Sunday, June 17, 2012

Trail of the Tudor Blue by Gwen Roman

Title: Trail of the Tudor Blue
Author: Gwen Roman
My Rating: C+

Genre: Romantic Suspense
Series: Jewels of the Night
Main Characters: Ardis and Tate
Release Date: January 2011
ISBN: ebook
Publisher: Wild Rose Press
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: mild

Story Overview:
Jewels of the Night Series

Everyone deserves a happily ever after...

For straight-and-narrow art restorer Ardis Bellamy, a trip to the South of France to reclaim a historic blue diamond necklace should have been only mildly nervewracking. Understatement. In order to succeed, she's going to have to learn whom she can and can't trust, give the thugs who are chasing her the slip, and decide whether her growing relationship with sexy "recovery agent" James Tate is worth risking everything for -- or whether he's been double-crossing her all along.

My Review:
The way this story is written reminded me of a 50's suspense movie. Where the suave European local dazzles and manipulates the naive sweet heroine. There were slight differences...Tate isn't European... but overall the movie maintained that kind of feel. For me, that wasn't appealing, but if that kind of book appeals to you, you are going to love this one. The book is really well-written and the suspense definitely keeps you guessing. It took me forever to figure out what was happening at all and that definitely keeps you turning the page. 

Overall, I just found Ardis to be too naive and vulnerable and just couldn't understand why she was on this quest to recover this necklace by herself. But again, that idea plays into the old-fashioned style of suspense. It's not that she's dumb. She just continues to put herself into situations where she has no idea what is happening and puts herself into incredible danger. That's just not a sensible way to act...naive is the ONLY way to look at it...and no one is that naive.

I liked Tate's character a lot, but felt like the story could have been served better if we had been able to see some of it through his point of view, rather than seeing everything through Ardis' eyes. I understand that you are supposed to wonder about his motives, but I just needed something more than Ardis' completely innocent and clueless view on the world.

Like I said, if you like those old 50's movies where this dynamic is the norm, you will like this book. And I have to admit that Ardis did toughen up and become a bit more worldly by the end of the book. I definitely liked the last quarter much more than the middle of the book. By then she was becoming a bit more jaded and less trusting...finally!

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