Posted in: AztecLady Reviews, reviews
Tags:Bronwyn Jameson, category romance, Contemporary Romance
Tycoon’s One-Night Revenge by Bronwyn Jameson
This Silhouette Desire novel was my introduction to Ms Jameson’s work. After reading the back blurb, I was a bit leery, since amnesia is one of those plot devices that tend to get on my nerves rather quick. After researching a bit (of the “reading reviews online” variety), I decided to give it a try. I’m happy to report that I don’t regret it at all.
Here’s the somewhat-accurate back cover blurb:
Revenge at last
Amnesia had stolen millionaire businessman Donovan Keane’s memory. But one look at treacherous beauty Susannah Horton, and Van could picture every delicious detail of the weekend they’d spent in his bed. She’d staged their affair to ruin an important deal—a deal about to go to her fiancé. Not that Van would let that happen. During one hot night, he’d destroy her engagement, take back the deal and walk away with all the memories he’d need. Good thing, because he’d never be able to get her out of his mind.
The tycoon was vengeance-bound… but the beauty in question was truly innocent.
As far as I can tell, this tycoon wasn’t looking for revenge, but then neither had he lost all his memory… Ah well, I really should stop looking at these things. Here’s the skinny according to moi:
Donovan Keane is the victim of a vicious attack by muggers, which results in injuries serious enough to land him in the hospital for months. After waking up from a short coma, he realizes that he also is missing most of his memories from the days before the attack. Not long after that, he is informed that a major deal he was working on during those missing days has fallen through, and in a rather puzzling manner. Around the same time, he learns something completely unexpected about his own past, which prompts him to try to recreate those missing days.
While he knows that Susannah Horton is a key part of both the collapsed deal and his missing memories, Donovan simply doesn’t know what happened between them, either personally or professionally. He’s determined to remedy the situation by any means within his reach, including bluffing his way into getting Susannah back to The Palisades at Stranger’s Bay (Tasmania).
I have to say that I really like that this character doesn’t suddenly become someone else, have any kind of momentous epiphany, or what have you, as a result of the memory loss—he remains true to himself, and his actions upon recovering are dictated by his past as much as by his present.
The way Ms Jameson handles the trauma to Donovan’s memory felt very feasible to me. Instead of a total blank, there are these flashes of memory, like snapshots—but instead of falling back on stereotype and having Donovan remember all sorts of crucial events or revelations during these flickers of memory, what he remembers are small and often seemingly irrelevant things. A look, a silhouette, a feeling. As a reader, this felt very realistic and powerful, and helped establish Donovan’s reactions to Susannah, without being melodramatic.
Susannah, on the other hand, seemed to me a bit sketchier as a character. A couple of times during the novel there were somewhat cryptic references to things about herself and her past that she had shared with Donovan during that fateful weekend; however, those same things are never fully explained. Perhaps these blanks are filled in the book for which this is a prequel of sorts, The Ruthless Groom.
Throughout this novel there are references to several characters from the previous title, such as Zara, Susannah’s half-sister; Miriam, her mother; and Alex Carlisle, her fiancé—and Donovan’s main rival for The Palisades. However, other than a very short exchange between Miriam and Susannah, none of these characters actually play a role in this story. They all feel more like character motivations for Donovan and Susannah than they do actual people in their own right.
Still, the conflicts between Susannah and Donovan—between preconceptions, misconceptions, mutual attraction, and the changes in their circumstances since that weekend they had spent together, and the events in the novel—feel very real and deep.
And that is what I liked most about this story; it truly is character driven. Even the all-important business deal is in reality subordinated to each character’s personal history, their feelings for and reactions to each other, and to the other people in their lives. This made it easier for me to relate to them as real, rounded people in spite of the fact that he is über rich, she is heiress to a fortune, and they live in a world completely outside my reality.
The one thing I didn’t like was that, towards the ending, some of the truly major issues between Donovan and Susannah, between Susannah and her mother, and between Alex Carlisle and Susannah, seemed to be glossed over rather than solved. Again, perhaps I feel this way because I haven’t read The Ruthless Groom, which I am hoping to remedy as soon as possible.
This one is a 7 out of 10.