Monday, September 10, 2007

Sophie Jordan - Too Wicked to Tame


To avoid the oppression of marriage a lady only has to act like a shrew....

As a little girl, Portia Derring was abandoned by her mother who wanted to travel and see exotic places. She promised Portia to stay in touch and to come back for her, except she never did. Now her family is on the verge of bankruptcy and they want her to marry well, but Portia is not ready to give up her dream, she is convinced that her mother will come back for her. So she acts like a sharp tongued shrew every time a suitor comes near her, in a last attempt to see her married her grandmother sends her to the country to meet the wealthy Earl of Moreton. The moment she meets him she is appalled by his boorish behaviour, but why is she so drawn to him.....

To avoid the shackles of marriage a man only has to display boorish behaviour....

The very wealthy Earl of Moreton, Heath, has no desire of ever getting married. No woman has ever been able to touch his heart. Bad blood runs through his veins, his father and mother suffered from madness and he is therefore determined to stay single. So far he has chased away all potential brides to be with his ill-bred behaviour, but his cunning grandmother does everything in her power to see him to the altar. She has invited the granddaughter of an old friend, Lady Portia Derring, to stay with them for the Season. They argue from the start and he thinks she is a real shrew, but at the same time his desire for this feisty beauty consumes him and he can’t stop thinking about her, but marriage is not an option....

This is the first book I have read from Sophie Jordan and it is only her second novel. This novel takes you back to the Regency period and tells the story of Heath and Portia, two lovely characters. Portia is a young woman who desperately holds on to her dream, but gradually throughout the book you see her change, she becomes more mature and finally she realises that what she wants from life and hopes for is not the same thing as the dream she has clung to for so long. Heath is a tormented handsome devil, who lives his life by the day, he feels like he has nothing to offer due to his bad blood until he meets Portia, but his fear, pride and stubbornness gets in the way.

I like the way Miss Jordan writes passionate, witty and funny dialogues. The interactions between Heath and Portia spatter from the pages.

Heath to Portia and vice versa:

“God you are a shrew,” he chuckled against her ear, the sound oddly pleasant. “Because I do not take insults kindly?” “No, because nothing but vinegar flows from your lips.”

Portia to Heath and vice versa:

“Pesky gentlemanly honour,” she mocked. “Picks the most inopportune times to surface.” Sarcasm doesn’t suit you, Portia.” “No, my lord, you don’t suit me,” she countered. “Ah, but we know that to be untrue.”

“What you know couldn’t fill the inside of my boot.” “God’s teeth, you’ve a viper’s tongue. No wonder you can’t find a gentleman to wed in Town.”

As for the plot I found it a bit too common and predictable. There are no surprises and the story is solely about Heath and Portia, there is not really a secondary story line and the only other characters that play a part are Mina, Heath’s sister and his grandmother. It is a pity that Jordan did not allow them a greater part in this story, they would have made this story a lot more interesting. Mina is the rebellious sister who is not allowed to go to any social event and is therefore very afraid to end up an old spinster, his grandmother is so cunning and sharp that you just have to like her!

In general I think this story could have been so much more, it was a nice read but it did not give me goosebumps. Nevertheless I think Sophie Jordan has a great talent for writing fantastic dialogues, if she can combine that with a great and intriguing plot she will most definitely be a writer to keep your eye on.

3 stars

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