Thursday, November 19, 2009
Chosen By Desire
Publisher's Summary. It's down to the wire and Carrie Woods is leaving China without the proof she needs for her thesis: Wei Lin's journal. While on a final tour of the monastery, Carrie finally locates the scrolls and attempts to photograph the documents. Caught in a sticky situation, Carrie takes the scrolls, only to notice a mysterious monk watching her--the same monk that she's seen each time she's taken a tour. Unable to return the scrolls, she travels back to California and isn't too thrilled when she notices the monk at the airport.
Maximillian Prescott first came to the monastery as an orphaned teenager when he inherited the Book of Metal from a distant uncle he hardly knew. After spotting a woman stealing from the monastery, he follows her to get back the documents he knows she's stolen. Max is further intrigued when he finds out that the chatty woman is friends with his archrival, Rhys Llewellyn, and he will stop at nothing to get back everything he's lost.
Review. By Renee A.J. Carrie Woods is a scholar of Chinese history at UC Berkley, who has been told by her overly critical faculty advisor that her doctoral thesis about ancient China under the rule of the Yongle Emperor isn't groundbreaking. So our intrepid heroine takes her strawberry blonde curls, big brown eyes, and rosy cheeks to China where she escapes from her tourist group and pilfers two powerful documents from the archives of a Chinese monastery. Carrie's theft of the journal of the mythical monk Wei Lei and an accompanying scroll called the Book of Water will provide her the means to create a thesis that will have universities clamoring for her services.
Chosen By Desire easily intertwines fantasy and romance as heroes with special powers, rippling muscles, passion embraces, and protective instincts enter Carrie’s previously humdrum life. Carrie’s theft has been quickly noticed by Max, the millionaire son of diplomats who is currently at the monastery serving as a Guardian of the Book of Metal. Max, with his special powers to command metal, is tasked to go after Carrie and recover the journal and the Book of Water before Carrie discovers how to tap into their powers.
I found this story fun and heart-warming, not only because of the simmering romance between Carrie and Max, but also because of how Carrie values her relationships with her Mom and her friends. Carrie’s mother asks her if she’s had sex with Max and explains that Carrie has to confront her issues with intimacy. The scenes where Carrie blushes at her mother’s advice regarding condoms and sex toys, made me laugh. When Carrie’s apartment is destroyed by fire, she turns to her best friend Gabe, who also has also developed a romance with another mysterious Guardian, for help. Carrie’s friends suspect that Max may have something to do with the damage and they give him a hard time until he convinces them that he’s out to protect Carrie.
Chosen By Desire is a great romance because the heroine manages the delicate balance of loving her family, maintaining her friendships, and bringing her new man with magical talents into the fold - all while solving a dangerous mystery!
Publisher: Forever, Hachette Book Group, (October 1, 2009), 368 pages.
Advance Review copy provided courtesy of the Publisher.