Tazia’s Torment by Sylvie F. Sommerfield, an early Zebra bodice ripper, has some good qualities, but overall, that’s all the book has.
Imprint or Line: Zebra Historical Romance
Published by: Kensington
Genres: Historical Romance, Bodice Ripper, Forced Seduction
Buy on: Amazon, AbeBooks
Reviewed by: Blue Falcon
TOTAL SPOILER ALERT ⚠
This review is of Tazia’s Torment, a 1980 Zebra historical romance by Sylvie F. Sommerfield.
One Night, four men–Garrett Flye, Louis Plummer, and brothers Delmond “Del” LaCroix and Cameron “Kirk” LaCroix, the “hero” of the book–go to a restaurant to watch a performance given by a dancer. The dancer in question is Elena Maria Constancia Fantasia de Montega–to use her full nomenclature. She is known as “Tazia” for short and is the book’s heroine.
Unknown to the men, Tazia and the four men share a tragic history. One of the four men listed above killed Tazia’s brother, Manolo, and Tazia is determined to find out which one and punish him.
Tazia and Kirk marry, but after four months, they separate due to their secrets. Tazia returns to her home, Casa del Sol, in California. There, she faces more sadness and shock. By virtue of their marriage and the archaic, sexist laws of the 1800s, Kirk– her estranged husband– owns Tazia’s family home now.
This leads to another rift between the couple. The arrival of Tazia and Kirk’s daughter, Mercy, mends the rift.
Two of the other men arrive at Casa del Sol and find happiness.
The fourth man, however, is lurking to destroy the happiness of the other three. As part of that process, he kidnaps Tazia and Mercy. The wife of one of the other men loses her life. Kirk and company rescue Tazia and Mercy, both of whom are unharmed. And ultimately, they solve the mystery of Manolo’s death. Subsequently, the killer is disposed of.
And there is a Happily Ever After for the three couples, although not in a linear way.
Tazia’s Torment is, in a way, a book that would establish Mrs. Sommerfield’s writing style. It has a bit of emotion, some depth to her characters, and special attention placed on her supporting characters.
Mrs. Sommerfield didn’t delve as deep into her characters as I would have liked to see. I felt there was more SHE COULD HAVE REVEALED ABOUT THEM.
The early tone of the book is patronizing to Tazia. This is due to the attitude of the male characters: “We need to save Tazia because we know things she doesn’t.”
Finally, the ending of the book is very weak sauce. I thought the storyline of one of the men falling in “instaluv” with and marrying his deceased wife’s sister was creepy.
There are a few sex scenes. These are not really descriptive in any way, nor are they terribly romantic.
Steam Level: As Senora Elena Maria Constancia Fantasia de Montega de LaCroix might say: “La pasión es tan tibia como el agua del baño del bebé.”
(The passion is as lukewarm as a baby’s bathwater).
Tazia is raped several times. Del is shot. In the end, the good guys kill the villain.
The violence is not graphic.
Bottom Line on Tazia’s Torment
Sylvie F. Sommerfield’s California-set bodice ripper Tazia’s Torment is not a bad book. However, it is not as good as it could have been.
|Rating Report Card|
SHE BURNED WITH LOVE…AND LUSTED FOR REVENGE
Beautiful and tempestuous Fantasia de Montega aroused passion in every man who was fortunate enough to see her dance. And though many tried, none could learn where this mysterious and unapproachable beauty came from, or why she disappeared after every show.
But no one who beheld her could have guessed her dark secret—her mission of revenge—or the cruel trick of fate that would make her unwittingly fall in love with the very man she had vowed to kill….Tazia’s Torment by Sylvie F. Sommerfield