REVIEW: Since the Surrender by Julie Anne Long
Dear Ms. Long:
I took a small break from reading your books, albeit unintentionally, a couple of years ago. I think once a reader falls off the bandwagon of an author, you start hesitating to start reading her again, believing that you must have stopped for a very good reason. My reason for stopping, though, was simply forgetfulness and having read Since the Surrender I am kind of kicking myself for having missed the last couple books. The benefit, of course, is that I can go back and purchase said backlist titles and enjoy a weekend of reading.
Since the Surrender excels at the character portraits of its lead protagonists: Captain Chase Eversea and Rosalind March but stutters at the plot execution. Fortunately, the character portraits and the romance arc is enough to overcome.
Captain Chase Eversea has been banished to London by his exuberant family. They no longer want him moping about the Eversea properties in the country, making them all sad and gloomy. Ever since the war has ended and Chase has returned, he’s not been the same succumbing to his temper more than once at what seems like a nonsensical jest. He has been instructed to check out a cousin for a potential vicarage position at his family home at Pennyroyal Green. What does he know about vicars, though?
His ennui is shaken when he is delivered a note penned by a woman, requesting he attend her at Montmorency museum. Intrigued Chase meets up with the woman only to find that she is Rosalind March, the subject of his “truest and least honorable thing he’d ever done.” To some degree, his post war emotional struggle stemmed more from his encounter with Rosalind because “honor had at one time been the thing that defined him.” Once he stepped past that boundary, Chase lost sense of who he was and where his place in life was.
Rosalind was the wife of Chase’s commanding officer. Captain March was well admired as was his wife. Rosalind was young, beautiful, and in love with her husband but Chase and she had an attraction that they fought up until the time in which they parted because of war and death. Rosalind sent for Chase because her sister, Lucy, has gone missing. Lucy was arrested for petty theft of a bracelet, sent to Newgate to await trial. Lucy never made it out of Newgate, but went missing. Rosalind believes that an intimate of Chase’s, William Kincade, may know what happened to Lucy. Chase refuses to assist Rosalind at first, but she will not be deterred.
To Rosalind, Chase represents all that she ever truly wanted but denied herself because of duty and responsibility for her family. To Chase, Rosalind represents his moment of dishonor. Over the course of the story, this both changes and stays the same. I’m not sure that it fit well for me. Chase has never truly forgiven himself for his lapse of honor.
Even cliffs were vulnerable, Captain Eversea, she thought. The sea gets at them, eventually, reshaping them inexorably, giving them no choice at all in the matter.
He hadn’t reckoned on the woman she’d become.
The sea, she thought, had nothing on Rosalind March.
There was another very discordant note in the book that I can’t really well articulate without giving away spoilers but suffice to say that the location and timing of the sex scenes were bizarre to me and drew me out of the story.
Having said that, these complaints really were minor because of how well the characters were drafted. Rosalind and Chase seemed like living, breathing characters. B
This book can be purchased at Amazon or in ebook format from Sony or other etailers.