mood, which steals any life the characters might have on their own. It doesn’t help that the story’s brevity takes away any opportunity to explore the complicated feelings involved for both parties, or give them any kind of time to react to the dire events that transpire. Maybe if it was longer, there would’ve been space, but then I can’t help but wonder if the author wouldn’t have just tried to cram even more stuff in. Either way, it just doesn’t work.


5/10 – Multiple editing issues and immature writing don’t help a story too compressed to be effective.


4/10 – Flat and scattered


3/10 – Even flatter than the hero, with no reasonable flow to her multiple moods

Entertainment value

3/10 – Only the fact that I have a thing for Native American heroes helps this.

World building

4/10 – There’s a lack of real time or place in this, which is dangerous for a historical



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