Wednesday, August 31, 2011

"The Landlord's Black-Eyed Daughter" Review

"The Landlord's Black-Eyed Daughter"

by Mary Ellen Dennis

Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca

Release Date: Aug 1, 2011 

Source: ARC sent by publisher

My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Summary from  

A fast-paced and
passionate retelling of the story of two timeless lovers who would die
for each other. If only they didn't have to. This gorgeous romance by
author Mary Ellen Dennis gives the poem a whole new depth and a happy

"Take one highly successful Gothic romance writer who just
happens to be an innkeeper's daughter; add one disillusioned,
devil-may-care highwayman who robs only the rich on principle; set them
down in the turbulent, hypocritical times of late 18th-century England;
season with a dash of humor, a splash of the paranormal, and a dollop of
danger; and let the adventures begin... A fast pace, fluid writing, and
an exceptionally well-crafted plot..." -Library Journal

My Review:

I was so anxious to read this book because it is based on Alfred Noyes' poem, "The Highwayman." The title is a direct reference to the poem, and drew me in immediately. It is, however, very loosely based on the poem. In a way, I understand, because it's difficult to turn a short poem into a 400 page book, but I guess a piece of me was still disappointed.

I enjoyed this book far more than the last book I read by the author- "The Greatest Love on Earth." Dennis has greatly improved her writing in the ten year span between writing the books. I do still feel that she excels at writing the other parts of the story besides the actual romance though.

My favorite part of the book was the dark, foreboding Gothic setting. It seems like every scene takes place on a dark, menacing night.

I felt like Rand was an old fashioned male chauvinist much of the time. When he stole Elizabeth's money and then 'repaid' her in stolen jewels that she wouldn't be able to sell because, well, they're stolen, I did not think he was someone I would fall in love with. I also took offense that whenever Elizabeth would ask 'when' he would do something, he would respond with 'in my own time.' This is so reminiscent of the old style of historical romance when emotionally controlling men were seen as desirable, so it wasn't really my cup of tea.

Main Characters: 3/5

Supporting Characters: 3/5

Setting: 4/5

Romance: 2/5

Uniqueness: 4/5

Cover: 4/5

Writing: 3/5

Bottom Line: The story is intriguing, with a nice Gothic setting, but the romance is too old fashioned for me.

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