Sunday, December 8, 2013

Bonded Heart by Jane Jackson

Product DetailsThis is ultimately the story of two dysfunctional families. A young woman leaves the comfort of her wealthy (but cold) family to find her prodigal mother who is living the life of a gutter rat in a nearby village. She gets a job working long hours in a local tavern, cooking and serving tables in an effort to care for her mother and younger brother, but in many ways becomes an enabler. Unable to keep food on the table, rent and court fees paid she turns to smuggling for needed cash.

The other dysfunctional family comprises a self centered matriarch and her three adult children. (the father led a dissolute life and has since died). The oldest son is in the legal profession, is tall dark and handsome and you guessed it. Sparks fly between the young
woman and the oldest son but they're worlds apart so the question is can they come together when all the odds are against them, especially when her secret comes out?

I thought the story was well written and the characters real. Sometimes with Jane Jackson I find that the secondary characters have more dimension than the primary. That was somewhat the case here. The drunken mother was well played and true to the character of an addict. The younger brother also was both good and bad and you could understand his rebellious escapades. But while I could understand why the hero was intrigued by the heroine, (she has a lot of depth of character and

was unusual), I couldn't QUITE feel the attraction to HIM. Yes, he looks good galloping a horse along the shore and he's handsome and a fair judge in his profession BUT.. he prides himself in keeping his emotions SO well hidden that I couldn't fathom how she saw them. A flicker in the eye, the warmth in a handshake, I wasn't feeling it. I would hope for a bit more personality in my hero...

And while I'm talking about the hero, there's a character named Devlin in another JJ book (" Devil's Prize") and that individual makes a few appearances in this novel as well. Anyway, when the author introduces our hero at the beginning of "Bonded Heart", instead of making our hero unique she tells the reader that 'you remember Devlin? Well this guy looks just like him, they could be twins'. How. Very. Original...I guess the author liked Devlin's character so much she wanted to use him again. But it seemed a bit lazy to me and for this reason ~and for the general lack of personality of the hero~ I took a star off my rating. (However if you're fond of the "Darcy" or "Mr Thornton" type characters this hero won't bother you).

For suitability I would rate this book PG-13 for thematic elements. There is an attempted rape in one scene and in another a character is punished by the law by being dragged through the town square while being whipped. There is mention of alcohol abuse and talk of possible prostitution when someone gets possession of alcohol while having no money to her name.

There are no sex scenes in this book and minimal cussing.
There is some passionate longing between the H/H but the characters are controlled and remain clean.

Jane Jackson's writing, in my opinion, is similar in style to Catherine Cookson but not as coarse, which I appreciate. I only discovered this author a month or so ago but she has quickly become one of my favorite authors.

No comments:

Post a Comment