RECKLESS by Anne Stuart
Reckless by Anne Stuart
The House of Rohan, Book 2
Reviewed by Vanessa
Charlotte Spenser is a thirty year old virginal scientist who just wants to see what goes on between men and women. So with the help of her “outgoing” widowed cousin, she sets out to discover what she will be missing from her life as she has no prospects of ever marrying. Charlotte’s helpful cousin takes her to a meeting of the Heavenly Host where almost anything goes and sometimes does. Charlotte, in all or her recklessness, gets trapped with a predator and is soon reaching the heights of ecstasy only to be slammed back down into despair.
Viscount Adrian Rohan has led a life of indulgence, wickedness, and rakish ways for quite a few years now. He likes to pursue his pleasure wherever he can find it, and he frequently attends the decadent parties held by his friend Monty in which all kinds of things will be experienced for a weekend. Rohan is surprised to find the priggish Charlotte in attendance for this sinful weekend. However, he is still intrigued by the overly tall, ordinary woman, and he seeks to take what he wants from her no matter the outcome. Soon, Adrian has found more than his body is involved and things he wished he hadn’t felt become closer to the surface, but soon there is more of a threat to his happiness that he could have ever imagined. Adrian soon realizes that sometimes his enemies are closer than he thinks, and he will have to scramble to save his future.
Reckless was engrossing, fast paced read. Some scenes seemed to last for pages, but they flew by at the same time. I found myself wondering what Rohan was doing at Charlotte’s coming out as well as why his last name isn’t different from his title, but those were just trivial things in the end. I also wondered why Charlotte’s cousin, who seemed overly concerned and loving of Charlotte, left her to her own devices for so long with no second thoughts. Did she truly believe that all and sundry would adhere to those loose rules that were garnered during this party? I understood that her cousin’s whole idea was to scare Charlotte about what went on in a marriage between a man and a woman in Reckless, however I have to point out that that isn’t what is taking place in a ton marriage for that time either.
Reckless set out to make Adrian seem the worst sort of rake, but I never truly saw that. At his very heart, he was just playing a game and dwaddling about while waiting to grow up and mature into the man he could be. He seemed quite drawn to the woman that would watch him from afar, and he was enamored of the idea of her desiring him like that.
I liked that once Rohan hurt Charlotte the way that he did, she puts up quite a bit of fight towards him in Reckless. She doesn’t always lie down and accept what he wants or demands. There was a definite chemistry between Adrian and Charlotte in Reckless and although I didn’t like what he did to her, I couldn’t feel completely sorry for Charlotte in the end. Because of her reckless behavior, she was in the situation that Adrian obtained her in and you knew she wanted what she got anyway.
The secondary romance in Reckless was a bit distracting as well, and I could have done without it. I would have preferred more centering on Adrian and Charlotte. It also seemed a bit contrived to have Charlotte suddenly be friends with Adrian’s old friend when he didn’t even ask about her in the beginning of Reckless at the start of the party either. I also found it hard to believe that Adrian’s friend wouldn’t have warned him off about the seemingly friendly other party in Reckless. To have him claim well now I can because of my situation seemed all to contrived, and didn’t ring true for me either.
Adrian’s worry about possible consequences with him and Charlotte seemed reasonable in Reckless, but then to think that some other party would see to the matter didn’t. Why would Charlotte mention it to the other party and what made Adrian assume that they would even think that Charlotte would be partaking of things to get into the situation to begin with? This whole calling of characters “precious” reminded me so much of the character Gollum in Lord of the Rings, and I can honestly say I did NOT like that picture being brought forth in Reckless.
Another thing that didn’t feel right to me either in Reckless was the fact that after Adrian hurts Charlotte she believes that he is capable of killing her. Of course, later on she quickly changes her mind, but I didn’t know where she came up with the first assumption in order to disqualify it later on and be caught alone with him despite her thoughts previously.
I suppose given the flap about Reckless, I was expecting more of a bodice ripper with lots of angst and hate for Adrian but found that it wasn’t. Reckless felt more fluffy and entertaining than Gamma Alpha meets innocent lamb like Anne Stuart’s Ice series. I never felt like Reckless had Adrian as dark, ruthless or even reckless. However, Charlotte was reckless several times in Reckless. Overall, Reckless was an enjoyable read even though it seemed to drag out some scenes for way too long, and others weren’t well developed.