Top positive review
3 people found this helpful
on 8 September 2007
Sir Hugh, known as the Relentless, is in some ways a very untypical hero: he has no winning ways to appeal to women, he seems at first to be totally devoid of humour, on the other hand he is thoroughly strong and intelligent, which he proves every time he opens his mouth - he rather reminds one of a sword blade made of steel. As his opponent, there is Lady Alice, with a very cutting intelligence herself. Often when there is a very strong male protagonist, the female counterpart seems to pale in comparison. This does not happen with Lady Alice. She does not fall into any of the classical heroine types. In fact, the person she most resembles is Sir Hugh, although he is a mysterious person who doesn't reveal his character or inner feelings at all easily, whereas she is blunt, straightforward, energetic, and warm. There is something of a guillotine blade in her way of speaking and reacting.
This is a very promising beginning, and indeed I find that the promises are fulfilled. In the course of the book I start liking these persons more and more, and I am delighted that they see in each other the qualities that I like but that would make them difficult spouses to anybody but each other: only a woman of Alice'c character could survive with a man of Hugh's dominant personality, and Alice would no doubt sweep the latrine floor with a lesser man than Hugh.
Humour is not the first word that leaps to mind when thinking about Hugh and Alice, and still the book makes one laugh once and again. The book contains some of Ms. Quick's funniest dialogue, which is one of the main reasons for me to like it. The humour is less a question of wittiness of the lines themselves than the timing of those lines, and that in my opinion is quite a difficult genre of writing comedy. Congratulations, Ms. Quick. Hugh and Alice are both matter-of-fact people who tend to cut directly into the practical heart of the matter, which I find very funny and refreshing, as it is hard for me to tolerate sentimentalism and people's feelings getting hurt and them being miserable all the time for no reason.
The romantic / erotic side of the book is believable in spite of (or maybe because of) the totally un-romantic characters of both the main figures. The suspense plot, that Ms Quick always seems to have as a sub-plot to the romantic development, is in this case rather natural and even interesting (which it not always is in her books).
This is a very entertaining book to be enjoyed on the couch in a rainy day. Be sure to start early enough, because you are not going to stop reading before you come to the finish.