Review: Sinful Surrender by Beverley Kendall

I'm having trouble putting into words just how I feel about this book. I admit, at first, I really didn't like it. Throughout the first 80 pages or so, the writing is stilted, the characterization shallow, and the plot uninteresting.

While there remains no clear narrative voice (a personal reading preference of mine), the writing improved dramatically in the second half of the book. You gain more insight into why James is being so obtuse and resistant to the idea of Missy as his wife. Missy gains some dimensionality, although I'm still not sure her actions are true to how the author portrays her.
I did have some real problems with the unevenness of the secondary characters. Some were well done...others incredibly sketchy and shallow. Thomas, Missy's brother, is well done. Lady Victoria, who is central to some of the book's biggest suspense, seems vague. Sure, she's supposed to be cold and unfeeling, but given what she does and why, I expected to get a bit more depth to her character.

There is also a shocking lack of setting. Nothing stood out to me at all. Sure, we are all trained to fill in the blanks of what London and townhouses should look like in Victorian England, but I didn't find a single unique description of setting anywhere in the entire book.

All of that makes it sound as if the book were bad, when it really isn't. By the end of the book, I was completely invested in seeing Missy and James resolve their issues and get their Happily Ever After. (Although I could have REALLY done without the baby-filled Epilogue.)

Overall,  it's a good start for a debut author.

My grade: C

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