Sunday, March 6, 2011
I Kissed an Earl
Violet Redmond is pampered and pretty, the apple of the ton for her looks and her fortune, and of course for her talent for courting scandal. She is bored by the life of the ton and longs for adventure, but first she desires to find her elder brother, Lyon, who disappeared without a word when his love broke his heart. Flint, the newly minted Earl of Ardmay, was born on the wrong side of the blanket and lived a harsh life in an orphanage with no one to look out for him, but himself. He learned quickly how to get what he wanted out of life, and his work at capturing pirates on the high seas earned him the notice of the king. He has been trying to capture, Le Chat, a pirate who has been sinking ships and has proven incredibly elusive. Violet meets Flint at a ball, and while he is not her usual type, she is drawn to the confident, handsome, and charming young captain. Unfortunately the more she hears about Le Chat, the more she comes to believe that her brother Lyon is the infamous pirate captain and she is determined to see that he does not end up swinging from a noose.
She stows away on Flint's ship in the hope of finding Lyon and preventing any negative consequences for his actions. Flint does not like the newest addition to his crew and he soon finds out that Violet is no wilting flower; she has a backbone and is more than capable of standing up to him. So the ship journeys through the seas, always one step behind Le Chat and as the sail Flint and Violet begin to get closer. She admires his sense of responsibility and his sense of purpose, but she still knows she could not stand to let him capture her brother. Flint knows that capturing Lyon will hurt the woman he admires so much, but Le Chat sunk the ship of Flint's childhood hero and he has sworn vengeance. Their journey will take them to various escapes around Europe and the encounter people from their pasts, such as an old lover of Flint's, and Violet proves that she can definitely hold her own in a cat fight. But perhaps things are not quite as they appear and finding Lyon will open both of their eyes to truths that neither was willing to admit. Flint has to discover that love is worth giving up on old hatreds, while Violet must realize that she cannot save everyone and must sometimes focus on finding her own happiness. It takes a lot f these two to come together, but love does triumph in the end.
This book took a very long time for me to get through as I started it, read about a hundred pages, and put it down for a month before finally finishing it up. There were just too many other books in my to be read pile that promised to be more interesting and fun, and finishing this up was almost like a chore I had to force myself to complete. The most startling aspect of the book, and the one that prompted me to put it down for so long, was how absolutely cold the characters are. There was no heated arguments, no fun and happiness, just an aura of cold calculation that permeated everything that happened in the book. It is difficult to describe, but I just felt like nothing was spontaneous, nothing was enjoyable for them, everything just plodded along with no exciting emotion. The book was incredibly wordy; there were pages where absolutely nothing happened, and each of these characters would ruminate for seeming hours about everything from the color of a dress to how to stop the slave trade. Unfortunately far too little of this book was told from Flint's point of view and I think it would have helped to have more because I quickly became tired of Violet and her seemingly endless thoughts and feelings about nothing important.
Violet as a person was fairly bland and I never really got a feel for her. Flint liked her because of her immense capacity for love and her loyalty and her ability to hold her own against him and when confronted with others. However, I did not find any of these qualities special or well written enough for me to like Violet for them as well. Flint was slightly better, perhaps because I wasn't in his mind as much and thus was not able to build up a dislike of him so easily. He was very responsible, and fairly kind, but I did not like his single minded pursuit of Lyon, even after he learned some very difficult truths about his mission. There were a lot of heated glances, that really did not simmer to hot but were intriguing nonetheless, but no actual sex until practically the end and by then it was so overdue I just wanted to skip over it. Everything was very muted throughout the book, including the sex, which I just didn't find enjoyable at all. I felt like the relationship between Flint and Violet got a really short shrift her as too much time was spent on ruminating then on these two having genuine interactions. Despite how awkward this book was I still was incredibly interested in reading more about Lyon and what he is up to, but unfortunately it does not seem like that book is coming out any time soon.
Rating: The book was bad, I cannot lie, and very boring with far too much text, but it was not as bad as some I have read.