Saturday, August 22, 2009

Review: Heart of Courage by Kat Martin

A murderer is stalking prostitutes in Regency England but until Lindsey's brother is accused, this doesn't touch her at all, despite the fact that she is a gossip columnist crusading for higher moral standards at a local newspaper. When her wastrel brother admits that he was with two of the women before they were killed and that he has no alibi for when they actually died, Lindsey springs into action, deciding to use her investigative skills to ferret out the real killer and exonerate her brother. But what she is getting involved in is dangerous. And so her employer and friend asks her strong, silent brother-in-law Thor to watch over Lindsey. Thor is a Viking from a northern island who has very definite ideas about the kind of woman with whom he will eventually settle down. Of course, he and Lindsey already have a relationship marked by acute awareness to each other as well as acute antagonism. Thor definitely doesn't approve of Lindsey's investigations. He thinks he's proved his point when he rescues her from an attempted rape. Not so, of course. As Lindsey comes closer to the killer, she and Thor give in to their mutual attraction but they are still not on the same path for the future. Will they get there before the killer strikes at Lindsey?

Lindsey as a character is a mix of exasperatingly stubborn and naive. She instinctively goes to bat for her brother despite not knowing him terribly well. And her insistence on making excuses for him did get a little old. Certainly she had to maintain her belief in his innocence, but it was overdone here. Thor was fairly stereotypical: strong, silent, muscle-bound, good in bed, etc. There was very little to explain why Lindsey might fall for him beyond the physical, especially as she didn't bother to get to know him before they tumbled into bed together. Just having characters ache to be in each others' arms is not enough. Perhaps the premise was overdone. Perhaps I was just in the wrong mood when I read it, but this book didn't do much for me. Overall, not one I can recommend even for readers of the genre.

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