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Posted April 12, 2011
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Invitation to Ruin...Passionate, Emotional & Controversial
Invitation to Ruin is the courageous historical romance debut novel by author Bronwen Evans. Courageous you say? It may seem odd to say that when referring to the author instead of the characters in the story, but I think the author took a few risks, that are often taboo, when writing this book. I think the author was very brave when deciding to include things like England's slave trade market at the time the book is set, and a scene involving an unconscious seduction that some reviewers have suggested is no less than rape. Our heroine, Melissa Goodly is sister to a Baron who has led their family to financial ruin because of his dissolute lifestyle and sees his sister as his answer to their lack of funds. She is poor, with little choice as to her fate. Her brother is willing to make a match for her with anyone that has a fortune, no matter the man's age or character, he will be satisfied...at least as long as the coffers are full. Our hero, Anthony Craven, is rich, titled and a man who appears in control of his destiny. Yet, he is haunted by his past, and bases his future on what he feels he deserves...which is a life devoid of love and compassion, alienating anyone his family and anyone that he could potentially develop feelings for, and instead pursues only pleasure as one of London's most infamous rakes. He was raised by a ruthless slave trader father who took every opportunity to beat (literally and figuratively) just about every compassionate emotion from him, including love, from his son. There is a controversial love scene in which Anthony and Melissa find themselves in a compromising situation which forces them to marry. Melissa is having what she things is a very passionate dream with the man she has secretly drooled over, the Lord of Wicked, Anthony Craven, & is thoroughly enjoying herself until she shockingly wakes to find herself in bed with a man and consequently ruined. The book does contain a controversial love scene that some have suggested is nothing short of rape, but I thought that the author wrote the scene with passion that clearly showed that it was never Anthony's intent to harm or seduce Melissa despite the outcome, but also leaves the reader to question the motives and actions of the characters which lets the plot of the rest of the story unfold. I thought the author did an excellent job of expressing who Melissa and Anthony were not only to the reader...but to each other. The emotions in Invitation to Ruin were passionate and sometimes dark, with despair and hurt. The hero did many things to drive his heroine away, but she persisted in her pursuit of a good marriage...not only because it was her only option to have the kind of marriage that she dreamed about, but she found things in Anthony that were redeemable. Some would say it is a perfect example of the saying "be careful what you wish for, because you might just get it". This story explores that and more. Overall I really enjoyed Invitation to Ruin and thought it was well written. There are a few things about the plot that didn't work for me, but I think this story is very courageous in some of the risks it takes, especially for a debut author, & I think this will be either a love it, or hate it type of book for readers which gave me a few hours of engaging and emotional romance reading enjoyment. Overall: 4.25 Sensuality level: 3.25 This book was reviewed for Seductive Musings blog & the book was provided by the author for review
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Posted August 13, 2011
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