Sunday, March 11

Beau Crusoe by Carla Kelly

I was really looking forward to this book. Which is probably obvious because I chose to read it before the new Ward and Joyce books. But I hate to admit Beau Crusoe left me disappointed.

From the Publisher:


Stranded alone on a desert island, he had lived to tell the tale. A triumphant return to the ton saw James Trevenen hailed as Beau Crusoe--a gentleman of spirit, verve and action. But only he knew the true cost of his survival!


Susannah Park had been shunned by Society. She lived content with her calm existence--until Beau Crusoe determinedly cut up her peace! The beautiful widow wanted to help him heal the wounds of the past--but what secrets was this glorious man hiding?

This should be a character driven story and in part it is. James (Beau Crusoe) is a wonderful fully developed character, the secondary characters are interesting and quirky (love the tailor and the foppish Sir Percieval) but the heroine, Susannah is never fully developed. As I write this I think maybe she is fully developed but not a character that I actually like. Passive, maybe even a little passive/aggressive, would be a good description for her. She's the beautiful, good daughter until she runs away with her father's secretary, comes back after his death. Her family is already shunned by society she allows herself to be shunned within her parent's own household and her child to be treated abominably by her not so nice or pretty sister.

Can you tell I don't like Susannah? But I love James. He saves the book from being a complete failure. He's funny, smart, strong and has enough issues hanging over his head to be less than perfect and very interesting.

I read the book with a certain level of detachment, and never felt fully engaged. I'm vascillating between B-/C+ (leaning toward C+) simply because Ms. Kelly's a good writer.

I might come back and add more to this--the time change has messed me up and I need to get to Mass. Have a good one and happy reading.


Sam said...

Sometimes I wonder if the writer doesn't fall in love with the hero and short-change the heroine in the process.
I've read a couple books like that - where the hero is great and the heroine comes off as two dimensional.
Anyway - trot over to my blog if you'd like a chance to win a book!

Kristie (J) said...

I just got this one (along with scads others) I haven't tried Carla Kelly before although I do know she is widely loved by many.

mamx said...

hi all
this is a strange request i guess. but on the blog list reads lisa gardner type of books . she talked about alone by lisa gardner-mamx

Rosie said...

I just cracked this open late last night after finishing SUGAR DADDY. I'm intrigued and curious after your review.

jmc said...

Tara Marie,

I thought that Beau Crusoe was good (B/B+ range) but not Kelly's best work. The major drawback for me was Susannah, but I didn't attribute that to disliking her. I thought that part of the reason she felt so remote was that we got mostly James's POV and very little of hers in comparison.


Tara Marie said...

JMC, I can understand others liking this book more than me. I actually liked that so much came from James POV, but Susannah was work for me. Honestly, I think part of it is the mom in me, I wouldn't allow anyone to treat my child poorly, and somewhere in the previous 6 years she and her sister should have dealt with their problem.