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Beau Crusoe Mass Market Paperback – March 1, 2007
This month's Book With Buzz: "The Lying Game" by Ruth Ware
From the instant New York Times bestselling author of blockbuster thrillers "In a Dark, Dark Wood" and "The Woman in Cabin 10" comes Ruth Ware’s chilling new novel, "The Lying Game." See more
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Top customer reviews
spot on. It was an ugly and sordid relationship, and he knew it, and was deeply ashamed of it. The love scenes between the H and h were tender and very mild. I understand why some people felt that the Hero acted in a cowardly fashion near the end, but his PTSD was so overwhelming, I pretty much forgave him everything. This goes on my keeper shelf.
This is not your traditional regency romance. Carla Kelly wrote a mature novel about the trauma of a survivor of shipwreck and stranding. If you can imagine being all lone for years on a desert island with only fiddler crabs for companions and dwindling hopes for rescue and returning to your homeland, perhaps you can put yourself in the position of the hero of this story. When he is rescued at last, he falls into the clutches of a woman who uses men as sex toys to boost her own ego. She is not a nymphomaniac as much as a malicious, hate-filled creature who entraps men who don't recognize her lures for what they are. She doesn't give herself, she makes them ashamed of being weak enough to succumb.
The characters in the story seem like people you might know. They come to life on the pages of the book. Carla Kelly just gets better and better. Yes, there are sexual encounters but they are not gratuitous. When they describe what happens between the hero and heroine, they are appropriate and sweet. When involving the villainous, they are vulgar. But she is vulgar.
I have an unfortunate habit of inpatiently reading the end of a story before I read the whole book from cover to cover. I could not do it with this one. I had to keep turning the pages to read sequentially to discover the untold secrets of James Trevalen as Carla Kelly revealed them layer by layer. The ghost of ship's carpenter Tim Rowe was truly horrific and I felt the hair on the back of my neck rise as was described when James saw the ghost sitting in a chair in his darkened room. His fear was communicated to me. What a masterful telling!
If you are a Carla Kelly fan who has not read this one, go into it with your eyes wide open. This is not her usual story. But it is well worth reading if you are fan of historical fiction, naval historical fiction and/or if you are not looking for a traditional romance. This is a love story, but the love is earned because the people described deserve to be loved.
Beau Crusoe is definitely atypical of Kelly's regencies yet shares their best qualities. Though the main male character, James, was a naval officer, his primary trauma stems from his experiences as a castaway on a tiny, uninhabited island in the Pacific rather than the horrors of war. In spite of the occasional anachronistic vocabulary, Kelly's historical research is impeccable, and her writing is infused with a powerful sense of empathy. Not only is she factual, but she explores the implications of her facts in the lives of real human beings. Her battles are never glossed over to appear noble or uplifting and neither is five years of isolation in a tropical "eden." At the outset, James's suffering is less obvious than his kindness, good humor, and mischievous nature. However, as the story unfolds, the horrors of his time adrift in a lifeboat as well as the five year sojourn on the island are revealed,
8/16/16 Always bugged me that I never properly finished this review. I kept accidentally deleting it from my Kindle, hence the bellyaching. Anyway, to continue, what appeals most to me is the humor. Beau, in spite of his harrowing experience and dark secrets, is so clever and mischievous in his dealings with the book's sillier characters, yet at the same time kindness is his strongest motivation. He deals with Susannah with understanding and tenderness, and is repaid not only with her love, but also with her loyalty and courage when it comes to the crunch. Peripheral characters range from hilarious to fascinating to really vicious, and characters, situations, and humor all seem a little more extreme than most of Kelly's other work. While the humor is delightful the, the dark side of James's past is truly disturbing, including cannibalism and sexual exploitation--though not at the same time--and making the original Crusoe look like a (Swiss Family) Robinson kid. The contrast is really effective, but may provide some Ewwww! moments.
Beau Crusoe ended up being my favorite of all the Carla Kelly novels I glommed at this time and is, in fact one of my favorite Regencies ever. I hope that new readers will find it and find it as rewarding as I did.
Most recent customer reviews
I absolutely love her way with words but didn't get far into this book, before I deleted it from...Read more