Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Surrender to GAYLE CALLEN'S: SURRENDER TO THE EARL

Don't you love a good Avon title? The title parodies endless for a blog review.

I am sadly behind the times where Gayle Callen is concerned. Right here on the cover of SURRENDER TO THE EARL is an endorsement from la Christina Dodd herself, "Gayle Callen writes one dazzling gem of a book after another." And after reading this one, I have to say I will be going to Gayle's backlist and finding more of her stories, namely the book before this one, RETURN OF THE VISCOUNT, which starts this series. (Don't worry. This one totally stands alone. It's just I got to meet the viscount and his lovely bride and I was all, "Oh, I have got to read me one of these.") If it is half as dazzling as this one was, I will be in for a great treat.

So here are the familiar things: the soldier hero who returns home from war, needing to make good with someone who died while he was fighting (redemption); the heroine who will do anything to claim her independence. The twist? The heroine is blind.

Robert Henslow (Earl of Knightsbridge) comes to find the widow of the man who died--at his fault--and make restitution. Audrey Blake--virtual prisoner--takes Robert up on his offer of help by saying, "Get me the hell out of here." I'm paraphrasing. She's a lady. So he hatches a plan to get her out; and she gains her freedom. Conflicts ensue when Audrey realizes being free isn't all it's cracked up to be without the protection of those who would not do her harm; and Robert realizes...well...he really, really likes her and wishes it wasn't so much a fake engagement as a real one.

He's really quite deliciously heroic--the kind of man to root for; and she is a heroine worthy of such a man. I was really quite pleased with this happy ending. Do yourself a favor--surrender to my review and find yourself a copy.

May 28th is a big release day for many of our favorite authors. Have you read Gayle Callen and do you have any special plans for one of the books being released today?

17 comments:

Marnee Bailey said...

Oh this does sound good. Count me among those who haven't read Gayle Callen yet either. But this is tempting. :)

I love the idea of a blind heroine. I've read blind heroes before, but I'm having a hard time remembering any blind heroines. ?

Terri Osburn said...

The only blind heroine I know of is Tessa Dare's, and I can't remember which book. But I think Mary Balogh did one as well. Let me see. Huh. I can only find the one with the deaf heroine. But that too is an awesome story. Silent Melody is the title.

Terri Osburn said...

Now that I think about it, Tessa's heroine was deaf and not blind. So I guess I'm stumped!

MsHellion said...

I don't remember any blind heroines off the bat (but then again Janga hasn't shown up yet to remind us how senile we all are. :)) HOWEVER, I do remember some blind heroes. Okay, one. YOURS UNTIL DAWN by Teresa Medeiros. And I think there have been other blind heroes...drawing a blank for, but YOURS UNTIL DAWN was really rather magical for me which is why I remember it after all this time.

Marnee--I think her blindness was well-handled in the book. She was a very worthy heroine, I thought.

Terri--I wonder why that is? I usually find blind heroines more fascinating...but maybe because the blind heroines can still talk unheeded by anything. If you're deaf, it seems talking is less likely...and I like witty dialogue too much to give it up. I guess I go with the "disability" I'd rather have if I had to pick one...and never mind that I'm already half blind anyway. Just remove my glasses.

MsHellion said...

http://www.goodreads.com/list/show/17688.Blind_Heroes_Heroines_In_Romance?auto_login_attempted=true

Look what I found.

I did love DANCE WITH THE DEVIL--and I absolutely adored THIS IS ALL I ASK. Such a swoonworthy romance. Beautiful.

Terri Osburn said...

That list just reminds me what a faulty memory I have. Almost positive I've read a few of those. HOW could I forget Spymaster's Lady?? Though it's because that heroine was so capable. Totally forgot she was blind.

Sin said...

YOURS UNTIL DAWN by Teresa Medeiros

I actually remember picking this book up at the library, cracking it open and thinking-hm.. blind?! How is that going to work out for the couple. I really enjoyed it though.

MsHellion said...

Sin, YOURS UNTIL DAWN works out a bit more neatly than this one. In the sense it's a true fairy tale because he regains his sight, et al. This one is interesting because she remains blind ("flawed") and they still have their HEA. :)

MsHellion said...

Though in fairness, YOURS UNTIL DAWN felt more like a reimagined version of Beauty and the Beast--instead of being turned into a physical beast, the hero becomes a blind man, bitter, obnoxious, but lovable. He falls in love with the person who "must stay" with him, and then he turns "back into a prince" (curse breaks) when he truly loves and she loves him in return.

P. Kirby said...

Terri. Heh. Even I, with my spotty history of reading actual romance novels, first thought of Spymaster's Lady.

Janga said...

Annique's blindness in TSL is temporary, Terri. Perhaps that's why you forgot it.

I love Yours Until Dawn. It's one of my favorite TM books, but Christina Dodd's Candle in the Window is the first one that comes to my mind since both the H/H are blind. Lorraine Heath has a blind heroine (The Outlaw and the Lady) and Catherine Anderson a deaf one (Annie's Song). Three heroes I love are partially blind--John, the Marquess of Ragsdale in Carla Kelly's Reforming Lord Ragsdale, Ian Cameron in Mary Jo Putney's Veils of Silk, and Sam Forester in Jill Barnett's
Just a Kiss Away.

I haven't read Callen, Hellie, but your review makes me think I should give her a try.

MsHellion said...

Definitely give her a try, Janga. I hadn't read her before, but I was very pleasantly surprised. I thought the characters were rather well-developed and very likable/honorable.

Terri Osburn said...

Don't be poking at me, Pat. LOL! The mind, she is like a spaghetti strainer these days.

Maureen said...

Ha! Welcome to my world, Terri!

I'm sure I've read a blind heroine, but can I remember? No. Sounds like a good premise though!

quantum said...

Catherine Anderson in 'Blue Skies' (Coulter series) has a heroine Carly who is blind from birth. An eye operation restores her vision and she is coping with this new sense when hero Frank Coulter enters the picture ..... great series if you like ranching cowboys.

Afraid I haven't read anything by Gayle Callen but I am very tempted to try her now! LOL

Maureen said...

Now, that is a great premise, too! Dealing with the world suddenly being there... I bet the same challenge could be done with deafness and that would be a great device to use...

Hey, Q! You read Terri's book yet?

quantum said...

Hey, Q! You read Terri's book yet?

I bought it, but am clearing the decks of other partially finished books first. Terri's book deserves my undivided attention! LOL