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Monday, December 9, 2013

ARC Review: The Viscount’s Vow by Collette Cameron

The Viscount’s Vow by Collette Cameron is a very pleasant Regency novel. While not officially part of a series, it is related to her previous book, Highlander’s Hope. Interestingly, the events in The Viscount’s Vow take place chronologically before Highlander’s Hope even though it was published several months later. These are Cameron’s first two published novels. In The Viscount’s Vow she demonstrates solid writing skills, but there were also a few things that indicate a beginning writer.

Ian Hamilton, the new Viscount Warrick, is out for revenge. The recent deaths of his father and his younger brother have left him sad and angry. He has been told that a young woman, Evangeline Caruthers, is implicated in the dueling death of his brother and a duke. He arrives on the London scene with a desire for revenge, but without a specific plan. He meets “Vangie” at a ball and asks her to dance. It isn’t long before Vangie experiences a debilitating migraine and passes out. In Ian’s attempts to help her they are left in a compromising situation and are forced to marry. There are many questions to answer and situations to endure as Ian and Vangie move toward their Happily Ever After. Can Ian change his mind about her role in his brother’s death? Can he accept her Romani heritage? Why does he keep encountering dangerous circumstances?

I enjoyed reading The Viscount’s Vow. Collette Cameron’s writing kept my interest and evoked great sympathy for the things the characters had to endure. One of the most distracting things was her overuse of Regency phrases and slang. It is quite clear that she did her historical research and some Regency language would certainly be appropriate, but there was so much that it pulled my attention away from the story. Another problem was that she hit on one of my pet peeves – one-dimensional and/or crazy villains. Most historical romance writers, in my opinion, are not very good at creating believable villains. Since I think that people are not totally black or white, but are varying shades of gray, it frustrates me when a villain is totally evil. One way that writers accomplish this is to make the villain evilly insane, which also frustrates me. Most experienced writers (hopefully) can sometimes do a better job with villains so I chalk this up to Cameron’s relative inexperience. She definitely has potential to create good books. This one was a bit melodramatic, but the steamy bits were well done. Both Ian and Vangie showed depth and emotion. Her descriptions of action scenes were vivid and easy to imagine. I will be glad to read other books by Collette Cameron and I think she will be a successful writer of historical romances.

**ARC provided by Author**

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