Series: Rogues of the Sea
Genres: Fiction, General, Historical, Romance
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.