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To Surrender to a Rogue by Cara Elliott

To Surrender to a Rogue

by Cara Elliott

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This would have been a fairly pedestrian historical romance had it not been for the art, architecture, and archaeology.

It wasn't until I was well into this novel that I realised it was the second in a trilogy, centred around a group of unique but perhaps anachronistic (I'm not sure of this) bluestockings -- ladies of wealth, leisure, personality and intelligence who gather to pursue their scientific interest in male-dominated fields of research.

Not until I'd finished the book and begun checking out the other titles in the trilogy did I discover that, apart from each volume focusing one one of the members of the Circle, there's almost no cross-pollination of narrative and characters. In other words, I don't regret jumping into this series in mid-trilogy and don't think I missed out on anything by so doing.

The background for this romance between a wealthy Italian widow and a British aristocrat is the excavation of Roman ruins in, or near, the city of Bath. The romance itself is predictable and the characters, or their clones, appear in hundreds of books by dozens of other authors. The meticulous details of the archaeological dig, the roman artefacts, the pictorial documentation of the finds, and use of Regency Bath instead of London raised [b:To Surrender To A Rogue|7507671|To Surrender To A Rogue (Circle of Sin, #2)|Cara Elliott|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1275884492s/7507671.jpg|9694093] above the ranks of utterly forgettable historical romances. A subplot concerning political machinations in Italy and Austria added breadth and historical authenticity to the story, a refreshing change from the claustrophobic genre stereotypes that, should they ever stray beyond the narrow stage of London town houses and country mansions, make do with perfunctory references to Napoleon and his campaigns or exile.

The joy of this book is the balance it maintains between diverse elements. My five-star rating reflects both the quality of the writing and my enjoyment of the book. ( )
  skirret | Jan 2, 2015 |
Lady Wombat says:

Interesting hero, but annoying that the heroine, who was so smart and independent, became a blithering weeper when her child was threatened. I would have preferred to see heroine actively involved in rescuing herself rather than depending on the man to take care of the bad guys for her, but I guess some women like that.
  Wombat | Aug 15, 2011 |
I did enjoy this book. I just had my expectations too high from the previous book, which could have been written to order for me. This one seemed much more ordinary. I don't think there was anything wrong with it, but nothing jumped out as being particularly special, either.I wish we'd had more of the Circle of Sinners, and that Alessandra had confided her predicament to them. They only were present in this book enough to remind me of how interesting they all were before, and to set up the character of Kate for the next book.I never really felt Jack was more than a stereotype of a romance hero. He's tough! He has a bad reputation! His brothers used to beat him up! But underneath it all is the soul of an artist, which no one knew until this book began!Lady Alessandra was a little more complex, but I've never been fond of the I hate him! He's terrible! He's so attractive! I can't help myself, I must have sex with him! I still hate him! We'll have sex again! Now I know he's trustworthy and the love of my life! This is very common in romance novels, so I can't count this as an objective flaw, but it is one for me.The book was well written, so I won't count the author out in the future, and this still may be the right book for you. It just wasn't one of my favorites. ( )
  ImBookingIt | Jun 6, 2011 |
Mini Book Review: Delightfully sinful read full of beautiful strong women and handsome rogues. The perfect read for a day at the beach, a cold Canadian night or just while sitting in your office and reading it instead of doing your boring job -- not mine of course ; ) The characters were intriguing and not stereotypical like in many novels of this genre. Lady Alessandra and Jack have an intense chemistry, but there are also many light moments between them. Also Lady Alessandra's daughter is a delightful character and would have liked more scenes with her. The story flows nicely and it keeps you interested. I was quite ticked off one day that my bus was on time and had to put the book down. I look forward to picking up more books in Cara Elliott's "Circle of Sin" series.

3.5/5 Dewey's ( )
  mountie9 | Sep 17, 2010 |
This book had great characters, a pretty good plot, and was written well. I think I read it too fast. It only took me two days to finish it, and I think I read it too fast to really let myself connect to the story.

I did like Alessandra though. She was sharp witted, and usually had a sharp response ready to go. Even her daughter had quite the mouth on her. I also liked Black Jack and his retorts. He really seemed to keep Alessandra on her toes. Plus he made a great hero for the story. The "Circle of Sin" was also entertaining. They didn't play a huge part in the story, but they were a nice addition.

There were some intense scenes in this one. Alessandra seems to get herself into a bit of trouble by trying to hide her secret from all of England.

Like I said, despite having all the makings of a really good book I just didn't connect to it like I normally do. I'm going to have to reread this one and let myself get drawn into the story. I think I would like it even more if I had not sped through it. ( )
  Justjenniferreading | Jun 29, 2010 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0446541311, Mass Market Paperback)

An expert in antiquities, Lady Alessandra della Giamatti arrives in Bath to excavate newly discovered Roman ruins-only to find herself caught in a web of evil intrigue by a blackmailer threatening to expose her scandalous past. The one man who can help her is Lord James "Black Jack" Pierson, a fellow member of the expedition and a sinfully handsome rogue whose tempting presence ignites a different sort of danger.

Jack has clashed with Alessandra in the past, so when she suddenly surrenders her body he can't help being suspicious. Is she a scheming temptress? Or is she truly a lady in trouble? As desire and deceptions swirl around them, Alessandra and Jack must find a way to win each other's trust. For if they don't work together to uncover a shocking truth, their enemy-and their own simmering passions-may destroy them and everything they cherish.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:11:55 -0400)

Independent widow Alessandra della Giamatti is a member of the Circle, a group dedicated to the study of science and history. While traveling to Bath to examine newly discovered Roman ruins, she has a falling out with "Black Jack" Pierson, another member of the Circle and a notorious rake, but when they're forced to work together at the excavation site, they fall for each other.… (more)

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