oracne - Victoria Janssen (oracne) wrote,
oracne - Victoria Janssen
oracne

Dahl, START ME UP; Campbell, CAPTIVE OF SIN

Start Me Up, Victoria Dahl: the tale of a girl mechanic and an absent-minded architect, and also a piece of heavy equipment. Lori Love had to give up Boston College when her father was badly injured, so she took over his garage and has been stuck in Tumble Creek ever since, though she dreams of traveling the world. When she's looking for a no-strings affair, Quinn Jennings is, to her immense surprise, more than willing to cooperate. He promptly snags one of the erotic books Lori's always reading for research into what she really wants and cannot tell him.

This is a romance, so there are some very sweet romantic bits, but I was also highly entertained by the erotic scenes. And the little snippets of what Lori's been reading.

This is a sequel to Talk Me Down, one of the best contemporary romances I've read in a really long while.

Start Me Up

Captive of Sin, Anna Campbell: cracktastic in the manner of her previous work, but I wasn't as swept away by it as by Untouched (male virgin in captivity!). I was a little disappointed the heroine's angst didn't get more plot devoted to it. At the book's opening, Charis Weston has escaped a beating and potential rape intended to force her into a marriage because she's an heiress and her stepbrothers need money. She's rescued by a gorgeous man, Gideon Trevithick, recently returned from India, and is immediately infatuated with him even though she is also wary (I was a little dubious she could notice how hot he was under those circumstances, but perhaps his rescuing her helped, and she has a chance to see him as vulnerable as well, and also my romance-colored goggles usually take care of such things for me).

We learn that people know him as a hero, which he denies, and that being in crowds, unless he is in the midst of a fight, makes him physically sick. He was a spy in India and ended up being captured and tortured. It becomes obvious he can't bear to touch anyone or be touched, even though he is very attracted to Charis and likes her. After he and Charis enter into a marriage of convenience to protect her, the story becomes Charis overcoming his issue so they can have a real marriage. There's action at the end to tie up her plot, involving the evil stepbrothers, but even that is really mostly about Gideon.

Regarding the Indian bits, Gideon was recruited as a spy because of his gift for languages, and he became sympathetic to the Indians after a while and wanted out, though there's not enough information to get a detailed idea of his feelings and opinions. He was captured on a final mission and horribly tortured; I got the impression that part of his self-loathing came from feeling guilty that he'd kept spying and feeling he deserved it. When we meet him in England, he's with an Indian friend, Akash, who speaks English and dresses as a gentleman, and is in the Hero's Best Friend role. Akash then is off doing something else in the middle of the book, and at the end reappears with an English title, which I don't think was hinted at earlier. I'm assuming he must be mixed race if he inherited an English title. Perhaps he is the hero of his own book, which is meant to take place at the same time? Is that the next one?

Overall, I rate this book as cracktastic. The crack is the reason for things happening. We are meant to Embrace the Crack. So I, mostly, did.

Captive of Sin
Tags: contemporary, historical, romance
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