In “Undone,” Angelica runs away from her aristocratic life and her stepfather, Nicolas Fouquet, after a brutal assault and makes her way to a convent, hiding herself in obscurity in Genoa. There she plans a life of quiet reflection until the moonlit night her path crosses that of Simon Boulanger and her simple life is forever changed.
Simon, born a lowly commoner, is now the commander of a naval fleet sailing as a privateer for France during war with the Spanish. Wanting to achieve a better station in life than that of his birth, he uses all his expertise and hard work to achieve France’s military goals and pay monetary tribute to his King. But his future seems murkier now than ever before. He is indebted to Nicolas Fouquet, whom he suspects of appropriating his hard-won treasure, and sees his chances for betterment slipping away.
Into this complicated maelstrom comes Angelica, an angel in the moonlight, whom he follows and then saves from a beating at the hands of her Mother Superior. He decides then and there that he will take care of her, even as he battles his lust for her, taking her to his island of Marguerite where the two of them struggle against their mutual attraction.
Lila DiPasqua is one of my personal favorites when it comes to piquant and delicious romps. Her skill in transforming fairy tales into “Fiery Tales” has been spot on with her previous novella collections. The sensuality and decadence of each story came through in the novellas, but I sadly feel that it didn’t translate well into the full length novel here. As a “Fiery Tale,” I anticipated a quick and delicious slide into the battle of wills and carnal play, but felt stymied by the pace of the story. This is a historical romance, but I anticipated an erotic romance. I think that is my biggest beef. I expected Filet Mignon, and got Beef Wellington. Both tasty, but different enough that it didn’t satisfy my initial craving. The latter wrapped in layers, the former straight up.
That being said, as a historical romance, I liked it, and when I got to the intimate scenes with the protagonists, I felt vindicated that I kept on reading! They dithered a bit, back and forth, and their failure to discuss things made for a longer (looooonger) time until they heated up the pages. I do prefer her spicier fare, but her venture into straight out historical will stay on my Kindle. Her personal reasons for writing this story also make me appreciate it more.
3.5 out of 5 Whatzits.
Would have been 4 if it had not been promoted as a “Fiery Tale,” since I feel that it was more Historical Romance, not Historical Erotic Romance. Beef Wellington, not Filet Mignon. A good read.