Wednesday, August 27, 2014

#39 [2014/CBR6] "Between the Devil and Ian Eversea" by Julie Anne Long

I was going to read Between the Devil and Ian Eversea (2014) by Julie Anne Long as soon as it came out, but my library purchased an ebook and not the Kindle version. After much waiting, I got the message to check it out, and I realized I couldn't read it. I was disappointed, but there are a lot of other books out there, and I was soon distracted. It was only recently that I finally decided to suck it up and borrow the paper version. I'm a big fan of many of Julie Anne Long's books, and I knew I would read it eventually. I had high hopes, but unfortunately I was disappointed.

Tansy Danforth recently lost her parents in an accident in America. She's come to England to be the ward of the Duke of Falconbridge and find an eligible bachelor to marry--preferably one with a title. Ian Eversea is a rake. We first met him in an earlier book when he is caught by the Duke of Falconbridge in the bed of the Duke's fiance. That doesn't go well, and no one in the Eversea family, including Ian, thinks he could be a potential suitor for Tansy. In fact, most of them are intent on keeping Tansy and Ian apart.

Tansy, for her part, is immediately enthralled by Ian. Although she easily captures most men's attention through insincere flattery, she flutters and mumbles when Ian is around. Ian does not trust Tansy for a second and spends the first half of the book seething with dislike and distrust. Later in the book, we learn about Ian's struggle with his time in the war and Tansy's insecurity and need for belonging and a family.

I had a number of problems with this book. Often my favorite part of romance novels is the interplay between the love interests. Unfortunately the first half of this book involved Tansy struck silent and Ian disliking her. When they finally start to interact, it's much better, but I didn't really understand what had changed to improve their relationship. I also couldn't find much to like in either Tansy or Ian--at least in the first half of the book. Tansy was like one of the "mean girls" in high school. She flounced around, indiscriminately stealing boys and men wherever she went and glorying when she got more attention than other women. I also wasn't impressed by any of the men. Even the heroic men from earlier books were falling all over themselves when Tansy appeared, but besides being beautiful and generous with hollow compliments, I couldn't see her appeal.

I did enjoy the second half of the book much more. Tansy becomes more likable and more understandable and she and Ian start to have a real relationship. It was still too little too late, though, after my high expectations going into it. I also didn't like how little time Ian and Tansy spent together. Ian would disappear for weeks without talking to Tansy. He sleeps with her when he is planning on leaving her--knowing that if anyone found out about it, it would ruin any chances of a good marriage and a happy life. I can't remember now, but I don't think he was even concerned about not getting her pregnant. I glanced at the reviews on Amazon for this one, and they're just as high as most other Julie Anne Long books, so I seem to be in the minority on this one. But it didn't quite work for me.

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