on 27 November 2003
No matter how hard I try i'm finding it increasingly harder to enjoy Miss Johnson's novels. And I never thought that would happen, especially with one that is part of the braddock Black series. I loved Blaze, Silver Flame and Forbidden so I was expecting more from Force of Nature.
Susan Johnson's stock plot recipe really doesn't seem to work here. And in all honesty it hasn't been working for a while (I didn't like Seized by Love, Temporary Mistress or Blonde Heat either). The usual strong, silent and arrogant hero is present although he faces an experienced, willful and sophisticated heroine here. I just don't think it works here - not in the way that it worked in Brazen or Pure Sin.
Both the characters of Flynn and Jo were likeable enough but they didn't really grab my imagination. It seemed like johnson had given up on building her characters and just focused on the sex. in previous books she's managed to find the balance between the two but that just isn't acheived in this novel.
I think that the one thing that encapsulates my dislike for this books can be explained with the scene in which Jo is raped. Afterwards Flynn turns away from her and leaves her to go back to Italy alone. Maybe the fact that he chases after her eventually is supposed to appease us but i just didn't like him enough to care.
I think reading this book made me realise how little Johnson's writing has changed over the years, her men are always the same there's rarely anything different about them. They're still the tributes to machoism now as they were in the eighties. And machoism is one thing that i wish had stayed where it started.
If you're thinking of reading a Susan Johnson novel I'd give this one a miss. If you're looking for one of her better reads try Blaze or Brazen, both of which are part of the Braddock Black saga and both of which are infinitely better than this offering.