REVIEW: The Captive by Joanne Rock

Thursday, October 7, 2010 1:00
Posted in category Review

Wendy the Super Librarian‘s review of The Captive by Joanne Rock
Historical Romance published by Harlequin Blaze 01 Apr 10

I’ve enjoyed many of the Blaze historicals, but it helps to walk into these with a firm understanding of what they are.  Like contemporary Blazes, these are quick, fun, sexy reads.  If you’re looking for juicy historical detail?  Yeah, these probably aren’t what you’re looking for.  That said, this latest offering from Joanne Rock did deliver some surprises.

Lady Gwendolyn is a Saxon widow with no desire to remarry.  However, she might not have much choice in the matter.  Her parents are dead, and she’s thrown herself at the mercy of her odious former guardian because he’s the lesser of two evils when compared to her in-laws.  It’s to his benefit to marry her off again, so our gal is just sitting around waiting for the other shoe to drop.

It drops in the form of Wulf Geirsson, a Viking warrior, who storms the castle and decides to take her captive.  Our boy is in need of a distraction, and one look at Gwen is all it takes.  Distracted he is.  Oh, and horny.  But as these two fall in love, they are confronted by old enemies.

Of all the Blaze historicals I’ve read, this one is one of the better ones when it comes to delivering a nice sense of place and historical detail.  I liked that Gwen put up a fight, I liked that Wulf, while a warrior, was gentle enough to earn her trust.  I got a real sense of the conflict that was standing in the way of their happily-ever-after.  The love scenes sizzle (a requirement for a Blaze book) and I believed in the romance.

What I found harder to believe in was the resolution to one bit of the conflict.  Frankly, it smacked of a cop-out, especially after this villain had demonstrated how determined he was to be a thorn in Wulf’s side.  There’s also a small matter of a traitor not being dealt with.  Since this traitor toyed with Gwen, I found it shocking that Wulf didn’t deal with this minor detail in some excruciating fashion.  Uh, especially since by that point he was madly in love with her.  Seriously, I can’t see a Viking just letting that one go.

While the ending didn’t tie everything up in an always satisfactory manner, this was still a solid read, with enough historical (and naughty) bits to keep me flipping the pages.  There is a loyal band of Viking lovers in historical romance fandom, and for those readers this book is definitely worth a look.

Wendy TSLGrade: B-

Summary:

What’s a little bondage between enemies?

Women should be sweet, mild mannered…docile. Unfortunately, Lady Gwendolyn, a rich Saxon widow, is none of those things.

And Viking warrior Wulf Geirsson wants her desperately! One glimpse of the brazen beauty scrambling over the castle ramparts, and he knows he has to have her. Especially when she takes a tumble and lands at his feet.

But Wulf quickly finds that taking Gwendolyn and keeping her are two different things. And once she decides to engage in a seductive assault of her own, he’s the one captivated….

Read an excerpt.

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