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Book CoverLynneC’s review of Exquisite Revenge by Abby Green
Contemporary Romance published by Mills and Boon Modern Romance 1 Nov 12

I’ve enjoyed books by Abby Green in the past, so despite the awful cover, which seems to have little relation to what happens inside the book, I picked it up with pleasurable anticipation. Unfortunately, this one doesn’t quite work for me.

Jesse Moriarty has a horrible father who beat her and refused to acknowledge her as his daughter. He’s a wealthy industrialist, and so when she’s an adult, Jesse sets out to avenge herself on what he did to her and her mother. To that end she kidnaps Luc Sanchis, who is buying her father’s business and getting him out of the hole Jesse’s put him into. She wants to keep him on the little Greek island she’s rented from a friend until the deadline has passes. She doesn’t realize that Luc has a beef against him, too, and is planning his own form of revenge.

I’m not a big fan of revenge stories, they rarely work for me. It tends to bring out the nastiness and pettiness of characters, a negativity that doesn’t work well with a romance, unless the author works hard to show that the romance is more important than the revenge. In this case, the villain is a truly nasty person who deserves what’s coming to him, so both Jesse and Luc can feel smug about having bested him at the end of the story. The villain doesn’t appear personally on the page and is depicted with a cartoonish nastiness it’s hard to believe in. I’d have liked to have experienced him with more than hearsay, so the drive of the book never works properly for me.

Jesse is a techie who has invented the security system many of the biggest companies in the world use, including Luc’s. But during the story, when she kidnaps Luc, she keeps the tech away from him so he can’t call for help, which means keeping it away from herself. She uses her phone once to check on emails, and that’s about it, before the sex feast that they inevitably share. So I couldn’t believe in Jesse as a techie. She plays computer games, but that doesn’t a techie make. She isn’t antsy away from her machines, and she doesn’t talk like a geek. She is pixie-like with short hair and a slender figure, who wears plain trouser suits all the time, but, of course, during the story she finds her way into a glamorous evening gown and sexier clothes. Because Luc likes her that way.

I think Luc is a bit better done, but he is lightly drawn. He’s a big alpha male who’s a success in business. That’s about it, really.

However, Abby Green writes well and her assured style takes me through the story, despite my disbelief being shattered more than once. It is laughably easy for Jesse to kidnap Luc, for example. I can’t believe that he’d travel in business without a bevy of assistants and some security staff of his own, for instance. The same for Jesse, who’s as wealthy and important to other people, so her person would be safeguarded better than it is. There are some indications that the book could have been better edited, as when Jesse is wearing a dress that reaches her thighs and her knees in the same sentence, or the inappropriate use of the word “surreal.” I wondered, when the sirens went off in the house in Greece, what’s the point, if it isn’t linked to a security service? Who’s there to hear it? The black moment of the story seems unnecessary, as if it’s required for the book and the book length rather than serving the story.

LynneCs iconGrade: C


All’s fair in love and revenge! Jesse Moriarty’s whole life has been about one thing – making sure her father pays for the pain he caused their family. Her goal’s in sight, but there’s one man standing in her way: Luc Sanchis. Kidnapped and stranded on a Greek island, with only his intriguing – and stunning – captor, Luc must uncover her secrets if he’s going to get off this island and back to business. There’s only one way that’s sure to work: seduction. Now, with the tables turned, who will come out on top?

Read an excerpt.