2 stars

Historical Romance Review: Taken By You by Connie Mason

Taken By You, Connie Mason, Avon, 1996, cover artist TBD

From the back of the book:

He is Morgan Scott, an English nobleman once held captive on the high seas by the brutal Spanish master and crew who murdered his family. Now he sails the seas as a British privateer, taking his revenge by attacking and plundering Spanish ships.

She is Luca Santiego, forced from the shelter of a convent and destined for a marriage arranged by her father. When her ship is attacked by pirates, she dons the garb of a nun and prays for mercy. Yet amid the flames of the sinking ship, the blue-eyed captain is seized by an unbidden passion for the beauty who kneels before him. Driven by a wicked desire to claim her as his spoils in an act of vengeance against the Spanish, he is torn by an overwhelming response to Luca’s sweet innocence, and aches with need for her. Yet he vows he will have her only when his tender kisses bring about her willing surrender to a magnificent, undeniable love.

2 stars

Rating: 2 out of 5.

I read Connie Mason’s Taken By You back when it was in early 1996, so my memory of it is fuzzy. I do recall the ridiculous attempts at Spanish. What kind of name is Luca Santiego for a heroine? Is she supposed to be a Spanish convent-bred noblewoman or a hard-as-nails Mario Puzo mobster? It’s both bad Spanish & bad Italian. Lucia (de) Santiago would be apropos.

The Plot:

Connie Mason’s Peggy Hill-like “espanole” skills aside, the other major thing I recall is that Luca cut her hair short to pose as a nun so that the English pirates who raided her ship wouldn’t ravish her. The cover got that wrong, and things like that irritate me. It’s like some industry rule states no woman can have short hair on the cover of a historical romance novel (outside of old Harlequin Historicals). Even if she’s wearing a dress and has giant, heaving bosoms, nope, short hair equals a dude, she can’t have that.

Morgan Scott is a British pirate, pardon me, privateer, who captures Luca’s ship. He takes her captive and they have a tug-of-war relationship of hatred and attraction. This was a typical enemies-to-lovers/revenge romance with plenty of:

Heroine: I hate you, you’re my enemy!

Hero: I want you. You’re my enemy!

Heroine: Let’s do it like bunnies!

Hero: Oh, no, you’re still my enemy!

Heroine: I love you!

Followed by convenient plot resolution.

Besides, I liked this book better when it was called The Spanish Rose by Shirlee Busbee.

Final Analysis of Taken By You

Connie Mason fans know what they’re getting when they read her works, although this was a bit subpar for my tastes. I prefer her Leisure/Dorchester books as opposed to her Avons. They were dumber and not as finely edited, but spicier and a heck of a lot more fun.

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