Publisher: Avon (2009)
Format: Mass market paperback | 384 pages
Genre(s): Historical romance
Description (GR): "A Devilish Duke on a Quest for Pleasure...Frannie Darling was once a child of London's roughest streets, surrounded by petty thieves, pickpockets, and worse. But though she survived this harsh upbringing to become a woman of incomparable beauty, Frannie wants nothing to do with the men who lust for her, the rogues who frequent the gaming hall where she works. She can take care of herself and feels perfectly safe on her own—safe, that is, until he strides into her world, and once again it becomes a very dangerous place indeed.To bed her but not wed her. That's what Sterling Mabry, the eighth Duke of Greystone, wants. But Frannie abhors arrogant aristocrats interested only in their own pleasure. So why then does the thought of an illicit tryst with the devilish duke leave her trembling with desire? Her willing body begs for release...and a wicked, wonderful surrender."
I'm a big fan of Historical romance, especially the light-hearted kind. I love the descriptions of the ton, of the British aristocracy and the pseudo-tortured heroes who can only be saved by the heroine. Some of my favorite books are historical romances, because, I suppose, while I am practical in RL, I am a bit of a romantic at heart.
This is the second book I've read by Lorraine Heath. I confess I don't actually remember the other book I've read by her; I only remember that I liked it well enough.
The same can be said for this book. I liked this, but didn't love it. It was a quick read, but it didn't dazzle me.
Frannie Darling is a former street urchin who, along the rest of her (all-male) gang, has made something of herself. She doesn't really like the aristocracy, even though her job as a bookeeper of a gaming club means she has to deal with her on some level.
Sterling Mabry is a Duke. When he sees Frannie he just knows he has to have her (rolls eyes). And so the pursuit begins.
This story/plot is not exactly unheard of. It's a common plot device in these kinds of books (lust at first sight or something), but it's exactly because it's so common that I expect the characters to be well developed and for the protagonists to have chemistry. That, to me, is what makes this sort of book work.
Unfortunately, it wasn't what happened in "Surrender to the Devil". The characters lacked chemistry and were lacking in personality as well. Like I said, I felt like I'd read this story time and again (which is normal, in these types of books)... but there wasn't actually anything to make me want to read it again. The writing was good, but, again, I didn't feel the "sparks" between hero and heroine.
Overall, it was an entertaining read, but nothing special. Lorraine Heath seems to have incredible ideas for stories, but I can't say she makes me care all that much for her characters or sigh at the romance. Which is exactly what I am looking for in these sort of books. I'll be reading more from this author (I have a few more books in my shelves), because her ideias are good and so is her writing style. I just hope her other protagonists are a lot more charismatic.