Swept Away by a Kiss by Katharine Ashe {Amanda’s Review}

Posted 15 September, 2014 by Amanda / 6 Comments

Swept Away by a Kiss by Katharine Ashe {Amanda’s Review}Swept Away By a Kiss by Katharine Ashe
Series: Rogues of the Sea
Genres: Fiction, General, Historical, Romance
Pages: 384
Format: Paperback
Source: Library

A Secret Identity

When pirates storm Viscount Steven Ashford's ship upon the high seas, it brings him closer than ever to the nefarious criminal he seeks to ruin. Only one seductive detail threatens his victory: the scandalous beauty imprisoned with him, Lady Valerie Monroe. Temptation has never been so intoxicating or so forbidden, for Steven is disguised as a French priest. If they make it off the ship alive, to protect her from his enemies he must never see her again . . .

An Undeniable Love

Back in England, and under the ton's scrutiny for a reckless past she hasn't escaped, Valerie dreams of the breathtaking “man of the cloth” with whom she shared her greatest adventure. Then he reappears in society under his true identity, Viscount Ashford, but, despite the danger, their consuming passion cannot be denied. Now standing in the way of their desire are Valerie’s wounded heart, Steven’s lone destiny, and a villain who will stop at nothing to crush them both.

Needs more character motivation for me.

Thoughts on Swept Away by a Kiss

Back in May, I read a book called Wired for Story. It changed how I read (and write) stories. What it talks about is ultimately what I find Katharine Ashe’s books to be lacking: a deeper understanding of character motivation.

The reason motivation — often found in a life-changing event in the character’s past — is so important is that it tells the reader how the characters will react to the situations they’re put in. To truly feel like we’re a part of the story, some element of predictability needs to be there; we need to understand why a character acts a certain way.

And that, for me, is why I can’t get flaily about Katharine Ashe’s books (of which I’ve now read two and both had the same issue). They’re good stories, for sure. But things just seem to happen, and I didn’t always understand why. Because I didn’t “get” the characters.

So, we know that Valerie and Steven have some kind of event in their past that shapes who they are from the very beginning, but it often takes a couple hundred pages before we get the full picture. But by then, it’s not enough to make a true connection with either character.

What I liked about this book over When a Scot Loves a Lady, though, is no Scottish brogue to decipher. Win. Still a good story, but I’m uncertain at this point whether I want to continue reading more Katharine Ashe.


Filed under: ESR: 7, Historical Romance, Review: Amanda,


6 Responses to “Swept Away by a Kiss by Katharine Ashe {Amanda’s Review}”

    • Nope. Definitely not feeling a connection to the characters, and that’s usually a deal breaker for me, especially in a romance, where the book depends on its characters.

  1. Yeah, when there’s no character depth, it’s difficult to really immerse yourself in the story. It can be good…but not great. (That’s one of the things I struggle with when I write — adding in enough depth to both the characters and the setting, as my prose tends to be sparse. I’m checking out Wired for Story next!!)

    • For me, making the connection with a characters depends on what I know of their past. I’ve noticed that every time a character holds back a certain part of their past (I’m thinking of a Lisa Kleypas book I read recently), when it’s finally revealed, I’m just like, “Oh. That’s it?” Because invariably, I spend the whole book imagining what the BIG HUGE SECRET is, and it’s never as grand or as important as the book makes it sound. Then I get disappointed. Which is never a good way to end a book.

      Hope you enjoy Wired for Story! It’s really helped me.

  2. Character development is so important to me, and I have to understand who the characters are to really enjoy the story. I don’t care how amazing the plot is. I don’t think I’ll be trying out anything by Ashe. But I am going to look at Wired for Story!

    • Ooooh, Wired for Story is so good. :) And it’s made me appreciate some books more or, like in this case, made it possible for me to articulate why I wasn’t fond of story. Since characters and their development is so essential to romances, it’s difficult to get behind a book that doesn’t tell me a lot about them.

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