Tuesday, May 09, 2006

One Dead Pervert

Ugh, life is not being blogging friendly. Although I've had no time to write, I have gotten some reading in. This past week I read Captives of the Night by Loretta Chase. I was very excited for this book because the hero, the Comte D'Esmond, made a brief but memorable appearance in Lord of Scoundrels and was the villain Ismal, in The Lion's Daughter. As I have mentioned (ad nauseum), I loved reformed bad guys, so I was quite interested in his journey from Albanian asshole to French nobleman and hero. At the heart of CON is a murder mystery--who killed Francis Beaumont, the blackmailer and debauchee who made appearances in Lord of Scoundrels and The Last Hellion. One interesting part of this book was looking back on the other two titles and realizing how certain events in those books were part of the larger story here.

So anyway, our hero Esmond, who carries out various and shady deeds for the government, had previously foiled Beaumont's blackmailing scheme. At that time, he met Beaumont's artist wife Leila, and was quite fascinated by her. Leila pretty much avoids her odious husband and instead consumes herself with work. Things get bad when she finds Francis dead after they have a loud quarrel (heard by the servants, of course). The resulting inquest brings the super hot and unsettling Esmond back into her life. Together they will figure out who killed the loathesome Francis. And perhaps fall in love and live happily ever after, if they can get past Esmond's many secrets.

This has a different tone than a lot of Chase's book. It's darker--Beaumont was a real sleaze, and a lot of people hate him passionately. It was a pretty good mystery actually. Most mystery subplots in Romances are pretty weak, and that's cool, b/c that's not what I'm reading the book for. If I wanted a mystery, I'd read one. But in this case, the mystery almost seemed to overpower the romance. Compounding that, Esmond was a very enigmatic character, even after he came clean about his past. In any case, I didn't find this book as involving or memorable as many of Chase's others. But it was still worth a read, particularly if you've read some of the other titles I mentioned. There was entertaining dialogue, good love scenes and it moved quickly.