Honor Bound by Brenda Novak is guilty of two of my biggest pet peeves: an ending that wraps up a little too neat and tidy, and a human character who is supposed to have violet eyes. The tidy ending is easy to ignore since I’m finished with the book anyway, but the violet eye thing really pulled me out of the fantasy. Because, really, that is not a thing. It’s just not.
Besides those minor points though, this bodice-ripper was a pretty good time. It stars newly married Jeanette, who runs away on her wedding night after she hears her old, impotent husband’s plan for getting her with child, and joins the British navy after cutting all her hair off and posing as a boy. But between those events she meets the delicious Second Lieutenant Treynor, who eventually learns and keeps her secret, after enlisting her to be his version of a cabin boy.
Jeanette is your typical romance heroine, strikingly beautiful with a perfect body and plucky spirit, etc, etc, etc,. But Treynor is a little bit out of type. Sure he’s described as gorgeous and always does absolutely the right thing when in the company of his fellow sailors and all that. But in the moments when he’s alone with Jeanette, he’s got an unexpected edge and roughness that makes him a little bit scary and pretty darn exciting.
The sexy action starts pretty quickly, shockingly quickly, but doesn’t play out in a way that kills the anticipation. I don’t normally read romance novels at all because I mostly find them funny and not even remotely sexy, (and only picked up this one because I am writing a story of my own for a class, and wanted to see how others do it. Also it was like 99 cents for the kindle for a day). And this book is not perfect by any means, yet somehow it still kept me glued to it for the day it took to read, anxious for the next little bit of Treynor action.