Sunday, May 23, 2010

Guest Review - - My Reckless Surrender

My Reckless Surrender
By Anna Campbell
Publisher: Avon
Release Date: May 25, 2010

Tarquin Vale, Earl of Ashcroft, has the reputation of being a man who can’t say no to the women, from aristocrats to courtesans, who are eager to share his bed. Diana Carrick counts on that reputation when she approaches him and boldly declares she wants him as her lover. His initial refusal is just the first of a series of surprises as Diana discovers that Vale, reformist politician, collector of antiquities, and wounded soul, is immeasurably more complicated than the debauched lord she thought him to be.

Vale, sated with his self-indulgent life, finds himself reluctantly fascinated with the beauty and mystery of Diana. As the relationship develops and his feelings for Diana deepen, he reveals more and more of the man he is. But Diana guards her secrets more and more desperately. Tarquin may hold her heart, but even at her most naked and vulnerable, she never completely discards her veil. This is an Anna Campbell book. Of course, the pages steam with the heat generated in love scenes detailed in erotic richness and emotional complexity.

I’ll be candid and admit up front that I’m an Anna Campbell fan. I delayed reading Claiming the Courtesan because all the buzz about it told me that it was darker and hotter than most of the books I read, but once I read it, AC went on my auto-buy list. Her books are dark, but they are not lightless; they are hot, but she never forgets that her characters have minds, hearts, and souls as well as bodies. There is angst and anguish a plenty in My Reckless Surrender, but there are also some delightfully playful exchanges between Vale and Diana. The following is one of my favorite bits from the book:

Laughter bubbled up like a pure stream. Strangely, when this was over, she’d miss the laughter as much as the passion.

Then she remembered the taste of his mouth. The hot saltiness of his tongue. The deep thrust of his body.

Maybe not quite as much.

Vale may be my favorite of Campbell’s heroes, and that’s saying a great deal because I have loved every one of her heroes. But Vale has all the essential qualities I want in my romance heroes: intelligence, humor, integrity, and a great capacity for both tenderness and passion. I’m less enthusiastic about Diana. I felt sympathy for her, especially toward the end of the book, but her motive for choosing to do something that fills her with shame even before she falls in love with Vale never seems fully adequate to me. That quality and a feeling that the denouement is rushed account for the half star deduction. But the strengths of MRS far outweigh these flaws. The lush prose, the multi-dimensional characters, the conviction that the H/H belong together for a lifetime—these are the qualities that made My Reckless Surrender eminently readable, memorable, and satisfying. I’m left with another keeper and a question: How long do I have to wait for Anna Campbell’s next Regency noir?



  1. Oooh,
    Now I'm dying to read this book to see if Vale also becomes 'my favorite of Campbell’s heroes', as I've always sworn that after Claiming the Courtesan no other hero could measure up to the standard Anna set there.
    Now you have me gasping for this new hero.
    Will he, or won't he be better?

  2. Every review I read is awesome....well, except for one...but I'm disregarding that one because I just love Anna's novels and I can't to read this one too!!! Glad you liked (loved) it!!!.

  3. I am sooo looking forward to this one I have loved all of Anna's books and they are very special to me only a few days to go now but it will take a bit longer for it to arrive here in Oz at my place.

    Have Fun

  4. Love the review, Janga! I've been waiting anxiously to read MRS--Anna has been an auto buy for me, too, ever since I read Claiming the Courtesan. I adore her books, and Anna is one of the loveliest people I have ever met...and not just because she gave me Tim Tams! LOL

  5. Suzilove, I agree that Anna set a high standard for heroes in CTC, one I think she's maintained in all her books. I'll be interested in knowing your response to Tarquin. Sigh!!!

  6. Mitzi, any review is just one reader's opinion. I always disregard those that are not in synch with my view and give thanks for those astute, insightful reviewers who agree with me. :)

  7. Helen, I know you're going to love MRS. I hope your copy arrives soon.

  8. Hi suzilove! I've read My Reckless Surrender and agree with Janga. Tarquin is a very special hero. He and Gabriel are battling for my top spot among Campbell heroes.

    Hope you enjoy the book!

    Be sure to stop by on June 1, when I'll be interviewing Anna!

  9. Thanks, Gannon. I agree. Anna is the epitome of graciousness and generosity. I think the romance fiction community is blessed with an abundance of authors who are wonderful people as well as terrific writers.

  10. Hi Janga, I'm an Anna Campbell fan, too, and can't wait to read My Reckless Surrender.
    Anna says that Tarquin is a touch less tortured than her other heros so I am interested to meet him and judge for myself.
    Your review has made me even keener to read this book!

  11. Thanks for stopping by, Mitzi! I hope you enjoy My Reckless Surrender.

  12. Helen, Anna has become an auto-buy for me. Her stories engage all of my emotions and, while I like some better than others, I have thoroughly enjoyed them all.

  13. Janga said: Mitzi, any review is just one reader's opinion. I always disregard those that are not in synch with my view and give thanks for those astute, insightful reviewers who agree with me. :)

    As we give thanks for your astute, insightful reviews, Janga. We're so happy you've joined our team!

  14. Janga, thanks for the great review. I can hardly wait to read MRS. I usually don't read dark romances, but Anna C. is one great writer who can pull them off! Tarquin sounds like a wonderful hero.

  15. Anna is a must-buy for me. Loved her work since CTC. Vale sounds like my kind of hero. Thanks for the review.

  16. I have been waiting impatiently for this one forevah! Anna has been an auto-buy from the get go for me.

  17. Janga - thanks for the great review - I too am an Anna Campbell fan and I couldn't have said it better; her books are always filled with lush and dynamic prose. Her characters leap off the page and I'm so very excited to read this one!

  18. Add me to the "Anna Campbell fan" list! Can't wait for this one as I've never been disappointed in an AC book. And she gets better and better. Terrific review, Janga!

  19. Good review. I discovered Anna Campbell last October with her CAPTIVE OF SIN. I have heard of several other books of hers that I really want to read. This one is going on the list too.