Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Review: Chance the Winds of Fortune by Laurie McBain

Chance The Winds of Fortune 
by Laurie McBain
Pub. Date: July 1980
Re-Release:  Oct. 6, 2015
Publisher:  Sourcebooks Casablanca
Pages:  505
Format:  eARC
Source:  NetGalley

My Rating:  
Sultry Scale:

Fortune smiled on Dante Leighton, titled lord turned pirate. Sailing before the Sea Dragon's towering masts, he plundered hearts and cargoes from the Carolinas to Trinidad's turquoise lagoons. But one treasure always eluded him .... Until, a world away, at the English country estate of Lucien and Sabrina Dominick, a series of dazzling intrigues results in the abduction of their golden-haired daughter, Rhea .... And now, in a gathering wave of turbulent emotion, the fates of Rhea and Dante converge unforgettably -- in a quest for sunken Spanish treasure ... and a love worth a thousand fortunes. 

Lud, this book gave me heart palpitations and anxiety. It's truly one of those old-school romances that I love so much. They just don't write books like this anymore, so I am happy to see some of them being re-released (without being turned into the fluff reads that most historicals are today). 

I was chatting with someone recently who compared these books to the current trend of "dark romance." I agreed with her somewhat, the historical romances written in the 60s-80s did often have darker events happen. Many of them were classified as bodice rippers for that very reason. However the dark aspects of those stories are not what really draws me in... it's the action and adventure and the feeling that you have just read a sweeping saga by the end of one little book. You have these characters that you love and they are experiencing tragedy and betrayal and love and I get caught up in the moment with them. Hence, the heart palpitations and anxiety. I would love to see more authors today produce books in this style... but I'm sure they would get bashed by all the modern feminists much as has happened to E.L. James and even Diana Gabaldon. I cringe every time I see someone complain about that spanking scene. (I mean why should they give a fig about historical accuracy, right?) Ack, I need to get off my soapbox and get on with the review.

Our heroine in this installment of the Dominick Series is Lady Rhea Claire, eldest daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Camerleigh from the first book, Moonstruck Madness. Everyone loves Rhea Claire (myself included) as she is truly a kind soul who could win over even the most unlikely individuals. 

Rhea is kidnapped from her home by old enemies of the Duke. The majority of the story focuses on the dastardly plot, kidnap and ensuing events, and the family's search for their missing member. It was all very detailed and drawn out, and I loved every minute of it. The story really had very little romance. Indeed, by 85% there had still been no tender feelings or grand passion. And strangely enough, I was fine with it.

I would not really class our hero as such... he didn't do anything so heroic. Dante, Marquis of Jacqobi is somewhat of a pirate and treasure hunter. He and Rhea Claire are thrown together in the midst of his quest, and he does not act very charitably toward her.  (This is usually the theme in the good old bodice ripper if you haven't read one before.) 

The villains in this story were great! I hated them with a passion and got nervous whenever they were in the picture. As for the story itself, like I said, there wasn't a lot of romance - it was mostly the hills and valleys of the plot conflict. While I was fine with it, I can see where others might want that grand passion. It would have added something to the story, I admit. As much as I loved the story, there was a plot hole that caused me to deduct a star. Many references are made to Dante's revenge and elude to some betrayal from his past... but we never learn what it is and it's never resolved. The end was abrupt and left me wanting. A epilogue reuniting the family would have been nice, or showing that Dante gave up his revenge for love maybe? Who knows, maybe that happens in the next installment, which I will be reviewing soon. So, stay tuned!

Update:  I just read the blurb for the next book, Dark Before the Rising Sun, and see that Rhea and Dante's story continues! So yay, ignore anything I said about their being no resolution. I noticed the last book of the trilogy was published 2 years after this one... so happy I don't have to wait that long. It would've made me cranky. 

As with my previous review for this re-release series, I just love the older covers. So let's look at a cover evolution for this one:

I received anadvanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Dominick Series

My Review
My Review
Review Coming Soon!