October 6, 2009
Marrying for love can be a challenge. . .
Edward, Marquess of Foye, would have been happy to continue his life as an unmarried gentleman rake. His brother’s death changed everything. As the last of his line, Edward must now marry. Heart already broken by a capricious young girl, he vows to find an older woman-seasoned, mature. . .and no threat to his feelings.
Falling in love can be dangerous. . .
Sabine Godard was educated by an Oxford don beyond what was proper. Her studies became her salvation after her past left her unwilling to accept the touch of any man. Though she never intended to fall in love, when she and Edward meet, passion defies logic. Together they explore temptation and sensuality, healing old wounds. . .until events require them to risk everything for their love.
How this came about:
In February of last year I read and thoroughly enjoyed Ms. Jewel’s novel Scandal and reviewed the book here. Renee from “Renee’s Book Addiction“, and Christine, from “The Happily Ever After” blogs both commented that they would like to read the book. Renee had been waiting a long time for it to come in at her library, so I e-mailed her and asked if she would like my copy, and off it went to California. After Renee finished “Scandal”, she asked if I would mind if it went to Minneapolis, to stay with Carolyn from “The Thrillionth Page“, and I said not at all as long as it ultimately went to Christine. So my copy of “Scandal” really made the ’rounds’, which was awesome!
When I learned “Indiscreet” was to be published I contacted Renee, Christine and Carolyn and asked if they would be interested in doing a ’round robin’ again and maybe a little discussion post about the book and they all kindly agreed. We got together on iChat one night before Christmas which brings us to today. It’s been great fun and I want to thank Renee, Christine and Carolyn for taking time out of their busy schedules to join in.
Renee and I both have Giveaways planned today so be sure to stop by her blog and Christine has a “special” post planned. Carolyn is working hard on her craft of writing, if you notice the widget in my right sidebar a certain someone has a novel hitting the shelves very soon! (WOOT) Make sure and leave a comment here if you want to be entered for a choice of either “Indiscreet” or “Scandal”, see info below.
I wanted to comment that I think the cover art for both of Ms. Jewel’s historical novels is truly beautiful and sensual.
Christine: One thing that I loved about Indiscreet was the setting of the novel and how wonderfully and accurately Ms. Jewel incorporated such an exotic setting into the story. The story takes place during the early Regency England time period, but is almost entirely set in Turkey. I think it’s quite obvious how carefully and the author researched the region, its people and culture during this time period. The physical descriptions of the setting, were, in my opinion, perfectly orchestrated. I was easily and instantly brought into the setting and could not only acutely visualize the physical surroundings, but found I could just about feel the heat on my skin, smell and taste the foods, and hear the foreign chatter of the language and animals that would be a marketplace in a city outside of Constantinople, Turkey during that time period. I thought it was wonderful. Did anyone else feel transported to Turkey like I did when they read this novel?
Lea: I too enjoyed the exotic setting of Indiscreet, and thought Ms. Jewell’s descriptive prose and graphic imagery was outstanding. It think the setting of this novel added to the excitement she incorporated into what for me was a thrilling adventure story. I like learning about learning about different regions of the world in my fiction reading and Ms. Jewel made Sabine and Foye’s journey a truly pleasurable one.
Carolyn: I totally echo that about the location – it was vivid and fascinating. I really appreciated getting this insight on the precarious relationship between the Turkish power-brokers of the time and English nationals living there, and the sense that the English people were cut off from the protection of the crown, in a land with different customs and laws, but creating their own little Regency islands within it. I thought Jewel used the clash of the cultures imaginatively. Also, it was interesting how Sabine has so few rights and powers as a supposedly fallen women, just within English society, and then English aristocrats as a whole have little power when in Turkey.
Renee: It’s funny, cause typically “exotic” settings aren’t really my thing in romance. (For some reason, I do enjoy them in other genres. Inconsistent, I know.) However, Carolyn Jewel did do such a great job with bringing 19th century Turkey to life. What made it work for me was that it wasn’t too idealized or romanticized. It did feel like she grounded it in research and yet, neither the action nor the characters got too bogged down or overwhelmed by the setting.
Christine: I enjoyed both of the lead characters in Indiscreet very much and really enjoyed watching them fall in love. To me, Miss Sabine Godard and Edward, the Marquess of Foye’s love story developed realistically and very naturally. Despite the obsession with Foye’s “monster” image that I thought was a bit over done, I liked that while they found each other physically attractive, they first and foremost were attracted to each other because of their intelligence and wit, their similarities and their differences, and quite simply they enjoyed each other’s company. Throughout the story, they both had their doubts about each other’s intentions and true feelings, and they also had some serious obstacles to overcome, but I never once thought they didn’t belong together and kept turning the pages until they had their happily ever after.
Did any of you find Foye’s “monster” image over done? I realize the author wanted to emphasize that Foye was not this perfect Adonis of a man –which I think is great, by the way– but I thought Foye’s own obsession with his size and unsymmetrical facial features was on the verge of excessive. It’s not like his physical appearance affected his self confidence. He was actually quite matter of fact about it, so why keep bringing it up? Especially since Sabine never showed objection to his looks and even admitted to him early on that she actually found him attractive.
Lea: I also felt Sabine and Foye’s relationship developed quite naturally, under the circumstances over the course of the story. IMHO one of Ms. Jewel’s strengths as an author is her ability to write introspective thoughts and scenes for her characters and I think this was very well done in the case of Sabine and Foye. I could really sense these character’s emotions and the POV transitions were very smooth.
I agree with Christine, however I did find Foye’s obsession with his appearance was over done and need not have been reiterated so may times. That being said, he was certainly a strong male protagonist and I quite liked him.
Personally, and this was my own subjective reading experience of Indiscreet, I found Sabine to be rather cold. I don’t think this was a bad thing given her upbringing and trials and tribulations over the course of the story, however I did have difficulty becoming invested in this character’s story for whatever reason.
Carolyn: Oh, what’s funny is I enjoyed having the picture of Foye kept alive in my mind’s eye. I had such a strong sense of his personality, of him being a thoughtful, quiet man who is moved to throw aside his plans and really act the action hero for a bit. I also enjoyed that he was older than her – did you guys? It seemed fitting for Sabine’s intelligence and maturity, and he had a bit of Knightly in him (from Austen’s Emma) which I loved. I just ate up that initial interaction between them, that tea-leaf reading bit. it’s one of my fave scenes. That and the kiss at the lonely tower!! Do you guys have favorite scenes?
Renee: I really loved how Sabine and Foye connected on such a deep level, right away. To me that’s a tricky thing to convey without feeling “insta-love”-ish, but here, it was done very well.
Foye’s self-image (and the frequent mentions of his appearance) were fine for me. To me, it spoke more to his own self-consciousness that people tend to have despite the image they may project. Since Carolyn Jewel’s style when writing about her characters tends toward the introspective, this worked. Also, Sabine’s restraint felt really consistent with how she was affected by her experience with the slanderous Crosshaven and her current relationship with her uncle.
Carolyn, my favorite scene was when they were saying goodbye in the courtyard at her uncle’s, before they leave for Kilis. Oh! I love all that passion restrained by the need to be circumspect. They are having such an emotionally naked moment, but are out in the open where they can be discovered by her uncle or the servants. I love the tension in that scene!
Also, when she draws his portrait. So steamy!
Christine: I loved reading Indiscreet and could barely put the book down. I have to admit, though, that I got a little tripped up with the ending. There was a last minute plot device that I thought was unnecessary and actually pulled me out of the story. I’ve seen other readers mention this in their reviews as well, so I know it isn’t just me. However, since everything else about Indiscreet was just lovely, I’m forgiving of this little pitfall.
Lea: I too enjoyed Indiscreet, I have to preface this by saying that I liked “Scandal” Ms. Jewel’s previous historical romance more. However, aside from my issues with Sabine and I too had a real niggle with the particular plot twist at the end; the exciting plot, the action and the setting of this novel kept me turning the pages.
Carolyn: Right, that plot device. I didn’t like it either, but it’s such a tiny little flourish at the end, it didn’t much change my overall thought of the book. Especially because the action in the second half in of the tale was so damn exciting! Really, one of the most exciting adventures I’ve read in a historical in a long while – I was just turning pages breathlessly, on the total edge of my seat. So the end device, it created balance, but I didn’t need it.
Renee: Yeah, that particular plot-device is a real hot button for me. It pulled me out of the book, too, Christine. I think, also, because there had been so much great action in the last half of the book, it wasn’t really necessary. At least it was quickly resolved.
Christine: Overall, Indiscreet was wonderfully written, beautifully descriptive and a joy to read. I just love historical romances that incorporate a richly descriptive setting, intelligent and interesting characters, political intrigue and romantic adventure in which the love story is clearly the driving force behind the entire novel. Indiscreet had all of this and I enjoyed it tremendously. I will definitely bump Scandal up higher in the TBR pile and keep my eye out for future historical romances by Carolyn Jewel.
Lea: I agree with Christine that “Indiscreet” was a well written novel, with rich descriptive prose and a setting that enhanced Foye and Sabine’s story. I have one of Ms. Jewel’s paranormal stories in my stacks and am looking forward to the read.
Carolyn: Christine! I forgot you didn’t read Scandal! I can’t wait to hear your thoughts. And unlike Lea and Renee, much as I enjoyed Scandal, I prefer this one. I found it incredibly memorable and vivid. And honestly, on a sheer writerly level, I’m always impressed by Carolyn Jewel. I need to get to the Jewel paranormals.
Renee: Well, given that Scandal was one of my favorite books of last year, and My Wicked Enemy was one of my favorite paranormals, my expectations were pretty high. While Scandal remains my favorite historical by Carolyn Jewel, Indiscreet is still an excellent read.
February 3, 2009
The earl of Banallt is no stranger to scandal. But when he meets Sophie Evans, the young wife of a fellow libertine, even he is shocked by his reaction. This unconventional and intelligent woman proves to be far more than an amusing distraction– she threatens to drive him to distraction. Unlike the women who usually fall at Banallt’s feet, and into his bed, Sophie refuses to be seduced. And soon Banallt desires her more than ever– and for more than an illicit affair.
Years later, the widowed Sophie is free, and Banallt is determined to win the woman he still loves. Unfortunately, she doesn’t believe his declaration of love and chivalrous offer of marriage– her heart has already been broken by her scoundrel of a husband. And yet, Sophie is tempted to indulge in the torrid affair she’s always fantasized about. Caught between her logical mind and her long-denied desire, Sophie must thwart Banallt’s seduction– or risk being consumed by the one man she should avoid at all costs…