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Friday, February 4, 2011

A Sordid Situation by Vivian Kees

A Sordid Situation by Vivian Kees
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Genre: Historical
Length: Short Story (38 pages)
Heat Level: spicy
Rating: 3.5 books
Reviewed by Lavender

Emotion, passion and money are a dangerous combination…

Shocked to discover that her late husband gambled away their entire fortune, Eugenia Wareham is in a dire situation. When she meets Cal Hawthorne, sparks fly, and in one sweeping moment of passion, a proposal is made.

Cal Hawthorne is determined to collect on the debts owed to him. One night of ecstasy with Eugenia turns his world askew and he’s left to wonder, what is more important, reclaiming his funds, or finding true love?

A Sordid Situation by Vivian Kees caught my attention in the beginning and kept it. This is a charming historical romance with engaging characters. Eugenia Wareham is a young widow who finds herself penniless upon her husband's death, not an uncommon situation for those who had married a selfish spouse. I liked her character right away. She was personable and interesting with a shadowy past. When she's faced with losing everything because her husband gambled it away and killed himself, she fears for her future.

At this point, I wondered if she'd be forced to return to the troubling activities of her past. She's an all-too-human character and relatable. She holds up well when tested and has an inspiring attitude.

Cal Hawthorne stands to receive Eugenia's home, and she expects to be evicted. When they meet for the first time, it doesn't go well, but it's not because of him. From the start, he's a good character. Her iciness is based on expectations. The meeting becomes interesting with a kind of back-and-forth situation. He seemed a bit bold for the Victorian era in which this story is set, and she responded in kind. This spiced things up but had the effect of seeming a bit anachronistic. I'm sure there were people who acted that way even then, but I didn't expect it.

Cal makes her a deal, and it's a difficult thing for her to decide. She takes him up on his offer at first then regrets it. I found myself wanting to know how she could reconcile this because her past messes with her head. Also, things were supposed to be different with Cal.

The story is enjoyable, but I read it wishing it went deeper. It was presented on the surface, so to speak, for much of it. The telling instead of showing made it more superficial than it could have been.

Once in a while, a modern term brought me out of the story as did point of view issues. Despite those concerns, it's a good little read. I liked it for its entertainment value and characters, not to mention the historical setting.