Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Review - Chance the Winds of Fortune

Title: Chance the Winds of Fortune
Author: Laurie McBain
Publishing Date: 1980
Genre: Historical
Rating: D
Sensuality: Warm

Dante Leighton is the Captain of a cargo ship that sails from the Caribbean to the Carolinas. He won a map to a sunken Spanish ship in a card game. He is used to seeing treasure maps, but this time it appears to be the real thing. He crosses paths with Lady Rhea Claire Dominick when he finds her asleep in his cabin on his ship. She had been kidnapped from her family and shipped from London to the colonies to be sold as an indentured servant. Dante can’t just let her go because she has seen the map and he believes her to be a spy, not the daughter of a Duke as she claims.

Let me be frank. If I had not chosen this book as one for my fall book challenge, I never would have finished it. The biggest problem I had with the book is that Dante and Rhea don’t meet until page 281. Yes, that’s right page 281!!!! What kind of nonsense is this? The first part of the book is devoted to recapping everything that happened between Rhea’s parents. Apparently, they had a book. Sure enough, I look up the information and yes their book was Moonstruck Madness.

Okay, so for 27 pages we have Dante and Rhea interacting and it’s good. The book has finally grabbed my attention. Then what does the author go and do? Yep, you guessed it. She jumps back to Rhea’s family for another 60 pages. So out of a total of 500 pages, 340 of them are spent on other plot points not devoted to Rhea and Dante’s relationship. That is more than half of the book. How is this book even considered a romance? I know it is, just look at the cover.

Since Dante and Rhea were given so little time to develop their relationship I didn’t buy into their love for each other. It felt extremely rushed considering this book is 500 pages. Rhea was super sweet. Think Snow White with the dwarves. She is like that with Dante’s crew. She could do no wrong in anyone’s eyes. Dante is very hard to pin down. I don’t feel like I got to know him at all. The good news about this book is that for a bodice ripper, no bodices were harmed. Rhea is never raped by anyone, nor does Dante ever “forcibly seduce” her.


Katiebabs a.k.a KB said...

I was expecting a typical pirate bodice ripper romance. This seems to be a mundane historical with lack of passion. :(

Jill D. said...

Yeah, this was such a dud Katie. I was sooooo disappointed.

nath said...

Sounds like a horrible book. My comfort is I probably wouldn't be able to find it even if I want to :P

Wendy said...

Oh man, that would drive me insane. The whole point of reading romance is...well...the romance. And if the characters aren't on the same page together by page 50 or so, I start to get twitchy.

I'd be curious if any of the long-time romance reader bloggers out there read this back in the "good old days" and what they thought of it at the time. I always hear Laurie McBain's name tossed around amongst the "old timers" LOL.

Jill D. said...

Nath, It was a total wall banger! A lady friend of mine had a bunch of books and I just picked one, this one. Then it sat for a while and I made the mistake of choosing it for that challenge. I would have been better off not bothering to finish it. What a waste of my time.

Wendy, I looked to see if there were any reviews on this one. I think there were at Good Reads and Library Thing. I didn't bother to read them though. I did find that one lady said she thought McBain might have co-written the books with her father and stopped writing after he died. I did look up her backlist at fictiondb.com and there weren't that many books. I'd say six or so.

nath said...

I think I would have chosen another book altogether. Sorry you wasted your time :(

Jill D. said...

Hey, I guess you could say, I took one for the team :)

Anonymous said...

I have read all of Laurie McBain's novels save for her last one. I actually really like her storytelling. Very innocent, and the Snow White reference is very true. While I felt the same way about how long it took for Rhea and Dante to meet, I want to note that there is a sequel to their story, Dark Before the Rising Sun, which is awesome. Don't want to spoil it for anyone, but the author manages to do something with Dante and Rhea that I have yet to see any other author do in a sequel. It also helps the reader to better associate with them as a couple. While this one has its weaknesses, the trilogy as a whole is actually worth reading. Those you like Woodiwiss will like McBain, rarely is there a bodice ripped. A far cry from some of the other oldies that had rapists abounding.