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The Journal of the Lincoln Heights Literary Society
Miscellanea and Ephemeron

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08/14/2005 Archived Entry: "Book review: His Dark Desires"

His Dark Desires
by Jennifer St. Giles
Published by Pocket Books

Review by Betsy Phillips

This is not a very good book. The characters are flat and the red-herrings don't feel like potential clues, just distractions. The romance is predictable and the two main characters are instantly attracted to each other for no reason.

That being said, I wish it had been longer.

St. Giles really knows how to put together a plot and how to keep it moving along at a brisk pace, but the setting -- post-War New Orleans and the characters -- the young widow Juliet Boucheron and her lover and potential enemy Stephen Trevelyan -- cry out for a story that unfolds slowly, for a passion between them that builds up bit by bit. Some characters, like Mr. Hayes, the leader of the White League, seem to really pop off the page, and yet others just lay there, languishing, and not just because they're being poisoned. Too much happens -- is the theater troupe really a theater troupe or are the members searching for Boucheron's dead husband's gold? Is there a ghost or an intruder? Who is poisoning Ginette and why? Is Boucheron's dead husband actually dead? -- in too short a time for you to really feel invested in what the answers to the questions turn out to be. And yet, I stayed up late to finish it.

So, oddly enough, I liked this book, I just felt it wasn't fully formed yet.

Replies: 1 Comment

I disagree with your review on this book as I've had the fortune of reading the advanced copy. I'm certain the post Civil War setting may not be appealing to everyone but it doesn't play heavily in the story. This isn't suppose to be another Mistress of Trevelyan and I'm glad. I see the differences in the style and it adds another interesting dimension to the series. The instant attraction between the two main characters made it sexy and the story still has a similar dark, mysterious and brooding feel. St. Giles' is brilliant with making characters likeable and keeps you entertained. That makes the book worth reading. Yes, the story could have been expanded a bit more, but it didn't lose it's appeal to me. I can say I thoroughly enjoyed this historical and do recommend it to those who like St. Giles' voice.

Posted by Jocelyn Cassidy @ 08/25/2005 03:22 PM PST

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