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"Sharply defining unforgettable characters and exquisitely fashioning a sumptuous love story, Ms. Putney proves herself a dreamspinner of the highest order....This splendorous tale is the perfect romance for the reader in search of the extraordinary." ~Romantic Times "Mary Jo Putney is a gifted writer with an intuitive understanding of what makes romances work. I loved Silk and Shadows, couldn't put it down, and don't think readers will, either." ~Jayne Ann Krentz
"A fabulous, fabulous book. Bravo!" ~Mary Balogh
"Silk and Shadows is something else. Like brilliant. It got under my skin as very, very few books have. It's still under my skin. Mikhal was haunting."~Loretta Chase
"Mary Jo Putney's absolutely best yet."~Laura Kinsale
From the Author
The Silk trilogy started with Silk and Shadows, my Count of Monte Cristo story, in which a wealthy, enigmatic prince comes to London to avenge himself again a well-born man who has committed unforgivable crimes. While I was researching Asia to find a suitably obscure backstory for Peregrine, I came across the true story of a rescue mission to Bokhara in Uzbekistan. I'd always been fascinated by the vast mysterious center of Central Asia, and I immediately started thinking about a story inspired by that rescue mission. That became Silk and Secrets, a story of high adventure and lost love regained, which led right into Veils of Silk, a marriage of convenience story set in India. The time period is late 1830s to early 1840s, a time when travel and technology were expanding the world, but there wasn't yet the heaviness of the late Victorian period.
File Size: 1264 KB
Print Length: 454 pages
Publisher: Mary Jo Putney, Inc. (November 29, 2013)
I'm so disappointed. I was really enjoying the book until the hero raped the heroine. Why on earth people think that's sexy or even forgivable is beyond me. So I stopped reading (it was the half way mark of the book).
Another riveting read from Mary Jo Putney. I've been doing some re-reads this week and picked this one because it's been awhile since I've read it. I was just as dialed in this time as the first time. But, then, that could have to do with my advanced years.
Our hero, Peregrine, comes from a far off land - in fact I'd never heard of his people - apparently what we now know as Afghanistan. You know from the beginning he's got some serious stuff in his past which is all related to why he's finally arrived in England bent on vengeance. Over the course of the book we learn that an Englishman has earned his hatred and Peregrine's worked for many years to arrive at a position of wealth where he can have his sweet revenge.
The object of his hatred is Charles Weldon, who just happens to be engaged to our sweet heroine, Lady Sara St. James, which of course lands her right in the path of Peregrine's plans. Sara is unaware that her betrothed is one nasty villain and the reader is soon saying - "Yes, Peregrine - steal her heart and take her out of Weldon's hands."
Sara is steadfast, has her head on very straight - knows right from wrong and has lived her life by a set of certain principles. Peregrine, although a good guy in many way, believes the end justifies the means... somewhat. When he decides to ruin Weldon, he means to take Sara away from him, shut down his current businesses, put a halt to any investments he has going on, stall Weldon's bid for a title, make Weldon think his young daughter, Eliza, will be injured and last - he means to murder Weldon, preferably by his own hands.
Of course, we also see Peregrine's strengths as well as his weaknesses. Once he and Sara become more than friends, the battle for Peregrine's soul - so to speak - is engaged. Will Sara be able to restrain Peregrine's inclinations for taking things too far? She's in for the battle of her life and eventually her heart. In spite of Peregrine's weaknesses, he has a lot of wisdom about people and what makes them tick. His analysis of Sara and her feelings were amazing throughout the book.
As we learn Peregrine's full story, we soon realize that Weldon deserves hell fire and damnation. So, of course we're in somewhat of a quandary. This is an older regency with a couple of things that were a turn off for me and might also have the same effect on others, so read on if you would like to know what those are.
When Peregrine pretends to be a friend to Weldon so Weldon will take him to one of the worst types of brothels Weldon owns - a virgin house, Peregrine decides that if he has to deflower a virgin while he's there, he will do it - albeit gently - in order to keep up the game of deception he's playing with Weldon. This was so disgusting, I didn't understand how Ms. Putney could include that as part of Peregrine's character. Perhaps it was the time in which the book was written. Of course Peregrine winds up saving the girl he was assigned to. Still... I didn't like it that he would have done the deed to get what his ultimately wanted - his revenge - if that's what it took to keep Weldon engaged in the game.
Then, when Peregrine takes Sara for the first time, it was basically rape. To his credit, he misunderstood Sara's mind and emotions. She was very dialed in to the physical aspect of what was happening, but he assumed she wanted more than she actually did. Sara was angry and hurt, but before they got out of the "maze" where everything took place, she had already forgiven him. So, there was a bit of schizo stuff going on throughout the book.
A dark brooding hero with an agenda, a feisty heroine, a compelling love story: these are the trademarks of any Mary Jo Putney novel. Set in Victorian London, this is a wonderful book one of the Silk trilogy. introducing characters you won't forget easily, and a story you'll be thinking about for a long time after you've finished reading the book. When shy Sara meets handsome Prince Peregrine, she senses he has lots of dark secrets but falls in love with him despite the mystery. As for Peregrine, he romances Sara because he thought she would be the perfect tool for revenge..... until he realizes his feelings have changed. Can he escape the demons of his past and make a bright future with the woman he loves?
This started out so promising, a 3 possibly a 4 star book with great writing, a dark and mysterious alpha hero in search of revenge and an intelligent heroine with her own, much milder past. At the 37% mark, thank you Kindle for accuracy, I had my first doubts then, later, smart characters doing stupid things ruined it.
Mikhael, the H has come to England to exact revenge on Charles, smug, self-satisfied, VERY ambitious fiancee of Sara, the beloved cousin to H’s BF. Charles is also a very evil doer. VERY as in not a fun bad guy, but a gross bad guy that needs to die a horrible death. [He not only owns various kinds of brothels (your run of the mill whorehouse, BDSM brothel where one can be beaten or beat, and, oh joy, a brothel that specialize in young children and virgins). Charles likes to frequent them as an avid customer as well especially after seeing his upper crust, self-contained fiancee. Charles the villain wants an earldom and wants Sara, daughter of a Duke, to help him get the status update. Sara was mildly crippled in her first season, lost out on love, and wants to get married, She’s a smart cookie, likes Charles enough, adores his daughter, and figures what the heck, so to speak.
In the quest for revenge, and to save Sara from marrying a sanctimonious whoremonger, the H seduces Sara …at her own engagement ball. The shark started jumping at this point. From here on end, ranting spoiler…
Under the ploy of telling Sara what a rotter her fiancee is, she and the H end up in the library during the ball. He doesn’t just kiss her, but he seduces her to the point she is partially disrobed when her father, cousin, and fiancee come in. I did not buy it. Yes, the h was attracted to the H, but she is an intelligent and honorable woman. No way did I buy the nipple exposure. It was a cheap shot at implying overwhelming passion. Just as well he did it though, as Charles the evil fiancee not only calIs her a slut, but a cripple in need of a husband in front of her father and cousin. Excuse me, what a fine time for a duel.
The H and h end up marrying, and things are looking up. Then the revenge plot goes into full swing. The H is tightening the noose on the evil Charles. As if the brothels weren't enough, Charles has had people killed and arson set for a railroad deal. He needs to die basically. The H has such a specific revenge plot in place it’s ridiculous. The H wants honor in all ways
The H rescues Jenny, one of the girls from the virgin/pedophile brothel, while leaving the rest of the girls and children there. Jenny is one of the few characters whose brain cells function from beginning to end of this story. She’s a feisty and sweet girl who just wants a chance at life as well as a chance to spit on the evil guy’s grave. She ends up with her own little romance which she really deserved.
Angst, angst, and more angst. When I finally gave up the ghost is when the h finds out that Charles’ daughter was kidnapped in Jenny’s stead and was taken to the virgin/pedophile brothel. Jenny tells the h not to go, but the h has to rescue the little girl. Jenny says take lots of backup. Does the h take a battalion of the guards the H has left behind? No. The h runs off with the H’s turbaned sidekick to one of the most evil characters in the book. Spare me from good, smart characters turned criminally stupid. Really. One guy. One guy against the manager of a brothel that buys and sells young girls and children that are there against their will. The very brother that is OWNED by her spurned and vengeful ex-fiancee? If the h had been an impetuous character I might have bought it, but she’s intelligent AND she has been warned and told what a total creep her ex-fiancee is. Right into the lion’s den she goes. To make matters worse, the evil ex-fiancee who monologues about the evils of women as he debauches virgins, pops into the room to check out the latest virgin only to find out it’s his kidnapped daughter. He’s horrified..
Such a promising start. Great writing, interesting characters, intricate plot, but the two main characters degenerated into such stupidity I couldn’t get beyond it. The H I could handle as his reasons for wanting revenge are clear and understandable. ..[Charles the evil fiancee met him when he was ten and a slave in Tripoli (I think). Charles bought the H who thought he would be freed. Charles proceeded to sodomize him, beat him, then gave him away to be turned into a eunuch.
Oh yeah, and the evil fiancee mildly blackmails the Duke, the h's father, because her dad went to the BDSM brothel for a little paddling as he felt lost after his wife died. I guess that's the eighth stage of grief: spank me. The dad doesn't feel bad about encouraginghis only daughter to accept the creep's hand because he's still a gentleman.