Thursday, July 30, 2009
Flowers from the Storm by Laura Kinsale
I know what you’re thinking –
Pec-tabulously perfect nipples!
Oh Fabio, if only you’d never uttered the word butter. That ruined you for me.
Do they still make shirts without buttons? How inconvenient on a cold day.
I thought of all these things and more when I saw this cover. I laughed and laughed. You’ve got to be kidding! And laughed some more. But I wasn’t supposed to laugh. This is a serious historical romance, not a comedy. Luckily, it didn’t take much to remove this hot-buttered Fabio from my thoughts as I imagined the tortured hero from this novel, and while only tentatively dipping my toe in at first I quickly jumped in whole-heartedly. This book consumed me.
Christian Langland, the Duke of Jervaulx (pronounced Shervoh) is London’s most notorious rake. An extremely intelligent and rich rake, but a rake none the less. Of course he is. Aren’t they always – sigh... When challenged to a duel by the husband of one of his ah, dalliances, he suffers a stroke that’s been coming on for weeks. All but his immediate family believes him dead, when in reality he’s been ensconced in a mental asylum under the presumption that he’s gone insane. Enter Maddy, a Quaker of the strictest kind and the daughter of the mathematician who’d been working with Jervaulx before he’d disappeared. Quite by accident she discovers him there, and over a period of months she strives to relieve him of his madness. Because he isn’t mad at all of course, just seriously ill. But don’t worry, all his parts are in working order soon enough. Or are they? Hmm...
What happens next is so stinking good I just don’t have the heart to spill the beans, sorry, but kudos to Kinsale for giving us a hero who can’t talk. She takes him to his barest self, almost stripped of everything; a naked spirit - See! I’m obsessed with skin after reading this book. I got a great sense of his frustration, his all out fury with his illness, and then Maddy as she wrestles with her growing feelings for him and her strict religion. It was well written. It was engaging. At times, it held me by the throat.
If you like a heady romance, this is as good as they come. You’ll be singing hallelujah before you reach the last page, no doubt, Fabio or no. You can take that to the bank. 4 stars