Surrender had a very pleasant hero and heroine. If it had stuck with their story, I would have enjoyed it very much, but too many secondary characters and a couple of really silly scenes made it a bit of a chore to get through.
Netherland Brooms owns a successful restaurant and has many friends. She also has a man in her life whom she thinks she doesn’t want because he is in the military. As a young girl, poor Nettie had to move around all the time since she was part of a military family, and now all she wants is stability. Too bad. Colonel Ashton Sinclair has decided that he and Nettie are meant to be, and she had better get used to the idea.
Nettie’s not a bad character, but I do hate it when a hero or heroine starts off by saying, “I’ll never fall in love with X type of person because I don’t want to love someone like that.” It’s not like you can completely choose who you fall in love with, but fortunately it only takes Nettie about half the book to figure that out. Nettie is not a whiner either. She comes across as a very nice woman who cares about her family, friends and employees.
Ashton is also a good guy. He is completely committed to the military, and he’s just as committed to Nettie, even when she is fighting their attraction. He doesn’t push her too hard, he’s patient and kind, although he does (uncharacteristically, I might add) kidnap Nettie and take her to a cabin later in the book. And, oddly, she doesn’t seem to have a problem with that.
Surrender sounds good so far, right? Pleasant enough characters, and a nice little romance. However there was one incident early in the book that made me roll my eyes and dissolve into laughter. Ashton is half African-American and half American Indian. And he has visions. One vision in particular told him Nettie was going to be his wife and that she would bear him three sons. My reaction was similar to Nettie’s: yeah, right. I could have lived with Ashton having visions. But then comes the incident. Ashton and Nettie are making out, and are about to make love, and he strips down to reveal – a loincloth! I lost it. I don’t think I was meant to be laughing hysterically at that scene, but I was. This made every other incident between them in the bedroom take on that same ridiculous tone. For instance, at one point when Nettie is sleeping, Ashton just appears in her bedroom, and she wakes to find him there in his loincloth. And I dissolved into laughter yet again.
Another thing I found endlessly irritating about Surrender was the sheer number of people who showed up. There’s a family tree in the front of the book that is huge, and I’m willing to bet 90 percent of the people in it showed up in this book. I can appreciate wanting to revisit old characters. I love it when Johanna Lindsay brings back the Malory family in her books. However, at least half of this book is devoted to scenes with other people. I’m sorry, but I had a hard enough time caring about Nettie and Ashton to be interested in lots of secondary characters. The author also uses something I find stylistically annoying: just about every mention of a character uses their first and last names. Argh!
There are three secondary romances in the book. Again, this is too much. While there was a couple who had the potential to be interesting, I highly doubt that I’ll be picking up the next book that might feature them.
I can recommend Surrender if you’ve read the previous books in this series. If you have, you’re probably used to Jackson’s style and would enjoy visiting the other characters. If you haven’t read the other books, however, I wouldn’t recommend starting in the middle of this series. You might be as lost as I was, and you might care just as little as I did.