My Surrender (The Rose Hunters) Mass Market Paperback – 1 May 2005
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"A luscious, sexy delight."
-- Teresa Medeiros
About the Author
Connie Brockway is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of numerous historical romance novels and series, including Bridal Favors; The Bridal Season; the McClairen's Isle trilogy, featuring the novels The Passionate One, The Reckless One, and The Ravishing One; and the novels of the Rose Hunters trilogy: My Seduction, My Pleasure, and My Surrender. She also coauthored the acclaimed saga Once Upon a Pillow. A two-time RITA Award winner, she lives in Minneapolis.
Visit her website: www.conniebrockway.com.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
I think this book showed that sometimes when everything doesn't always turn out perfectly its even more satisfying than when it does. For example, bad guys really do slide by without any harm ever coming to them and I applauded the fact that Brockway didn't tie everything up with bows. Another cliche would have been if Dand had refused to let Charlotte become another man's mistress but instead locked her in a room despite the fact that so many lives relied on her becoming this guy's mistress.
Okay, the virginity thing kind of stopped me for a bit too until I realized that Charlotte was thrown into her role as a substitute at the last minute. After that I totally bought that she just pushed all that to the back of her thoughts while she tried to see if she could even make the plan work. And that same reason was why the "authorities" let someone so young and inexperienced have such an important mission. She was a last minute substitute. It was her or no one.
Anyway I loved this book. Everything was so well thought out and the humorous bits were great. Especially like the baroness. Dand was dangerous and passionate and trying so hard to let Charlotte go and Charlotte was just desperate to do the right thing, no matter how much it hurt her. I'll read it again.
Dand and Charlotte jump off the page in that 'instant classic' way some characters do. I don't want to give major plot points away but while this book does have a highlander in it, this isn't a Scottish romance in the genre sense. Nor is it a true spy book. My Surrender steps outside genre convention to involve you emotionally. Charlotte is set on a path that makes her hurt those close to her. Brockaway doesn't gloss that aspect over, as it usually is. The break between Charlotte and those who love her feels very real. Nor does she set Dand up as the white knight saving the day (though he often does).
It's not until the last section of the book that you fully understand how the story has been laid out. What you thought you were reading is twisted slightly so that everything which came before is changed. I am very rarely surprised in an ending, but she got me. I almost didn't read My Surrender tonight, thinking the resolution of the 'mystery' would be tedious. I've never been so wrong about being right. I did know who the 'bad guy' was, but his name was all I knew. This is romance at it's best. Clear a space on the keeper shelf for it.
Charlotte Nash, the most headstrong of the three Nash daughters truly shines in this tale of intrigue, scandal and sacrifice. Charlotte has taken the role of spy very seriously, after all, who would believe that such a flibbertigibbet could carry out such a role. She has cultivated a "certain reputation" among the ton while still managing to keep her morals intact and above question.
The questions about her morality don't bother Charlotte, but they do concern Dand Ross. Dand, Andrew, Andre, call him what you will, it is very obvious that this member of the Rose Hunters has his own secrets to protect. At first the reader isn't sure whether or not he even likes Lottie - until one begins to see below the surface. Dand might be called carefree, but again, that is only the surface of this young man.
And that, truly, is what My Surrender is all about in my view. Seeing what lies below the surface, seeing what lies below the faces shown to society and to our friends. This third in the series was definitely worth waiting for and anyone who is not touched by the strength of Dand and Lottie, by the fortitude they show to one another and to their cause, is not looking below that surface, not seeing what is truly important. Honor, courage, and above all, love.
Besides the spy element, My Surrender is best summed up by the words of one of its characters: "I don't know what Dand is thinking." Ditto. I certainly never caught on to Dand's character. This left a crucial, jarring gap in this last installment of the Rose Hunter's Trilogy. I can only suppose the author left him such a mystery because she wanted to create a red herring and lead the reader to suspect he might have been the bad guy - which is an interesting tactic and a daring attempt at something unconventional (if that's even what Brockway was about, because I'm honestly at a loss here, and within the confines of the romance genre such a possibility doesn't really make sense... does it???) But for those who could spot the evil mastermind a mile away, the attempt was wasted. Even when it comes time for the bad guy's unmasking and long-winded monologing, we're never afforded enough of an insight into Dand's thoughts. My Surrender is therefore all Charlotte's story, and I frankly wasn't interested in her agonized efforts to force herself into a sacrifice she really doesn't want to make, nor in the pretense of Dand and Charlotte conspiring to ruin her reputation in order to hook her up with St. Lyon. This last became the focus of the book, so for a long while I was very bored.
My Surrender did manage to pick up about halfway through, once the two had dispensed with the charade of Dand as Charlotte's lover, and then the sparks really did fly between Charlotte and Dand. I kept turning the pages, if only because I was desperate for some coherency that would resolve the convoluted madness of so many plot threads, mysteries, and spy nonsense. When the denouement and explanations came, however, I was disappointed. I felt like Brockway had created such a beautiful romance of later day knights pledging themselves fervently to their cause, each other, and the women they loved, only to tear it down and trample it underfoot as a lie none of them had ever taken seriously in the first place. This twist would have been fine if it had been in any way addressed or fleshed out, but I was ushered into a happily ever after epilogue before I knew what hit me. I ended this series dismayed and disheartened.
Charlotte is the feisty and rebellious youngest Nash sister. Burning with patriotic fervor and buoyed by the heroic actions of her father in saving 3 young Scotsman years earlier, she decides to enter espionage, although in a somewhat peripheral way. Her characterization veers from smart and sassy to morose and TSTL (too stupid to live). An example of the latter: When events conspire to throw her into the path of a suspected traitor, she only realizes on the eve of traveling to his home that she might need to get rid of her pesky virginity -- all after 2 weeks of pretending to be someone else's mistress, namely Dand's. The only "realistic" flavor within the story's setting is when Charlotte comes to understand exactly what it is she's lost in the eyes of society, and possibly her family, when she ruins herself. The scene with her "adopted mother" is poignant in that regard.
The denouement -- the revelation of the betrayer of Dand, Ramsey, Kit, and Douglas in the French gaol years ago -- wasn't much of a surprise given the hints in the book, as well as the previous ones. However, I was still confused at the end as to whether the betrayer acted both before the battle on French soil and in prison. That is, the author wasn't entirely clear about the fact that if he also betrayed them before they landed in France, how and why he did so. And if he didn't do so, then who did betray the battle plans?
All in all, My Surrender was full of plot holes and roll-your-eye moments when it could have been quite a tale and conclusion to the Rose Hunter series.