Nothing But Velvet
After my glowing review of Kat Martin’s last release, Innocence Undone, I received an email from a reader who indicated I should be careful about glomming this author. I wish I had paid more heed to the warning that Martin’s writing tends to be uneven before jumping into Nothing But Velvet with such excitement.
A caveat before we continue – I have a problem with romances where the hero and heroine are separated for much of the story, so I was predisposed not to enjoy this book because, for much of the story, Jason Sinclair and Velvet Moran are indeed separated. But I can get past that if other elements are in place. I look for the following:
- Is the story-line credible?
- Are the hero and heroine credible and/or lovable?
- Is there strong chemistry between them?
- Are there interesting secondary characters?
- Am I frustrated by the unfolding events or do I eagerly anticipate what is to follow?
In Nothing But Velvet, the answer to some of what I look for was there, but some of it wasn’t. Here’s how it scored for me:
Chemistry – Lots of chemistry, lots of sizzle, lots of sensuality, lots of tension, lots of loving. Perhaps a bit too much. I know that the captor/captive premse has its fans. Even I have enjoyed this story-line upon occasion, but one scene early on featured Jason handcuffing himself to Velvet after she drugged him with a sleeping draught to escape for the umpteenth time. They both enjoyed this event a little too much, if you ask me.
Character Credibility/Lovability – Velvet is beautiful and spunky and willing to go to great lengths for the man she loves, believing him when others painted him a murdering scoundrel. Jason, who was framed by his half-brother for murder and sent to prison, then America for seven years, has been through hell. He is handsome, powerful, and not nearly as rotten as he thinks he is. Each is powerfully written, yet the author relies too much on stereotypical behavior that their lovability (which is high) is countered by their credibility (which is low). When he pushes her away in order to “protect” her for the umpteenth time, I nearly wish she’d stayed away.
Story-line Credibility – Jason kidnaps Velvet before she is to marry his nasty sibling. By preventing the wedding, he can avenge the loss of his title and freedom. The wicked Avery has spent the family fortune and needs Velvet’s money to keep the coffers full. If Jason can stop the wedding long enough for him to foreclose on Avery, life will be sweet.
I could have gone along with this, had Avery been written differently. He is such a slug, his horrible behavior so repulsive that I had to skim parts of the book. While a certain level of villainy works in a romance, there is generally a reason for bad behavior. After the stunning opening of the book in which Avery’s actions are revealed, I waited to learn why he acted as he had. I’m still waiting for an acceptable reason.
Add to that the frequent, lengthy, and frustrating separations between Jason and Velvet, that I wanted to throw something while reading it. There was just too much of Jason acting heroic, thereby leaving Velvet again and again, and Velvet being spunky and trying to fix everything, mostly through sizzling love scenes.
The remainder of what I look for in a romance has been answered already – the story-line could have worked had the characters been less stereotypical. I liked the characters, but found their actions stereotypical. The chemistry was there, but overdone. The villain and his henchman were overdone. As a result, I was frustrated by the book. I can only hope that the sequel to Innocence Undone is better. I’ve got my fingers crossed.