Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Surrender of Miss Fairbourne (Fairbourne Quartet, #1)The Surrender of Miss Fairbourne by Madeline Hunter
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Reviewed for TwoLips Reviews. 3 Kisses, 1 Pepper (M/F oral sex)

Emma Fairbourne's father passed away and left her an auction house. But women don't run auction houses. Before his death, her father had sold half of the business to Darius, the Earl of Southwaite. Now Darius is insisting the business must be sold. He doesn't want his involvement to become public knowledge. He and Emma are both coming to the same worrisome conclusion that her father may have sourced some of the goods he sold at auction from smugglers. Emma starts to rationalize the illegal activities when she hypothesizes that her father might have started dealing with smugglers in order to protect her brother Robert, who was supposedly missing at sea and presumed dead.

What I didn't like about The Surrender of Miss Fairbourne: Emma and Darius are at odds for the first half of the book. He's autocratic and she's manipulative. The primary emotion between them throughout most of the book is mistrust, and while they really do have good reason, it left me feeling lukewarm about their romance. Unfortunately, the majority of the book felt very draggy to me. It lacks the intensity of desire and emotion that usually makes me love a book. I thought the ending and resolution of the missing brother felt like it was missing something; it didn't live up to the big build-up it was given throughout the book.

What I did like about this book: The whole Outrageous Misconception thing was particularly funny to me, in part because that was how Emma referred to it in her head, and because I got the impression it left Darius feeling discomposed and that doesn't seem to be something that happens to him very often. I like that Emma is so forthright much of the time, at least when she isn't deliberately hiding something. I enjoyed seeing the affection blossom between Emma and Darius. I liked that she couldn’t completely hide her attraction from him, and he realized he would get better results with smiles than with frowns. I was interested enough in learning the truth about Robert that it made me want to finish reading the book. I like Madeline Hunter's writing style overall, and the ending did leave me feeling mostly satisfied.

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