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What did you like best about Of Noble Birth? What did you like least?
The subplot teasing out Nathaniel's relationship with his birth family and their motivations was well done. There were unexpected twists and characters introduced in that story line, and I could never be certain if the villains were going to remain villains or if they would perform some act of redemption. That kept me listening. Plus, most of the action (battles at sea, knife fights, etc.) was tied to these characters and their relationships.But the love story between Nathaniel the Pirate and Alexandra the Seamstress....it was just so-so and ho-hum for me. I did not feel the Great Burning Passion that one expects from a romance novel. There seemed to be a lot of S/He-Is-So-Sexy-But-How-Can-I-Be-Attracted-To-This-Person-When-Nothing-Can-Ever-Come-Of-It! Angst which was made all the more aggravating by dialogue and plot devices (Alexandra gets to be a damsel in distress in a rather needless plot detour.) that were just awkward and contrived. Also, it is difficult to find that Great Burning Passion in a story that never has the characters getting carried away by their Great Burning Passion. In other words, these two never have sex. There is a bit of fooling around, but ultimately heads must rule over hearts (and other body parts) according to Brenda Novak. That's not what I'm really looking for in a romance novel. I want escapism, not moralism. More on that below!
Would you be willing to try another book from Brenda Novak? Why or why not?
Actually, this is the second book I tried by Brenda Novak. The first one was The Bastard. I don't think I will be buying anything else by this author. It appears to be very important to Ms. Novak that her heroine remains a virgin until her wedding night. The main characters in both Of Noble Birth and The Bastard did not have a sexual relationship. This is odd, considering they are romance novels about the attraction, lust, and passion (and eventually love) between grown men and women. When I'm reading a romance novel, I want the characters to get carried away by their passion for each other, not capitulate to a patriarchal society's demands for an intact hymen on the wedding night. There is enough shaming of women for being sexual IRL as it is; I don't want it as the subtext of the romance novels I read.
Did the narration match the pace of the story?
Yes. Alison Larkin gave a fine performance.
Any additional comments?
I bought this book on sale, sacrificing a fancy latte in the budget. It would not have been worth it if I had used a credit or paid full price.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
An enjoyable but non-taxing romance between a seamstress running away from her abusive step-father, and a pirate captain who is seeking revenge against his rather evil father. In a case of mistaken identity, Alexandra is kidnapped by Nathaniel and whisked away to the high seas. While the story was entertaining, I did feel that it went on a bit long (which is odd for me as generally the longer the story is, the better value for money I feel I'm getting). Both main characters seemed to stumble from one disaster to the next in rapid succession before their happily ever after; I was left wondering where on earth they got the energy to continue! Alison Larkin is a brilliant narrator, and has gone on my list of narrators to look out for.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful