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Friday, October 10, 2008

Friday Flashback

From July 2002:

Heart of the Condor by Laura Renken. Historical romance.

"Sultry, Sexy Spaniard" indeed! Gabriel is definitely all three! Wow. I don't think I've read many books with Spanish heroes. Maybe I've been reading the wrong books.

I really felt for Gabriel in this book. Falling in love with Sarah, who's completely unsuitable--English, not nobility, & the sister of an enemy as well, & feeling trapped by his position in society & his reputation as a patriotic hero. Even if he'd felt free to follow his heart, his father-in-law & Kendrick would have seen him in prison.

I was so glad his father-in-law, Don Hernandez, came through for him in the end. He wasn't evil, & neither was Betina. They were both just trying to make Gabriel see reason, as it seemed to them.

Even Kendrick showed a little bit of humanity there at the end---he was an evil man, but we could understand him a little, being obsessed by Sarah, who'd come to mean everything he'd lost.

The priest surprised me. I suppose I was thinking he'd be like Father Henri, who had Sarah's best interests at heart.

I liked how Sarah's blindness was just another thing about her, like the color of her hair---so much so, that it took Gabriel quite a while before he even realized she was blind. She was strong & determined to carry her weight, and the fear of leaving her sanctuary was understandable. Once she left, though, her strength showed, & I was impressed by how she was determined to make herself useful, & improve things on Gabriel's estate.

I did guess early on that she'd regain her sight, because her mother's urging to keep her eyes closed & not to look kept going through her mind. Once again, it wasn't a big dramatic scene, & it was clear that her blindness had no bearing on whether or how much Gabriel loved her.

This is one of those books where several times throughout the book I asked how they would ever manage to be together. If I hadn't known it was a romance novel & been assured of a HEA, I'd have expected one or both of them to die at the end, or at the least, to have to live apart. Even though I was nearly positive I'd get that HEA ending, I wasn't completely sure, which kept me up until 2 this morning finishing it!

Thanks for an exciting, emotional read, Laura!

You can read the entire thread, including a discussion with the author, here.

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