Thursday, December 15, 2011

Treasures of the Sun

Treasures of the Sun by Christina Dodd 1204

Katherine Chamberlain left her life in Boston where she acted as servant and legal extraordinaire to her wealthy relatives, to marry adventurer Tobias Maxwell. Damian de la Sola, a native Californian whose Spanish ancestors had come to California years before, sees the beautiful Katherine and knows instantly that she is meant for him but Tobias is his best friend so he makes no move to intercede. Only a few short weeks into the marriage, Tobias is murdered in public and Katherine is left a widow with no one to turn to. Damien takes Katherine into his home and gives her a position in his household so that she will feel like she is doing something worthwhile and decides that the best thing is to let Katherine do her grieving and then step in when she is ready. He is furious when he learns that Katherine intends to leave Monterey and wastes no time in telling her that leaving is impossible because their destiny lies with each other.

Katherine cannot deny the attraction she has for Damien but his life is so far removed from everything familiar to her and she knows she will never be entirely accepted by the proud Californians who have reason to distrust and dislike Americans. She runs away but Damien's family is powerful and they manage to delay her leaving, but in doing so give the person who killed Tobias the opportunity to come after her and reveal that Tobias was killed to try and find the lost treasure of the padres. Damien is able to save Katherine but realizes that she will not really be safe until the treasure is found or proven a myth so he decides to find it; but not before marrying Katherine. Katherine knows that their marriage will be difficult to negotiate because she is a proud American and he is an equally proud and controlling Californian but together they must work to solve a century old mystery to save their lives and give them a chance for a future.

Katherine was very intelligent and proud and I admired that she took control of her life and took a risk and wanted to be self sufficient. I especially liked her realistic look at her relationship with Damien as she realized that it would be very difficult and that it would take massive amounts of compromise on both their parts, including her own. She was willing to work on this and did not accept Damien just being who he was and insisted that he see her for who she was. One of my favorite moments every came when he was trying to run her life and she asked him how he fell in love with her if he doesn't seem to like any of the elements that make her who she is and he realized that he was in the wrong and did not want to change the woman he loved. Damien was not as well developed although there was a definite sense of pride and the knowledge that Katherine was the woman for him and while he was at times frustrating I liked how at the end he realized he would have to compromise in order to love Katherine.

Their relationship progressed nicely and I really like when the characters have a real problem that they need to work out, in this case their pride clashing, and it was handled so brilliantly and really made it clar that they would be able to work through other things in the future. There was some sex between them, not very much, and it was just so-so and kind of swallowed up in the rest of the immense book. The treasure hunting was really the focus of this book and while I wanted to get into it because it was almost California history, I just couldn't and did not like it. This book was incredibly long and sat in my to be read pile for a nearly a year and when I finally did get around to reading it I decided that the easiest way to get through it was to do it in very fast 50 page bursts so it did take me a long time. It was certainly not a fast read, there was not very much dialogue and had lots of descriptions and long narratives and back story, and had no funny moments to break up the monotony.

Rating: Too long and too slow with too much that didn't interest me but what was there in the romance department held my interest and I did enjoy.

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