April 24, 2010

Back Cover:
PATIENCE... Second in The Passion Quartet


Known for her exceptional beauty, Patience Emmalina Dare has been pursued by admirers ever since coming of age. But suitor after suitor fails to inspire her love – or her desire. Certain she will never find a man who touches her deeply, she decides to forgo marriage in favor of pursuing her music. But just when Patience thinks she has her life well in hand, a passionate kiss with her enigmatic brother-in-law awakens a powerful need in her. How will she reconcile her desire for him and her desire for a life that's her own – and what will she do when he shows her a deep and hidden part of herself that she never knew existed?

When the secret of his illegitimate birth pushes Matthew Morgan Hawkmore from his place in society, the darkly handsome half-brother of the Earl of Langley plots his resurrection and his revenge. Betrayed and abandoned by the women he believed loved him, he swears to never again be controlled by love. But despite his vow, he is unable to resist the beautiful Patience, whose strength and self-reliance hide a need that he is perfectly suited to fulfill. Can he have her without loving her? What will he give up to keep her? And will her passionate surrender be the one thing that can stop him from making a tragic mistake that could destroy them both…

I must start this review by saying that although I really loved reading PATIENCE, I am not blown away by it as I was with PASSION and I will try and explain in this review why without comparing the two too much.

Matthew Hawkmore has been burned by love in more ways than one. First by his deceitful mother, then by his fiancée who drops him like a hot fireball after she learns the truth about his parentage. To make things worse her father sets out to ruin him socially and financially too. Matthew vows revenge and to never love or want love again and substitutes it with desire, lust and certain sexual proclivities. But then he encounters Patience Dare, his new sister-in-law, and she endangers his iron-willed resolve and tries his determination to never love again. Matthew's former peers turn their backs on him once his parentage is made public in a humiliating way and this puts him in a very solitary and awkward position within the London Society. A position he is desperate to leave behind.

Patience's regard of love is similar to Matthew's and despite the fact that her hurt comes from a very different source the hurt is deep, causing her to turn away from love at a young age. She substitutes it with music (playing the cello) and desire. Patience is softhearted and loathes cruelty or injustice but she is not a pushover. She is strong-willed, outspoken and independent despite her desire to submit sexually.

Neither of them recognizes that the powerful and inevitable pull between them is love in its purest form.

Lisa Valdez' writing is indescribable. I experienced it to its fullest extent with PASSION and while reading the first pages of PATIENCE I felt its emotional and intense pull all over again. The way she describes emotions, feelings, experiences, people, music and sex is beautiful and powerful. Some may call it purple or over the top. I find it is what I look for in my romance reads. I want to sink away in the storm of emotions described in every detail without falling into the trap of telling me how to feel whatever the author is describing but making me feel it. And Lisa Valdez makes me FEEL the pain, despair, lust, anger, craving, love and all the other feelings that were displayed in this book.

Still, despite the wonderful and compelling writing style, I also found a few things in PATIENCE that I didn't feel very positive about. The one thing that I wasn't charmed by in this book was the religious references. Without judging religion I am of the opinion that the book could have done with less of the references. I really liked the quotes from Song of Solomon at the beginning of every chapter. However, the references made by Matthew to Adam and Eve and Patience's angelic dreams and quoting the Bible, though they weren't things that bothered me greatly, I do think the book could have done very well without them.

There were things that totally pulled me in and mesmerized me on one page and then threw me for a loop on the next page. For instance the D/s stuff. On one page Matthew and Patience’s D/s relationship and how it developed throughout the story would enthrall me. It was amazing to read how in tune they were with each other, like keys or strings of an instrument. To read how they intuitively knew and felt what the other needed or wanted. And then on the next page I would feel uncomfortable with some of the things that Matthew did or said. Some of the D/s stuff was graphic and explicit and bordered on grating on my sense of independence and free will but Lisa Valdez pulled it off by making Patience challenge her submission to Matthew and only gradually accept it. But I did still feel the D/s relationship appeared on the set rather out of the blue, especially Matthew's part in it. By that I mean that without preamble other than a kiss followed by 3 months of no contact, Matthew knows that Patience is a submissive and knows exactly what she needs. I knew in advance what sort of relationship Matthew and Patience were going to have because of the excerpts I'd read of this book long before it came out. I knew Lisa Valdez was going to pursue the D/s angle with Matthew and Patience but I can imagine it just seems like coming from nowhere to new Lisa Valdez readers. This is a part of the book that for me could have been set up and worked out better.

Then there was Matthew. I am still ambivalent about his character. On one page I would swoon away blissfully at the things he said and did with Patience, just to be really turned off and annoyed with some of his actions on the next page. I understood that he is dominant but there were actions that just didn't sit well with me. I understood his reasons for them, his despair to hold on to Patience but it bordered on selfishness and his actions were hurtful toward Patience and in my eyes wrong thing to do. For me the book was carried by Patience's character and her evolvement in the relationship. Matthew however, was redeemed in the end of the book. I had only hoped to like him much more than I actually did.

Yet despite the slight misgivings I described above I really loved this book. As said the writing style of Lisa Valdez is totally up my alley. I loved that notes/letters played a big part in the book. I loved the humorous note secondary characters Aunt Matty, Lord Asher and Lord Farnsby brought to the book. I adored the bond between Patience and Passion, a kind of sisterly love that touched me deeply.

And last but not least there were the sex scenes, to say they were scorching is a big fat understatement. The sex scenes make PATIENCE an erotic historical romance. They are graphic, explicit and very hot...There's one scene that's still very vivid in my imagination thinking back about the book and it's an original one, one that I haven't encountered in other books and I've read my share of erotic romances. Still a warning may be due for those who are not familiar with Lisa Valdez's previous book because if you pick up PATIENCE expecting a standard historical romance, you'd better prepare for disillusion. This is undiluted erotic romance against a historical backdrop and if you don't like that, this book is not for you.

As I said in the beginning of my review, PATIENCE did not blow me away as much as PASSION did. I could chalk that up to my development as a reader (I read PASSION when I just started reading in English and it was one of the first erotic romances I ever read) but I don't think I can put all the blame on that. To me it was just less emotionally powerful than PASSION was.

Right up until the end of the book I was contemplating a rating for this book that was hovering around an 8-8.5, but the heartbreaking last three chapters brought me that intense emotional rush I was longing for throughout the book and they brought my rating up to a solid 9 out of 10 because PATIENCE is a bold, lush, erotic read that retained it's historical feel from start to end and Lisa Valdez' writing managed to make me forget any misgivings I had about characters or plot.

“Ah, how appropriate. Persephone, the herald of spring –the goddess.” His low voice held her captive as he turned her to the music. “Then I am Pluto, god of the underworld, and I want you I shall steal you away and hide you in my shadow. I shall chain you to my side and demand your submission. I shall take everything from you and, in the doing, give you everything you desire.”

He straightened his shoulders and started down the hall. Patience needed his strong hand, and he needed her surrender. More than with any woman ever, he needed her surrender. For she was like a crystal prism that broke his desire into separate, distinct, and beautiful delineation. He saw, in a moment, all the ways that he wanted her. And he saw the totality of all that want –complete possession.

His fingers tightened in her hair, and crouching like some fallen angel, he shuddered over her, thrusting his organ of dominion into her with a wild and unrelenting ferocity. And beneath him, she writhed and undulated as he stole her resistance, her inhibition, and her pride, and fed her obedience, carnality, and subservience.

Patience felt herself blushing. “Well, I mean how many ladies have you –“
“It doesn’t matter,” he interrupted her gently. “Anyone before you was simply an overture to you –a necessary preparation for the magnificence that is you.” His beautiful eyes held her. “Never question that I value you above all others, Patience.”

“That’s why I need an empty place –an eye in the storm.”
“You can’t live in the eye of a storm, Patience. There’s nothing there. It’s calm and empty, but it’s not life. Life is in the whirlwind.” His gaze was so earnest. Love and happiness are in the whirlwind.”

Rating: 9 out of 10


Stacy~ said...

I keep telling myself I'm not going to read this book but then I read a compelling review such as yours and I want to discover for myself the love story you claim to have found in these pages. Amazing review!

Leontine said...

I loved reading your review hon and i think many irritated themselves to the whole bible thing. I could've handled it with the quoting at each chapter but between Matthew & Patience it was somehow too much for me :( I so ditto you on those last chapters, they were definitely an emotional ride! And I think I know which actions you are referring to with Matthew but we'll talk about that off-blog to keep this spoiler free *wink*

A Buckeye Girl Reads said...

I don't know why authors have to put religion or social causes into historical romances. It just takes something out of the storyline for me-you read to forget, not be reminded of stuff like that. This author still sounds like she's a have to read though! This was a great review!

Lynette said...

Great review. I need to bow down to you and your awesomeness. You're actually making me like the book more.

Nadia said...

This is the 3rd review that said the religious references in the story really detracted from the overall reading experience, so I'm very hesitant to try PATIENCE. (Am not very good at heavy-handed religious stuff...)

Mandi said...

Awesome review! I need to read this author :) No matter what, people always have lots to say after they read her!

Fiction Vixen said...

I've seen conflicting reviews on this one, but I have to say your review makes me really want to give Passion and Patience try. Very nice Pearl.

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On My TBR Shelf

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