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REVIEW: Italian’s Stolen Bride by Emma Darcy

Dear Ms. Darcy

Italian's Stolen BrideI don’t know how you got your book included as the free book in the Sony Reader but you did. And now I have to tell everyone at MobileRead that Italian’s Stolen Bride is not indicative of the romance genre. Your book includes all the hallmarks of a series romance and also a good example of why I no longer read series romances. On the good side, I didn’t have to pay for this book. On the bad side, I spent time reading it. The book contains all the stock characters. Poor girl. Rich guy. Family deems her unsuitable. Secret baby who brings everyone together again.

The story actually starts out fine by having Luciano Peretti learn of the duplicity that drove him away from Skye Summer in the first place. Luc’s brother, Roberto, confesses on his death bed that six years ago, he faked photographs of himself with Luc’s fiance so that Luc would break up with Skye Summer. Seeing photographic evidence of Roberto and Skye together, enrages Luciano and he breaks it off with Syke. Skye, of course, was pregnant with Luc’s baby only Luc didn’t know. Roberto did this at the behest of his father who thought Skye was an unsuitable bride.

Luc is enraged and determined to win his family back. He has never married in the 6 years and still loves Skye despite believing that she betrayed him. He seeks her out, explains what happened and declares that he will do anything to get her to believe in him again. But, Skye . . . I have to go off on a tangent here – Skye Summer? Is that the only name you could come up with? I think the only way that it could have been even better was to name her Cloudy Spring. or maybe it should be Cloude because I particularly like the stylistic “e” after the “y”. Skye with an “e” is so much more normal than just plain “Sky.”

Anyway, back to old Skye. Skye is struggling along as a single mother. When Luc shows up, she is fearful of his presence in her life and fearful of her position as the provider for Matt. I think that her fears are justified, but to refuse any financial help when it would go to assist your son; when you don’t have a legal leg to stand on to prevent contact, just seemed unreasonable in the extreme. Further, as Luc shows himself to be steadfast and acts to forsake his family for her and Skye, she is still resistant. I never warmed up to Skye. She acts like a ninny for most of the book.

The characters, other than Luc, seemed too stock for me to care about. There isn’t anything fun about the story. Luc’s family is uber evil. Skye is as clear and sweet as her name. Gag. I never really understand the martydom syndrome that authors give these heroines. Too good to take money from the father of your son when you are struggling to make ends meet. Don’t you want the best for your kid? I guess that is a hot button issue with me that I cannot see past. C-.

Best regards,

Jane

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com

8 Comments

  1. seton
    Oct 20, 2006 @ 10:14:34

    I just finished a Darcy 2 days ago — THE BLIND DATE BRIDE — and the heroine’s low self esteem and willingness to be used be her previous boyfriend and the hero bordered on disturbing. Darcy used to write her romances with her husband as a writing team until his death and I wonder if these more wimpier heroines are indicative of her own personal writing preferences than her husband’s

  2. Bev (BB)
    Oct 20, 2006 @ 11:13:51

    [quote comment="5026"]I just finished a Darcy 2 days ago — THE BLIND DATE BRIDE — and the heroine’s low self esteem and willingness to be used be her previous boyfriend and the hero bordered on disturbing. Darcy used to write her romances with her husband as a writing team until his death and I wonder if these more wimpier heroines are indicative of her own personal writing preferences than her husband’s[/quote]

    Uh, no. I still have some old Darcy’s in my collection. (In boxes to get rid of, not on my keeper shelves.) And the older heroes and heroines are just as bad or maybe even worse than anything I’ve heard of lately. Put it this way, one of her books is the most disturbing romance I’ve ever run across. Reads more like a study of Stockholm syndrome than romance.

  3. Meljean
    Oct 20, 2006 @ 13:02:29

    Hee. I agree with the assessment of older Darcy, yet somehow a couple are on my keeper shelf. Which might say odd things about me.

    Hmmm…I should pull one out.

  4. Katharina
    Oct 20, 2006 @ 14:17:05

    Ohhhh, I have this one on my TBR. From that big lot I stupidly bought at ebay. It’s calling to me … suffer, suffer *hehehe*.

  5. Robin
    Oct 20, 2006 @ 14:31:41

    How about some recommendations for great category reads? Probably the only category authors I read regularly is Jo Leigh (loved Arm Candy), but that’s only because she was a recommendation to begin with. I also enjoyed Debra Webb’s Striking Distance, but didn’t find it romantic as much as fascinating, since the hero was sooooooo damaged and the heroine kept reminding herself she had a background in psychology right before she boinked him. I don’t have anything against category Romance but have no clue where to start.

  6. Karen Scott
    Oct 20, 2006 @ 15:50:15

    Emma Darcy books make me want to stab myself in the eye. Her characters and plots completely drive me up the wall, and yet she must sell, because she always has new releases.

  7. Taekduu
    Oct 21, 2006 @ 01:50:22

    I completely respect you for actually reading this, really. I am however sorry that it was so painful for you, here, I am sending some virtual chocolae squares. I remember (when I was younger and perhaps my taste was not so well defined) I used to be addicted to these. Now I am amazed that anything good comes out from under the Harlequin banner.

    I will say, if you had to read a category, there is a book that came out earlier this year. I can’t believe I am saying this… I still can’t believe I bought and read it… but it was good.

    Basically, it is the last book in this series and ah yes, the title was Mergers and Matrimony ish. Shockingly good.. shocking!!! It did fall into some of the HQ standards, but no cowboys, no secret babies (at least who weren’t already revealed as adults), there was a villianization of the first wife, but not completely. But how often do you find a book set in Japan, with an Asian hero (who doesn’t act american) and heroine who has a spine and even better KEEPS it!!!

    sigh, now I need to go reread it.

  8. Bongiwe
    Apr 09, 2008 @ 03:25:24

    I agree that emma darcy has been monotonous of late. But were do you get off labuling her work. Have you nothing better to do than just give trashy opinions.

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