This time out, I have debut historical romance author Tiffany Clare's The Surrender of a Lady (St. Martin's, received from publisher). Griffin Summerfield, Marquess of Rothburn, discovers Lady Elena Ravenscliffe in a slave auction far, far away from the world where he once knew her. Now she is Jinan, harem girl, and he may only have her for a short time. Unless he is willing to risk everything to have her forever. But Elena has kept a secret from Griffin, one she only reveals after he makes a bold move: she has a son, and she will do anything to protect him, even remain in the harem rather than be with Griffin. Griffin is a terrific hero, determined and daring, and he knows what he wants, if not the way to get it. Elena/Jinan I didn't love as much. She has her own strength, dealing with the hardships life has handed her in the only way she is able, but I wished for her to admit to her feelings sooner than she did. I also didn't love the way the story jumps from past to present and back again throughout. It was too jarring for me to get fully into the story for much of the tale. I understand the idea, I just didn't love the execution of it. This one is plenty hot, if you're looking for steam, and Griffin will give you lots of tortured emotion. I think Ms. Clare has a lot of promise, even if I didn't fall madly in love with this story. I imagine her skill will grow with future books, and I also imagine this one will find her a lot of fans. I'm borrowing only three of Cupid's five arrows for this one.
Until next time, happy reading!