Saturday, September 18, 2010
Now, back to the story. The blurb at the top of this posting (from the back cover) really tells you a lot and sets things in motion. Obviously, a brother and sister falling in love would be the Scandalous part, but somehow, someway, you know that they'll get a happily ever after in the end. All the meat in the middle was enjoyable enough but the ending didn't suprise me in the least. Given the situation, really, what were the alternatives?
Gabriella was a snooty, fiesty, bitchy sort of high-bred spinster - really, a mother hen protecting her chicks. And just when I would start warming up to her, she'd get all bitchy, snooty and fiesty again and I'd be right back where I was... not really caring so much. (Notice I rearranged the adjectives there?) "Marcus" was clearly up to something which we don't fully know about til the very end. Honestly, I liked "Marcus" quite a lot because he just played off of Gabby at every turn, frustrating the heck out of her. But as tender and sweet as their love scene was, it was almost a wonder that they managed to fall in love at all. "Marcus" must be a glutton for punishment because that would be one fiery relationship in the long-term... and he knew it! I do give him a box of kudos, though, for seeing Gabby as the strong, courageous female that she was. Her facade was quite literally like iron, even though there was a girl underneath that just needed a pair of stong arms to hold her and make her smile more often. Gabriella and "Marcus" quarrel a lot, so I kinda had a hard time seeing how strife, manipulation and resentment could turn in to love as easily as it appeared to. I've seen stories where it worked. This one didn't quite convince me.
Now, I admit that I've been a bit hard on this story, and as I mentioned above, had I not made it at least halfway through, I would not be continuing the series. But I did make it halfway, and all the way to the end. And I'm glad I did. And yes, the other trilogy books are on my paperbackswap.com list. I'm crossing my fingers that the writing won't be so cumbersome and I'm curious to see how Claire and Beth weather the aftermath of "Marcus" and Gabby's scandal. I would hope that some of the unanswered questions from this book would be explained as well. So, all said and done, I think had the first half of book been heavily edited (in chunks) it would have been a lot more of a pleasurable read. The actual meat of the story was still good but be prepared for a lot of longwindedness from the author and very, very strong-willed characters. Irresistable is the next book in this series, which tells Claire's story. Shameless is Beth's story.
My rating: 5 - I liked most of the book
The Banning Sisters Trilogy in order...