Monday, January 11, 2010

REVIEW: Written On Your Skin by Meredith Duran

ISBN 978-1-4165-9311-9
(c) August 2009, Pocket Books, Simon and Schuster
Meredith Duran's website

Buy Links (paper): Amazon, Book Depository, Barnes and Noble
Buy Link (ebook): Barnes and Noble Ebook

"Meredith Duran paints the journey of their hearts in heartbreakingly beautiful detail"

Written On Your Skin can be summed up this way: Mina Masters saved the life of Phineas Granville, British spy, in Hong Kong at a certain cost. Four years later, they meet again, and Mina calls in the debt he owed her to save her mother. Yet, Meredith Duran paints the journey of their hearts in heartbreakingly beautiful detail.

Mina and Phin started out with misconceptions about the other, misconceptions that were designed and deliberately placed to save themselves from harm. Later on, it is these very misconceptions that blinded them to the other's true selves, and for me, it was frustrating to read them. Have I said that I have no patience? Hence, the story for me only picked up about halfway through the book, when Mina decided she could trust Phin and events started to unravel. Suffice it to say, the meat of the book is in the second half.

I've read a lot of romances over the years, and Phin and Mina's love scenes were some of the best that I've read, because of the words Meredith Duran employed, the emotions they evoked and the significance of the scenes to the characters. I like how Phin and Mina's characters grew over the course of the book, how Phin needed Mina to exorcise his demons and how he needed her in order for him to know his true worth. In the same way, I like how Mina never lost herself when Phin came onto the scene, but that Phin's presence in her life enriched her. I like the scenes wherein they both bare their souls to the other, as they explained the scars that were written on their skins and the profound impact and meaning of those scars. I like how Mina saw the scars as badges of courage, testament to the hell each had gone through and emerged triumphant. Both are strong individuals, yet I like the way they reached a compromise through a change in perception.

Meredith Duran's prose is lovely and unique, and for me, a bit hard to grasp at times. (She certainly doesn't write like other historical romance authors.) Despite this, I have to admit that she does have these really clever turns of phrase that made me put post-its on the pages so I can review them later. That said, I'll definitely want to reread the second half of the book again, in order to soak up those lovely words and revisit how Phin and Mina fell in love.

Rating: 4

Buy Links (paper): Amazon, Book Depository, Barnes and Noble
Buy Link (ebook): Barnes and Noble Ebook


Leontine said...

I've only read Duran with Duke Of Shadows but like you said, her prose is unique and it sweeps me along in the emotions of the characters. of course I've got this one on the shelves but haven't come around to reading it :)

skyla11377 said...

I Have Not Read Any Of Meredith Duran's Books But You Made This Book Sound Like A Must Read. I Am A Succor For Tortured Love. When You Know Two People Should Be Together But Through Actions Or Circumstances That Knowledge Takes A While To Dawn On A Couple. That Makes For Great Reading In My Opinion.

Silver @ TRR said...

Hi Leontine, like you, I've got too many books on the shelf. :) Some days it's a good thing, others, it's bad. (money, space... LOL)

Hi Skyla, Meredith Duran's books are great. You'll like this, and The Duke of Shadows, where Emma and Julian are torn apart by the war (gasp!).

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