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15 January 2015

Pippa Croft: Third Time Lucky

Steamy coming-of-age melodrama
Once again I have put a toe into the water of contemporary romance to see what the water feels like. While I am SA - with the emphasis on the S for senior or senile - and not NA and am normally an avid reader of thrillers I did read and enjoy #1 in the series but missed #2. So when I saw that #3 was still available via Net Galley I wondered if I could catch up.

The answer is yes because all of the main characters are still there and up to their old tricks. While I know that this kind of book has to be populated with steamy scenes (and I mean populate) I found the characters and the background were more fascinating for me.

At the end of #2 the steamy and obsessive relationship between Lauren Cusack and handsome aristocrat Alexander Hunt (now Lord Falconbridge) is on the rocks and Lauren plans to head back to Washington on vacation before her final term at Wyckham College, Oxford. Then she gets a call which changes everything. Alexander has once again been on active military service and is in hospital with possibly fatal wounds. In a short period of consciousness he calls for two people, Lauren and his beloved adolescent sister Emmy. Once again Lauren falls under the spell of enigmatic Alexander and even when he is seriously ill Alexander still exudes a sexual attraction that Lauren can't avoid.

The background of an Oxford college and student life was charming and evocative. The background of Falconbridge and Alexander's disjointed family was fascinating especially the unplanned meeting of the families from both sides of the Atlantic.

Alexander's character, apart from his extreme sex drive, is still enigmatic, especially his military life, his long-term commitment to Lauren, and his feelings about running one of the largest estates in the country.

I loved the nasty characters who brought brilliant melodrama to the plot. Once again Valentinia, Alexander's ex-fiancée, is the ultimate bitch who even manages to up the ante on her previous bitchy performance. Just as nasty is Alexander's cousin Rupert who is the bane of his lovely mother Letty's life. Smarmy Professor Rafe is still around and the urinating scene involving Rupert and Rafe is one of the most memorable and amusing parts of the book.

All in all I found it an interesting, well written and enjoyable book even though it is way outside my age and genre. I am sure that it will be enjoyed by those who are in Pippa Croft's target audience.

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