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Wednesday, November 29, 2006

*** The Bargain by Julia Templeton. Erotic historical romance...

...at least that's what it says on the cover. Personally, I didn't find it any more erotic than a mainstream historical romance, and a good deal less so than some (#12). But I'm getting ahead of myself.

We have our heroine Aleysia, dressed as a boy, an expert with a bow. Her twin brother is captured by Renaud de Wulf, and when he comes for her, she shoots him with an arrow. Even so, she's strangely attracted to him, and offers him "anything" in exchange for her brother's freedom.

There's the expected back and forth dilemma about Aleysia falling in love with the hated enemy, and the trust issue from Renaud, who seems hurt that his captive would try to escape, and surprised that she'd help her brother escape when he tells her he has to take him to the king to face execution anyway--sorry about that bargain.

There is nothing here I haven't read a dozen times before, and nothing to distinguish it. There is, as advertised, quite a lot of sex, but there's nothing to distinguish that, either.

My biggest problem with this story, however, is that it hits nearly every problem I have with historical romances, and romances in general:
  • the heroine who dresses as a boy
  • the heroine who's an expert marksman
  • the back-and-forth of "I love him, but he's my enemy"
  • the premature and illogical demands for trust
Readers who don't mind those conventions, and who aren't jaded by a few too many sex scenes would probably really enjoy this, as evidenced by the Amazon reviews. It's just not for me.


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