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REVIEW: Blue Sage by Anne Stuart

Dear Ms Stuart,

Some of your books I love and them some of them are like Blue Sage. This was your first book I was disappointed in. It’s a “bad boy” book and if that isn’t shoved down readers’ throats a dozen times in the first chapter the Pope doesn’t wear a beannie.

Blue Sage by Anne StuartCharles Tanner, Jr is going back to the small Montana town where 15 years ago his Korean vet father opened fire on the July 4th celebrations and killed 15 people and wounded one. Guess who the one turns out to be. Yep, that’s right. The heroine. He doesn’t expect a kind welcome (remember, he’s the Bad Boy) and acts surly to one and all. With the exception of a few people, he’s treated like poison and acts surlier.

Ellie is the town saint. She survived the massacre and went through years of rehabilitation before marrying the Judge, a man about 40 years her elder, who wanted to be able to leave her all his money. She’s also a 31 year old contrived VIRGIN! Ugh!

Strange stuff starts happening around town. Stuff like the things that happened before Charles’ father went bonkers. Who could be doing it? Charles? His father? Some other lunatic in the small town in Montana. (What is it about wackos living in Montana? Is it something in the water?) Lots of confrontations with townsfolk later, the truth comes out. It’s not Charles but I’ll bet you’ll figure it out as soon as I did.

I’m beginning to think that Bad Boy romances are not for me. The only one that I’ve liked was The Return of Luke McGuire by Justine Davis. I get so tired of the poor misunderstood hero, the saintly heroine who sees in him what no one else does and the contrived plots whereby the townspeople can see him as Bad but in reality, the author doesn’t have to make him really be bad. You don’t cover any new ground and was hard to finish. I just didn’t really care anymore. C- for this one.



Another long time reader who read romance novels in her teens, then took a long break before started back again about 15 years ago. She enjoys historical romance/fiction best, likes contemporaries, action- adventure and mysteries, will read suspense if there's no TSTL characters and is currently reading very few paranormals.


  1. Robin
    Sep 07, 2006 @ 00:01:08

    Black Ice is the first Anne Stuart book I enjoyed, in part, I think, because Bastien wasn’t a “bad boy,” but a morally ambiguous man whose badness didn’t feel like some contrived device to make the heroine cream her crisp white panties all the time he’s stalking her.

    IMO if you converted some of Romance’s so-called alpha heroes (and I’m not talking particularly about Stuart’s books here, but simply about some of the bullying, stalking, social misfit brooders) into wolves, for example, they’d be failures as pack leaders.

  2. Jayne
    Sep 07, 2006 @ 09:03:20

    Black Ice is the first Anne Stuart book I enjoyed, in part, I think, because Bastien wasn’t a “bad boy," but a morally ambiguous man whose badness didn’t feel like some contrived device to make the heroine cream her crisp white panties all the time he’s stalking her.

    The “contrived device-ness” is why most so called “bad boys” usually don’t work for me. I actually don’t mind a true bad boy and I’ve enjoyed some of Stuart’s other heroes who were just that.

  3. Robin
    Sep 07, 2006 @ 19:51:17

    I hadn’t thought about it this way until now, but maybe it’s the fact that some books go so far out of their way to show the hero as a “bad boy” that they end up making the full circle, so to speak. “Bad” in and of itself, isn’t such a big turn on for me (unlike Vincent, from “Project Runway,” who’s turned on by everything bad, apparently), especially when I feel like a “bay boy” hero is working so hard at being bad.

    Stuart definitely feels sort of all over the place with her “bad” heroes. Bastien was wonderfully drawn, IMO, but when I read Into The Fire, the book almost hit the wall after the hero chased the heroine around a table, menacingly warning her that she was not “safe” to go to bed alone until she gave up some sexual favor to him. Stalking, bullying, and shaming just aren’t sexy to me in a man. One of the few Romance heroes I’ve let get away with real ugliness toward the heroine is Sebastien from To Have and To Hold. Oh, and Sheridan from Kinsale’s Seize the Fire. It’s a short list, though.

  4. Jorrie Spencer
    Sep 08, 2006 @ 09:47:54

    Into the Fire is one of those books which totally worked its magic on me. I loved it. And yet I can step back and point to things in it that really really bother me.

    This is rare.

    But I’ll be reading more Anne Stuart.

  5. Kiara
    Dec 15, 2007 @ 18:46:40

    I loved Into the Fire as much as I loved all her other books. I couldn’t imagine a better author. My favorite book had to be Nightfall. I will continue to buy Stuart’s books the moment they hit the shelves. I have never been disappointed with a book she has written, and I expect I never will be.

  6. Jayne
    Dec 18, 2007 @ 08:46:53

    Kiara, I enjoyed Nightfall as well. I think it’s wonderful that Stuart has never let you down. I know of very few readers who have autobuy authors anymore so it’s nice to hear from someone who does.

  7. shyn
    Jan 29, 2008 @ 09:15:16

    i totally loved into the fire, my best anne stuart book thus far.

    i love how he gave up so much for her all these years and she never had a clue just how much he loved her, even thinking he was too wasted to even remember the night she was raped when he actually paid 1.5years of his life for making the mistake of sending her to Paul.

    and i love how jamie kincaid was like, ‘why did you do that?’ blah blah. i just love the high school crush developing into real love kinda story. definitely the bad boy thing was a huge plus. love dilloooonnn!

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