Saturday, April 4, 2009

Another Review on The Dark One, by Ronda Thompson.

Yet another personal review from me, of The Dark One by late Ronda Thompson. Before this one, I have reviewed a novel that has been the best historical romance ever for me, Silent Melody by Mary Balogh. Being a historical romance-freako, I suddenly thought of something. Why can’t I add up some twist to it with a little bit of paranormal romance? So, I read this one as a starter and…well, actually it’s not really that bad. I mean, I can see Twilight things are going on in the plots…which it made me feels like, I’m currently reading a werewolves-and-regency romance version of Twilight. But the plots are a little lot CHEESY. Lol.

The story opens up at a London Ball (not specified where it was as other historical romance), Lord Armond Wulf, Marquess of Wulfglen is out to Society since a prostitute was found dead in his stable. Society of London thinks that he murdered the poor woman (his brothers and him are shunned out from Society because of the dead parents and the ‘insanity curse’, that’s why they assume it that way), but actually there is no real proof to it. Armond has attended the ball in the company of an old family friend, a dowager duchess. No one could be more surprised when a beautiful young woman, Lady Rosalind Rutherford, approaches Armond and asks him to ‘please ruin me! I need to save myself from my stepbrother!!’.

Lady Rosalind Rutherford is newly arrived in London, summoned by her nasty stepbrother Franklin, who is now her guardian. Franklin has squandered Rosalind’s inheritance and is about to marry her off to settle his gambling debts to ‘someone-that-I-don’t-really-remember-his-name-and-I-dunno-why’. Rosalind, to free herself from her stepbrother, needs Armond to do the deeds because of his own shattered reputation. By ruining herself…ehem…or to be bold, by losing her virginity, she will not be able to marry that ‘someone-that-I-don’t-remember-his-name-and-I-dunno-why’. However, Armond’s conscience prevents him from carrying things too far, and Rosalind is returned to the bosom of her cruel stepbrother without losing her virtue.

Armond can’t take his mind off thinking of Rosalind, met her during a tea party and Armond notices the bruise on her cheek. Armond visits Rosalind in her bedchamber after hearing her weeping (they are next-door neighbours, lol) , only to find that a woman was found hanged in the house – a servant who had been abused by Franklin. The body is placed at his stable, AGAIN, and he is arrested. Rosalind knows Armond couldn’t have committed the crime, because he was with her all night, though only to comfort her. She admits this to the authorities and then, Armond and Rosalind are married. Armond tells her he will never love her, and it will be a marriage of convenience unless she wishes otherwise – it’s her decision.

Armond, and his three brothers, Gabriel, Jackson and one missing brother (still why can’t I remember the names?!!) are anciently cursed with werewolves stuff and they have made an oath to not to marry because Armond’s father committed suicide due to the curse and his mother died of a broken heart. He’ll never risk his own heart and Rosalind’s life but…well.

One thing that I don’t really like is Rosalind. She is just plainly and passively drawn by the author. It makes me wonder that MAYBE, her stepbrother is one of the main characters, instead of Rosalind herself. I mean, her character is emotionally underdeveloped that other characters can shine brightly than hers. Much as I sympathized with her problem, she spends much of the book as a rather passive puppet.

The Dark One has been a quite benchwarmer for me in exploring a twist of paranormal and historical romance, but it’s not enough for me, though. I’ll say this book is 3 out of 5 because I manage to finish it. Anyone? Recommendations?
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Alice C.

I fall, and stand up again.
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