Allure
by Jo-Ann Power, historical (1999)
Sonnet, $6.50, ISBN 0-671-03408-1


Cerise Lindsay ("Risa"), sculptor prodigy, comes down to London from Italy to investigate the mysterious death of her beloved sister Madelaine. Madelaine drowned in a boating accident, but Risa knows very well that Madelaine was a good swimmer. Her investigations lead her to Blake Hargrove, Earl of Sandown, a former sculptor and a man rumored to have seduced Madelaine and competed with his own brother for her affections. What happens next? Will Risa find happiness and undying love with the prime suspect?

Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn.

Forgive my lapse into cliches. Now, there are good books that made me sniffle, cry, and feel all warm and tingly. There are bad books that have me laughing hysterically, while some others are thrown across the room by yours truly. But this book is special: it is one of the rare books that never at all involve me in the story. I feel nothing for anything, and when I finish this book, I don't feel... anything. Odd? Yes, for usually books, even bad ones, have me feeling some sort of thing. But Allure leaves me cold.

It's not a bad book. Maybe I'd try to analyze why I'm so indifferent to this book.

Well, maybe it's because once Risa and Blake clear each other's suspicions, there is still two hundred pages to go. These pages are filled with a slow and totally uninteresting mystery.

Or maybe because Blake is bland and Risa just as bland. They exhibit neither fire or ice - they never leave any impact on me at all. I can't really explain this: maybe it's because these two people's instantaneous attraction never ring true. Or maybe because Ms Power relies too much on conversation to tell me they are in love.

Or probably it's because that after the initial prologue that chronicles Madeleine's path to demise, the story starts to shift gears until by the middle of the book it is close to a standstill. Or... maybe... perhaps... how about...

Oh forget it. This book is just another of those books that don't click with me, I guess. I know the author can write well - Never Again is one of the best books I've read last year. Only this time around reading this book makes me feel as if I'm a distant observer standing ten feet away from the scene of action.

Maybe next time.

Rating: 30


My Favorite Pages

This book at Amazon.com

This book at Amazon UK

Search for more reviews of works by this author:

My Guestbook Return to Romance Novel Central Email