A Novel with Thoughts and Ponderings

THE SPARE

Author: Carolyn Jewel ISBN:0843953098 2/2004 HISTORICAL Publisher: LEISURE
Time Period: Regency

The Spare by Carolyn Jewel

THE PENNHYLL AFFAIR

Captain Sebastian Alexander was The Spare, but as the younger son he inherited more than a title after his brother's murder. He acquired a family estate with dark secrets that threatened his life. He took on a quest to avenge his brother. But most troublesome of all, he found a red-haired beauty who was either a guileless witness or a ruthless seductress.

Olivia Willow was missing three days from her life. She'd been a guest at Pennhyll the night of the murder, but now she could recall nothing. The new earl was determined to help her remember. He charmed, he beguiled—he matched wits with her. And soon, instead of trading barbs they shared kisses, and instead of seeking out the past, they were fighting for a future.

RRAH's THOUGHTS AND PONDERINGS:

Although I like the vague writing style of Carolyn Jewel, and there is no other way to describe it other than vague, I was not quite impressed with THE SPARE. Interestingly enough, I kept on reading, hoping as I went along for something more. I wanted the ghost to do more; the supporting characters to do more; and most of all the main characters to do more than dream or wish for each other. Therefore, this book is good enough to hold my attention but not quite good enough for a Top Pick.

The heroine, Miss Olivia Willow, lacks self-esteem and her memory as well, despite the fact that three men are vying for her attention. With glorious red hair, she believes all the men mistake the fire of her crowning glory with a passionate nature in the bedroom. Traumatized by her past and its connection to the Alexander family, Olivia is quite certain she will never recall the tragic event that happened the night the previous Lord Tiern-Cope was killed. The new Lord Tiern-Cope, Captain Sebastian Alexander, is determined to find out what happened to his brother, and as Olivia is the only witness, he believes her mind and person are his to dictate.

Sebastian is way too stiff in his handling, or managing as it is, of Olivia. He is attracted to her and barely able to control his emotions regarding her, yet he treats her as less than a person. Those internal struggles enabled me to see past his rigid demeanor and understand the vague images Carolyn Jewel writes about. However, I wanted so bad for him to just get on with his seduction of Olivia! Though I suspect the idea is for the reader to long for it and crave it, I simply got tired of all the tip-toeing around the inevitable. As Sebastian learns more of Olivia's past and his own family along the way, it just makes more sense for him to reach out and take what he wants. Yet again, I was still waiting for that to happen.

Truly this book is good, and I don't mean to make it sound like it isn't. I simply want all the intrigue to stop, and...well, just have Olivia and Sebastian just get together. It seems like the other mysteries could have been solved while they were busy in the bedroom. But then again, it kept me reading.

Shannon Johnson

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