I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE 1978 Film- Spoiler Summary



If you've never heard of this American rape revenge film from 1978, let me fill you in briefly. It's a story of a woman, Jennifer Hills, played by Camille Keaton, who is raped multiple times by four men. She gets revenge on all four. It was filmed over six weeks in 1976 but not released until 1978. This film is inspired by true events that happened in October 1974. Read more about that after the spoiler summary. Click on links in the summary to see photos from that scene.

SPOILER SUMMARY: Jennifer is a writer from New York. She's on her way to a cottage in the New York countryside on Park Hill Lane to work on her first novel but stops first for gas. Johnny, played by Eron Tabor, who now goes by Ron Shetler, is the attendant. Later Matthew delivers groceries to her house. Matthew goes and tells the other guys that he saw her 'tits'.

Jennifer's laying in a hammock writing, mere feet away from the river. The river is just behind the cabin. Here come Johnny and his three friends, Stanley, Andy, and Matthew, in a motorboat to harass her. She's watching them as they stare back at her. She's in bed reading one night (the same night?) and hears someone whistling. She goes outside to investigate but doesn't see anyone. She's sunbathing in a canoe in the same river and here comes two of them, Andy (German-born Gunter Kleemann) and Matthew (Richard Pace) in their motorboat. They circle her boat then tie a rope to her canoe and bring her to shore with them. Out jumps Johnny, wearing those awful coveralls. He's wearing them in every scene. He pulls down her bikini top, pushes her down as she's trying to get away and has Andy and Stanley pull her legs apart so he can pull her bikini bottoms off. He calls Matthew over (Matthew's supposed to be mental slow) to rape her first. He won't do it so Johnny rapes her. Afterward, she crawls away, stumbles, gets up and calls them 'bastards!' while she's walking away.

While walking naked through the woods, having just been raped, she encounters Andy sitting on a rock and playing the harmonica. The others are there too. They carry her over to a rock, lay her on it face down and Andy rapes her anally while the others are holding her limbs down. His acting during the rape is terrible. You should see his overly dramatic body movements. During her rape Stanley and Johnny grin. Johnny and Stanley leave, leaving Andy leaning his ass against a tree while pulling his pants up. She's left alone on the rock. She slides off the rock, gets up and crawls away. All four of the men get in their boat and leave, taking her canoe with them. They throw her bikini in the water.

Jennifer's covered in blood and collapses in her yard. She's inside the house wearing a robe, shivering terribly and is crawling over to the telephone to call the police. She puts it to her ear and Stanley kicks the phone out of her hand and she screams. She crawls away and Stanley drags her over to him and kicks her in the face, Johnny smoking and smirking as he and the other two watch. Matthew is now raping her. He's saying, 'I can't come! I can't come! You're interrupting my concentration. I can't finish like that!'

Andy picks up her manuscript, reads some of it aloud and they make fun of it. Stanley goes over to her. He straddles her torso as she's laying there. He's wearing the same brown pants throughout the film. She says, 'I'm hurt. Please, I'm hurt. I'll do it to you with my hand. You'll like it, you'll see.' He says, 'Total submission. That's what I like in a woman. Total submission.' He reaches behind him with his left hand, the hand that's holding a green wine bottle, inserts it in her and she screams. He straddles her face and says, 'Suck it, bitch! I said you're gonna suck it!' He calls her a bitch and a whore and smacks her repeatedly. The guys are yelling at him, telling him he's wasting his time. He says she's laying there like a mannequin and kicks her a few times.

They all leave her and are about to get into their boat when Johnny says they can't let her go. He gives Matthew a knife and tells him to go back and kill her. He refuses. Johnny tells him to never come back and calls him a 'dumb turkey'. Matthew cries and Johnny calls him back over to him. He demonstrates how to stab her and gives Matthew the knife. Matthew goes into her house. She's laying there where they left her. He wipes the blade of the knife in the blood on her face then goes back out to the guys. They assume he's killed her. She's in the tub on her hands and knees, covered in blood, shower spraying down on her.

I guess it's the same or next day when she's piecing together her torn up manuscript and retyping it. Two weeks later the three guys are at a diner. Johnny says its been two weeks and they haven't heard anything about her death and that someone should have smelled her body by now. They drive by her house in their boat and see her sitting in the grass, back against a tree, near the lake. She obviously sees them. They beat the crap out of Matthew for not killing her. Johnny runs him off on his bike, threatening to 'bust his ass' if he sees him again.

She's loading a gun that was already in the dresser drawer (the producer rented it) when she moved in. She goes to church to pray for forgiveness for the revenge she's about to dish out. Same day, she's parked near the gas station spying on Johnny. She sees a car parked by him and his two little kids are out talking to him. Next, she's parked outside the grocery store where Matthew works as a bicycle delivery man. She calls and orders some items and wants them delivered to her home. Matthew is told to deliver them, recognizes the address and is terrified to have to see her. He takes the knife that's laying near the bag of groceries and two huge pieces of cheese, (there's a fly on one of them) puts it in the waistband of his jeans and leaves.

He shows up sporting a black eye from the beating Johnny gave him. She comes out from behind a tree, tells him he got there 'super fast' and walks into the woods, hoping he'll follow. He's scared shitless and is carrying the knife he stole from work. He finds her leaning against a tree. He tells her he hates her, she's ruined his life, all the while holding up the knife. She strips off her semi-sheer white robe/gown and tells him she could have given him a summer to remember. She kneels down and pulls his pants down. She lays back and he gets on top of her. They kiss and as he's humping her she reaches to her right side, picks up a noose and puts it around his neck, him not seeming to notice. She pulls the rope, strings him up and he dies. As he's hanging there she pushes him until the rope comes loose from the tree and he falls into the water. She pushes his bike and bag of groceries into the water. She calls the store and tells them its been an hour and her groceries haven't been delivered.

She goes to the gas station. Johnny comes out and tells her they're closed and were only open a half day since it's Sunday. She starts playing with her hair from the driver's seat and with her head, motions for him to get in. They drive down a dirt road, they get out and she forces him to get naked (you can see his balls from behind when he's leaning forward to take his clothes off and I enjoyed it.)

As he's getting naked he proceeds to tell her that she asked for what she got from them because she exposed her 'damn sexy legs' to him at the gas station when they first met and she exposed her 'tits' to Matthew (which isn't true). She lets him take the gun out of her hand. He throws it and pulls her down to him. She caresses his face and says she'll give him a hot bath. They're in her bathroom. He's in the tub, she's naked, pinning her hair up while talking to him. We see him in the mirror. She gets in the tub facing him and is massaging his neck. He tells her that Matthew has been missing since the day before. She tells him she's killed him and that they had sex and Matthew 'came'. She says that because in the previous scene when Matthew was raping her he was telling the other guys that he couldn't come. He laughs and tells her she's got 'one fantastic imagination'.

She's giving him a hand job in the tub while she's telling him all that. While his eyes are closed, she reaches down beside the tub and gets a knife from under a yellow towel. She cuts his penis off. She calmly puts her robe on, leaves the bathroom and locks it from the outside. He's screaming, saying he can't stop the bleeding. She goes in the living room, buttons her robe/gown while looking back at the bathroom door, puts on an opera record and sits in a rocking chair. He finally stops speaking and she burns his clothes in the fireplace. She cleans the bathroom and what a mess it is. We see a quick flash of where his body is.

Johnny's wife and kids are at the gas station looking for him. Andy and Stanley are there getting yelled at by his wife. She thinks they know where he is. She tells them to 'get the fuck outta here!' and says she'll 'break their goddamn heads' if they come back around there.

Stanley and Andy get in their boat and head to Jennifer's. I think they're suspicious of her because now two of the four men have disappeared. She's in the hammock again. Just Stanley's in the boat and Andy's hiding behind a tree with an axe. The boat stops and Jennifer swims over to it and gets in, surprising Stanley because he didn't even know she was there. I think she tells Stanley that he's the one she wanted, leans in like she's about to kiss him and pushes him in the water. She starts the boat and drives in circles around Stanley to scare him. When she's far away from Stanley Andy swims over to him and helps him swim to shore. Jennifer drives over to them, axe raised high, and puts his axe into Andy's back. Still in the boat, she's near Stanley. She turns the boat off. He's holding on to the engine, telling her he didn't want to rape her. She quotes his earlier words by saying, 'Suck it, bitch!', starts the engine, the blades cut him up and she drives off into the sunset, having now murdered the last of four rapists.

DVD COMMENTARY WITH MEIR ZARCHI

I'll start with the awful event that inspired Meir to make this film. Part of this info is from this video at MovieWeb with Meir and the rest is from his own commentary:

On a rainy New York Sunday in October 1974 Meir, his eight year old daughter Tammy, and Meir's friend Alex Pfau (he's from Poland and died from a heart attack when he was 63) were driving to a nearby high school to use the running track. It was about 6 PM. On the way there they cut through Goose Pond Park ( I think it must have been renamed). Alex saw a naked girl come out from the bushes about 40 feet from them. They got out of the car and rushed over to her. She was muddy. They asked her what happened and with a broken jaw she told them she'd been raped and beaten by two men. Alex put his parka on her, they put her in the car, drove Tammy home then took the girl to the police station. While there, the officer didn't seem to be concerned about the girl. She said she was eighteen or nineteen. The officer asked her why she was in the park in the first place. That angered Meir and he yelled and banged on the desk and they took her to the hospital.

Later he learned that she'd been taking a shortcut through the park to get to her boyfriend's house. She was grabbed from behind, they took her eyeglasses off, punched her and dragged her into the bushes. They ripped her clothes off, yelling, 'Shut up, bitch, or we'll kill you!' and took turns raping, beating, and sodomizing her. One put a knife to her throat and she begged him to not kill her, telling him she couldn't even see them well because she wasn't wearing her glasses. They left her there, taking her clothes and glasses with them.

She was in intensive care for about a week. A female officer contacted Meir and said the girl's father wanted to know if he could have his and Alex's address so he could send them thank you cards. Both men got a card from her parents, dated October 7, 1974, that read:

Dear Sir,

My wife and myself would like to express our heartfelt thanks for kindness (inaudible) help that you have rendered to our daughter after she was so viciously attacked by the two animals that must have come down from the trees. Thank God that our daughter is coming along nicely. The swelling's subsided and she can now eat. The police have a number of suspects but have not as yet with any arrests. Again, our deepest thanks.

Respectfully,

Names Withheld

I wrote down what he said verbatim but part of that letter doesn't make sense, like this, '...but have not as yet with any arrests.' I think he's actually going off memory.

They filmed six days a week, 10-14 hours a day, for six weeks with Wednesday being their day off.
Meir's two children are in this playing Johnny's children. They don't have speaking roles.
The town of Kent, Connecticut only had two gas stations and this was filmed at one of them.
The character of Matthew was modeled after a mentally challenged messenger who worked in Meir's office building.
The script took four months for him to complete. He worked on it to and from work while riding the subway in New York.
Camille (Jennifer) wore all of her own clothing in the film.
Meir placed ads in papers looking for one woman and four men in their 20's to be in a low budget film.
Camille told him that after high school she became an airline stewardess then moved to Italy to pursue acting.
Two other women were considered for the role. One was 6'2 and the other was so attractive as to be 'distracting.'
Six months after the film's completion, Camille won a best actress award at a festival in Spain.
The scene where Stanley and Andy harass Jennifer in the boat was filmed with no sound. The whole scene where they're chasing her before one of the rape's was shot with no sound too. During editing the boat motor sounds and dialogue was added.
Before the film, the actors playing Andy and Stanley had degrees in psychology and Gunter (Andy) had worked with emotionally disturbed children.
Gunter knew how to handle a motor boat and taught Camille how to use one in one day.
A lot of the men who auditioned were unwilling to be naked on camera while most women who auditioned were willing.
A male gaffer quit right before the rape scene on the rock was about to be filmed. He was tired of all the violence.
The female makeup artist quit at some point because she too had been gang raped in real life.
Camille's driving Meir's own car, a 1975 Dodge Aspen, which was only one year old at the time.
Matthew (Richard Pace) is almost 6' tall and 180 pounds.
Eron grew up on a ranch in Ontario, California. IMDB has a quote of him saying he grew up Mennonite.
The woman who was to play Johnny's wife got sick before filming so the script girl, I think is what Meir said she was, was asked to fill in minutes before filming.
Meir is seen from behind playing the piano (or pretending to) during the scene where Jennifer enters the church to pray.

THE VALUES OF VENGEANCE: MEIR ZARCHI REMEMBERS I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE

This is a great 28 minute documentary with Meir but too much to get into.



MY THOUGHTS: I like this film because it's so harsh and disturbing. It'll definitely leave some kind of lifelong impression on you. I believe it first came out on DVD in late 2002 with the Millennium Edition. I think it was that same year that I first saw it. I owned it on VHS. I can see why it was banned in certain countries.

I wish Camille had had more lines. She doesn't speak much throughout the whole thing. Most of her acting was done with facial expressions, which were well conveyed. I do think Eron does some really good acting in this. It's a shame he wasn't in more films and I wonder why that was.

Three of the men never acted after this. I think Eron/Ron did some theater and now owns his own company.

Meir's commentary was informative, if not extremely hard to understand because of his heavy accent, and Joe Bob's was slightly funny at times. Throughout the whole thing he kept calling Matthew a 'retard', which I find highly offensive, and called Johnny's wife Alexis fat and something like dumpy, which was totally uncalled for. He didn't say one negative thing about anyone else's appearance except hers.

This interview with Meir at MovieWeb is very good and informative and I suggest you watch it.

Both U.S. in-print versions of the original film, here, and the two disc version that has both the original 1978 and 2010 remake, have the same bonus features with Meir and Joe Bob Briggs. I assume the audio commentary with Meir and Joe Bob Briggs (two separate audio tracks) that's on the 2011 release was taken from the 2002 release. I own the double feature from 2012.

Here's a 2009 article about Gunter (Andy). Ron (Johnny) is a vocal coach with his own studio.

Meir has said several times that there's a real-life case where a woman was raped and later killed her rapists with a shotgun but I can't find any information about that online anywhere. I'm dying to know more about that. He never said when or where it took place. If you have some info on this please let me know!

Watch it here.




BLURRED LINES by Robin Thicke- Nude Version and Alternate Clean Version






The brunette who seems to be the main model is Emily Ratajkowski, from England.
The black girl is Jessi M'Bengue, from France.
The blond is Elle Evans, from the USA.

RELAX by Frankie Goes to Hollywood- Original banned version

There are three official vidoes for this song, this being the original, banned, version. Take note of the guy near the beginning who's holding a condom-wrapped banana..and licks the end.



IMAGES OF HEAVEN by Peter Godwin- original banned nudity version and alternate clean version, 1982








 Peter Godwin at Wikipedia.

VIXEN by Jillian Larkin (Flappers book 1) with Book Trailer

PUB. INFO: Delacorte Press, December 2010
RERELEASE: Ember, August 9, 2011
SETTING: Chicago, USA, 1923
GENRE: Historical Fiction
PART OF SERIES? 'The Flappers', book one.
HEROINE: Gloria Carmody, 17
GRADE: A

Jazz . . . Booze . . . Boys . . . It’s a dangerous combination.

Every girl wants what she can’t have. Seventeen-year-old Gloria Carmody wants the flapper lifestyle—and the bobbed hair, cigarettes, and music-filled nights that go with it. Now that she’s engaged to Sebastian Grey, scion of one of Chicago’s most powerful families, Gloria’s party days are over before they’ve even begun . . . or are they?

Clara Knowles, Gloria’s goody-two-shoes cousin, has arrived to make sure the high-society wedding comes off without a hitch—but Clara isn’t as lily-white as she appears. Seems she has some dirty little secrets of her own that she’ll do anything to keep hidden. . . .

Lorraine Dyer, Gloria’s social-climbing best friend, is tired of living in Gloria’s shadow. When Lorraine’s envy spills over into desperate spite, no one is safe. And someone’s going to be very sorry. . .

MY THOUGHTS:

Gloria Garmody- She's the heroine and has red/copper hair and green eyes. She's a seventeen year old high school girl who lives in Chicago. She comes from a wealthy family. She's engaged to a twenty-three year old young man named Sebastian Grey, who has dark hair and green eyes. He's only after her money and he's a shady character.

Lorraine Dyer- Gloria's best friend since they were eight years old. She has dark hair and hazel eyes. She's very jealous of Gloria and has the hots for Gloria's close male friend, Marcus Eastman. He's got blond hair and green eyes. Lorraine is a villain who seems to only care about herself.

Clara Knowles- She's Gloria's eighteen year old cousin who's from Pennsylvania. She's got golden blond hair and blue eyes. She's got some skeletons in her closet and those are revealed near the end of the book. She's very likable.

I really enjoyed this book. It's a 'young adult' book but ignore that. The lead characters are seventeen and eighteen but they certainly don't act like teens. This is a book for adults. Gloria falls for a black piano player named Jerome Johnson who works in a jazz club and there's some serious drama with that toward the end of the story. I can't wait to find out what happens with that in the next book, Ingenue.

I happen to like villainous females in fiction so I'd have to say Lorraine is my favorite. She makes a mess of things and later gets involved with a gangster named Carlito. Carlito is out to get Jerome for something horrible that happens.

At first, I really didn't like Jerome's younger sister, Vera, but she makes another appearance near the end and we find out she's in cahoots with none other than Sebastian! She doesn't like that Sebastain's girlfriend, Gloria, is involved with her brother Jerome, so she sticks her nose where it does't belong and things go downhill fast.

I'm so glad I read this. I've never really known much about the 'Flapper' time period and thought it truly original to begin a series during that time.

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.






WAKING UP WITH THE DUKE by Lorraine Heath



PUB. INFO: Avon, July 2011
SETTING: England, 1860
HEROINE: Jayne Seymour, 25
HERO: Ransom 'Ainsley' Seymour, 28
GRADE: C

THEY ARE MASTERS OF SEDUCTION, LONDON'S GREATEST LOVERS...

Renowned for his bedchamber prowess, Ransom Seymour, the Duke of Ainsley, owes a debt to a friend. But the payment expected is most shocking, even to an unrepentant rake -- for he's being asked to provide his friend's exquisite wife with what she most dearly covets: a child.

LIVING FOR PLEASURE, THEY WILL GIVE THEIR HEARTS TO NO ONE...

Lady Jayne Seymour, Marchioness of Walfort, is furious that such a scandalous agreement would be made. If she acquiesces, there must be rules: no kissing... and, certainly, no pleasure.

UNTIL LOVE TAKES THEM BY SURPRISE.

But unexpected things occur with the surprisingly tender duke -- especially once Lady Jayne discovers the rogue can make her dream again... and Ransom realizes he's found the one woman he truly cannot live without.

MY THOUGHTS: Wow. What a letdown. I wanted to read this book because it's not everyday a book with this type of plotline is published. Well, it was boring, to say the least. The husband, Walfort, didn't seem to have any problem whatsoever with what he'd asked his wife, and cousin, to do. I don't feel that he loved Jayne at all. He'd even admitted to her that he didn't start to love her until after his accident three years before. The author didn't do a good job of showing us his affection for her. Jayne loved him too but I didn't believe it. It didn't take her long to agree to what he wanted her to do with Ainsley.

I thought it was odd that she'd go away, alone, with Ainsley for a period of time. It wasn't at all necessary. Ainsley could have stayed at her and Walfort's home without anyone thinking anything of it. He and Walfort are cousins, after all. That she just disappeared for a month is not believable to me.

Walfort is a whoring piece of garbage with a mistress and children to prove it. He truly had two lives and I had no sympathy for him. I'm unhappy with what happened to him near the end. I think the author should have done something very different with part of the story, such as suicide. It would have been much more dramatic.

Ainsley was an alright character, nothing special. Like the other two, he didn't seem to have a conscience about what he was doing. There were two scenes where he was rubbing Jayne's feet and it made me sick, seriously. I could have done without it. He'd already been lusting after her and obviously jumped at the chance to bed her. Of course, he fell in love with her and she with him.

One of the worst scenes of the entire book is them getting married while she's giving birth. I'm far from a romantic but that was too much for a 'romance' story. I don't believe anyone reading it would have been happy with that scene or could have found it romantic in any way, shape, or form.

The only other books with this theme that I know of are:

Arrow to the Heart by Jennifer Blake
Blackheart by Tamara Leigh
Deceptive Heart by Madeline Kurr
Kissed by Shadows by Jane Feather
Midnight Waltz by Jennifer Blake- does without her knowledge
One Wicked Night by Shelley Bradley
Prisoner of My Desire by Johanna Lindsey
Secrets of the Night by Jo Beverley
The Fulfillment by LaVyrle Spencer
Waking Up With a Duke by Lorraine Heath
Wicked Little Games by Christine Wells

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

THE DEADLIEST SIN by Caroline Richards

PUBLISHING INFO: Brava, 2010
SETTING: England, 1800s
HEROINE: Julia Woolcott
HERO: Alexander Strathmore
GRADE: C

FROM PUBLISHER: They had haunted Julia Woolcott all her life, but the strangest of all began with an invitation to a scandalous house party and a game more dangerously arousing than any she'd ever imagined.

Driven by his ruthless ambition, Alexander Strathmore would do anything to come face to face with the mystery man who'd challenged him to first debauch Julia, then destroy her.

A wild shot...a frantic carriage ride through the night...a forbidden seduction. Rakehell adventurer and sheltered spinster, Alexander and Julia will break every rule of propriety to chase down their nemesis and consummate their unlikely passion.


MY THOUGHTS: I was a bit confused when I started reading this and stayed a bit confused throughout. It seemed like part of the beginning was missing, like a chunk was accidentally left out when it came time to publish it. I didn't learn anything about the hero and heroine's past, which is always disappointing. I found both characters to be likeable even though the hero was originally supposed to do something terrible to the heroine. There was chemistry between them but I never wanted them to become a couple, for some reason. This being what I consider to be a non romance, more like romantic suspense, I was OK with a hero like that. I don't need a sweet beta hero at all, nor do I want one. I also don't understand the relationship between Julia's aunt Meredith and Faron. I could have and would have enjoyed the mysterious plot more if I'd understood it better. I as just left awfully confused by the whole thing.

I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.




TEARS OF GOLD by Laurie McBain

PUB. INFO: Sourcebooks, August 1, 2011
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: Avon, April 1979
SETTING: Louisana & California, 1850
TIMESPAN: A year or so
BODICE RIPPER? No
PART OF SERIES? No
RAPE? No
GRADE: C

MARA O'FLYNN
To many, she has a perfect life-freedom to travel the world, expensive gifts from wealthy men. Consummate actress though she is, she can never make herself believe the love is real. One more job. That's all she needs to ensure her family's financial future. And California is just teeming with gold. There, her daring impersonation will fool everyone...except one man.


NICHOLAS DE MONTAIGNE-CHANTALE
The wealthy Creole's dreams are haunted by her laughing golden eyes. He will not rest until he has his vengeance for what the temptress did to his nephew, no matter how far he as to go to find her. But once he meets Mara in the flesh, he sees through her façade of rigid control and begins a new pursuit...one that will make her abandon everything to desire-this time to stay.

MY THOUGHTS: This didn't live up to my expectations in any way. Mara, 20, and her older brother Brendan, 26, involved themselves in an odd charade that didn't make much sense to me. When the hero, Nicholas, 35ish, discovered it, his reaction should have been more explosive than it was.

This wasn't much of a love story. The main couple didn't meet until over 100 pages in. They didn't spend too much time together until about the last third of the story. I never sensed an emotional connection between them. Yes, they were attracted to each other and it was evident with Nicholas but Mara, she always seemed indifferent toward Nicholas. They admitted their love for one another at one point but I was left feeling cold about it. They never seemed like a true couple to me.

I didn't care for Mara's brother Brendan at all. The story could have done without him. He was prominently featured throughout most of the story. I found him to be very annoying and I didn't like this personality or he way he spoke. I did like his six year old son, Paddy, a lot. Brendan and Paddy's mother are married yet estranged from one another. She's a pretty evil woman and you'll get to read about her should you ever read this book.

I wasn't paticularily interested in the heroes family and he sure had a lot of it. One male relative in paticular is pretty evil. Nicholas wasn't as exciting a hero as I'd have liked for him to have been. He wasn't alpha enough for me. Mara, she was OK as a heroine but nothing special. I liked that she was helping her brother raise Paddy and Paddy saw her as his mother.

Overall, this was a pretty boring story that was filled with unmemorable characters. It could have been 150 pages shorter too.

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


Below is the original cover and synopsis along with a photo of the author.
 
Haunted by the memory of her aristocratic father's desertion of his mistress and children, Mara O'Flynn grew up despising men. She sought her livelihood in the theater, where, as a beautiful actress, she found vengeance in enchanting and discarding suitors, teasing them with subtle promises of ecstasy only to reject them with an air of finely tuned cruelty. It was an amusing sport...until the young Lord Julian--half mad with desire--shot himself. Then Mara, with her brother Brendan and his small son Paddy, departed for America. Brendan hoped to strike it rich in the California hills...Mara wanted only to forget young Julian's desperate act. She had no idea that Julian's uncle, Nicholas Chantale, was in pursuit. Dashing, reckless and rich, Nicholas Chantale had vowed revenge on the temptress who brought his nephew to such an extreme. Nicholas desired one thing--to win the affection of this evil beauty and then spurn her! Unsuspecting, Mara found herself in love, her long-suppressed passions awakened for the first time....by a man whose seductive allure concealed the hate in his heart.



RAPTURE BECOMES HER by Shirlee Busbee

PUBLICATION INFO: Zebra, June 28, 2011
SETTING: England, 1790s
HEROINE: Emily Townsend, 26
PART OF SERIES: No
HERO: Barnaby Joslyn
GRADE: B

To save her village and what's left of her family fortune from her wastrel cousin, gently bred Emily Townsend secretly leads a ring of smugglers. With the king's forces and deadly rivals closing in, she has but one last dangerous shipment to acquire. But when her men rescue an injured stranger from the sea one stormy night, Emily faces her most formidable - and tempting - adversary ever...

Barnaby, the new Viscount Joslyn, is determined to uncover who tried to kill him the moment he set foot in England. But proving to the spirited Miss Townsend that he can also be trusted with her deepest secrets is a challenge as intriguing as eluding danger. Now Barnaby and Emily's boldest gambit rests on unthinkable risk- and surrendering to an irresistible love...

MY THOUGHTS: I enjoyed this but it didn't have much romance in it. I liked the suspense of finding out who was trying to harm the hero, an American named Barnaby. He's from Virginia and owns a plantation. All the secondary characters were likeable, even the villains. I do like villains, even in romances. I do think there were a few too many secondary characters, and they were there from the beginning. It can get confusing for me to have to learn so many names right off the bat. The synopsis makes the book sound deeper than it really is.

Overall, I'd have liked much more romance and a little less of a whodunit.

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


FORBIDDEN by Jo Beverley

PUBLICATION INFO: Zebra, June 2011
ORIGINAL PUB: Zebra, 1994
SETTING: England
HEROINE: Serena Riverton, 23
HERO: Francis Middlethorpe, 25
GRADE: C

FROM PUBLISHER: Finally freed from a cruel, depraved husband, Serena Riverton wants nothing more to do with men or marriage. Fate and her brothers give her no choice except to flee - into a storm, and into the arms of a stranger. Without friend or fortune, Serena seduces the handsome lord. But just one night together will start a sequence of events that threatens to destroy them both.

Francis, Lord Middlethorpe's life is planned and orderly, including marriage to Lady Anne Peckworth, a rich and suitable lady. But now he is haunted by memories of one passionate night with Serena, the wicked siren who tempted him with pleasures he had never known. Caught between duty and desire, he must choose between his reputation and a love like no other.


MY THOUGHTS: I didn't care for this novel at all. It was very slow moving. I was totally unsatisfied with this story and found it difficult to get though. I thought the heroine was very weak and whimpy and didn't have much of a personality. She seemed a bit beaten down and not at all interesting to read about. She'd survived being married to a sexually deviant husband and it seems to have taken a toll on her.

The hero, Francis, was a virgin and I found that a bit hard to understand. He didn't want prostitutes because they were dirty yet, without hesitation, he slept with Serena, believing her to be one. He was very beta and I didn't like that at all. Their relationship was underdeveloped. I don't like that they tried to make a marriage out of nothing at all. They didn't really even know each other yet here they are marrying. All of that happened a bit too early on.

There were three villains in the story, two of which were Serena's brothers. They're nasty and evil. One other villain was after Francis's mother. I liked her character but felt she wasn't in the story enough, which was odd considering she was part of the plot.

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


A GENTLEMAN NEVER TELLS by Amelia Grey

PUB. INFO: Sourcebooks, July 2011
SETTING: England, 1800s
HEROINE: Gabriella Austerhill, 19
HERO: Judson 'Brent' Brentwood, 29
GRADE: C-

From Publisher: A stolen kiss from a stranger...

As if from a dream, Lady Gabrielle walked from the mist and into Viscount Brentwood's arms. Within moments, he's embroiled in more scandal than he ever thought possible...

Can sink even a perfect gentleman...

Beautiful, clever, and courageous, Lady Gabrielle needs Brent's help to get out of a seriously bad situation. But the more she gets to know him, the worse she feels about ruining his life...

Enter the unforgettable world of Amelia Grey's sparkling Regency London, where a single encounter may have devastating consequences for a gentleman and a lady...

MY THOUGHTS: Dreadful. I didn't enjoy anything about this story. Both hero and heroine were very bland. The heroine had no personality and was very passive. There were no sparks, no chemistry or anything between the two. There were a few subplots, one involving the heroine's younger sister, Rosabelle, and one involving the heroes younger twin brothers. Both of those were much more interesting than anything involving hero and heroine.

By far, the worst part of the book was the hero searching for his.......dog. Probably at least once every five pages his missing dog was discussed and this went on for the entire story and really annoyed me. I don't ever want a pet to be featured throughout a ROMANCE book.

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


SEA OF DESIRE by Christine Dorsey

PUB. INFO: Zebra, 4/1993
GENRE: Historical Romance
SETTING: England & US, 1777
SERIES? Book 2
AUTHOR SITE: Link
MY GRADE: C

DEFIANT CAPTIVE

The daughter of a debt-ridden English gambler, Lady Merideth Banistar was shocked to discover her father had been selling information to the American revolutionaries. But now he was dead, and his murderer--the notorious colonial privateer Jared Blackstone--dared to accuse her of harboring treasonous secrets! Worse, the seductive scoundrel had managed to escape his prison cell and spirit her aboard his France-bound ship--there to awaken her passion with his smoldering sea-green eyes...and caress her until she cried out for more of his arousing, consuming touch!

DASHING CAPTOR

Hailing from a long line of lusty, seafaring men, Captain Jared Blackstone had spent most of his life roaming the storm-tossed waters of the world's vast oceans. But now a false murder charge hung over him--and only one woman could help the rugged patriot clear his name. With kisses of pure molten fire, he'd coax the name of the American traitor from her honeyed lips And, as his ship pitched and rolled beneath them, he'd freely roam Lady Merry's lush, captivating curves until she surrendered--over and over again--to the raging passion that ruled them both body and soul!

MY THOUGHTS: In a nutshell, the story is all about the hero, Jared, trying to find out who killed her father, Alfred, and who was after Meredith. That was the only interesting part and it's what kept me reading this. The murderer wasn't a surprise at all, as I'd suspected them since soon after they were introduced.

I've been on a bad reading streak lately. Most that I've read weren't very good. This one falls into that category. Boring best describes it. Both hero and heroine were alright characters. I don't believe their ages were given, which annoys me. They began a sexual relationship with each other even though they were suspicious of one another for most of the book. What doesn't make sense is Meredith having sex with Jared when she thinks he's responsible for her father's murder.