Swept Away reads easily, but overall is rather underwhelming. I enjoyed the author’s writing style, but in the end, it was not satisfying. And, readers looking for Erotic Romance – because, after all, this is published as part of Avon’s Erotic Romance imprint – will undoubtedly be disappointed.
Swept Away opens with a teenage Kat trying to awkwardly seduce Brock Denton, the older bad boy from the wrong side of the tracks who happens to work for her father. Kat, a privileged rich girl, feels an undeniable attraction to Brock, and he to her. However, her seduction attempt ends in rejection, leaving them both with lingering regrets that stay with them over the next decade.
Flash forward to the present, and Kat is now relaxing on her family’s private island before her wedding the next weekend. She skipped her bachelorette party because she wanted some time to herself to think about her future with a man she likes but isn’t crazy about. Given that she’s decided to wait for their wedding night to make love with him, it’s fairly clear that passion is missing. What she gets is a surprise visit from Brock, whose current job as an FBI undercover agent has led him to take refuge on this island.
Unfortunately, they have no way to communicate with the outside world until her scheduled pickup arrives. The attraction between Brock and Kat is clear, but while Brock is now more than willing to give things a go this time around, Kat, is not.
Blake has a very smooth writing style, but she put herself in a no-win situation by creating a contemporary heroine who starts out as engaged to a man who is not the hero. She spends forever convincing the reader that Kat is not the type of woman who will cheat on her fiancé the instant she’s alone with a shirtless hunk from her past, but then has to work to make it appear reasonable for her to do so eventually. For me, the amount of fuss that Kat makes over being loyal to her fiancé was annoying because I knew exactly what she was going to end up doing. Kat is later given so many excuses for forgetting her fiancé that you end up wondering why she even bothered initially denying Brock. The author also tries to make it seem understandable that Kat, though not a virgin, has never slept with her fiancé. Kat refers to herself as “old-fashioned,” while I just thought it was ludicrous.
The author does make an effort to give both characters a unique background; Brock grew up with an abusive mother, and Kat has a father who is driven to give his family material wealth that they don’t need. But Kat herself is really rather bland. Brock is a bit more interesting, although his willingness to forget about his FBI assignment on the island and concentrate solely on seducing Kat into a brief affair made it hard to take him seriously. The plot provides too many clichés and not enough satisfying drama.
Kat and Brock continue to banter, check each other’s bodies out, and follow their own agendas (Brock tries to get her into bed, Kat tries to keep him out of it). A minor suspense plot provides some action elements, as the two are periodically chased by the criminals who were originally chasing Brock. It’s all fairly silly and harmless stuff.
I was disappointed because nothing about this book dazzled, though its provocative cover leads you to think it would. And, surprisingly, for an Erotic Romance imprint, the love scenes really take their time in arriving. Though they were written adequately, I thought at times that they seemed kind of mechanical. I was surprised that I preferred the time that the author spent with the characters.
The author’s writing style allowed me to turn the pages easily, but the relationship lacked emotional punch. I had higher expectations, and this book didn’t live up to them.