Title: In Total Surrender
Author: Anne Mallory
Publisher: HarperCollins US
Format: Advanced Review Copy
From the back of the book:
Andreas Merrick is the king of London’s dark underworld, having amassed unimaginable wealth and power…and a fierce reputation that leaves even the bravest men quaking in their boots. Yet one person is maddeningly unintimidated by his fearsome presence: the persistent Miss Phoebe Pace. And one kiss always leads to another…
Equal parts honey and steel, Phoebe will stop at nothing to find her missing brother and save her family. Though associating with Andreas means peril and scandal, she never expects to experience a passion so intense that it threatens to consume her. But enigmatic Andreas is no ordinary man to love. He brings dangers from all sides – without and within – while tempting her beyond her wildest dreams…
Most of the time, when reading romance novels, we read most of the story from the heroine’s perspective. In Total Surrender started from our hero’s perspective and stayed with him for quite a while. It was a nice change for me and Andreas makes a great hero. He’s rough around the edges and hides his true self from others, but when reading the story from his perspective, we get unlimited access to the “real” Andreas, and he’s quite wonderful, in a bad boy sort of way.
Do you ever read romances where the heroine is described as smart or clever and then she proceeds to make the most ridiculous decisions which result in the need for rescuing? Phoebe isn’t like that at all. In fact, I do believe she is the one doing the rescuing in this romance. She’s smart, clever, funny (made me laugh out loud several times) and willing to do whatever it takes to protect her family and find her brother- she’s a strong heroine and quite likable.
“That is quite vague. Soon might be tomorrow or a month from now. How do you define soon?”
“I define it as a period of time in the near future.”
She smiled. “How do you define difficult?”
“By your presence.”
She grinned fully, delighted to feel the tension dissipate. “Now you are just flattering me for no reason.”
“On the contrary,” she said, as if his grunt had been a worded response. “It was most flattering.”
He stared at her.
“What? Did you think I wouldn’t figure out how to interpret your grunts? It is like listening to a conversational gambit with a thousand different meanings.”
He recovered quickly, as always, scowling. “Why would you think it flattery?”
“You have defined something by my presence. Which means you have noticed me quite keenly. I take that as flattering.”
His eyes narrowed. But then she knew he wouldn’t like that particular explanation. It left him too wide open.
There were many times while reading In Total Surrender that I found myself laughing out loud, in a good way, and was entertained from start to finish. The romance developed over months, not days, so it was a believable progression from business relationship to friendship to love.
Anne Mallory writes a wonderful historical romance and I found myself going back to read it a second time (just as good as the first!). I gave In Total Surrender five sunshines.