Saturday, 25 March 2017

INDISCRETION (Andalucían Nights #1) - by Hannah Fielding

Indiscretion - Hannah Fielding
Year Published: 2015 - London Wall Publishing.
Pages: 464.
Genres: Adult / romance / historical fiction /
Source: Thank you to the author for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review.

Spring, 1950. Alexandra de Falla, a half-English, half-Spanish young writer abandons her privileged but suffocating life in London and travels to Spain to be reunited with her long-estranged family. Instead of providing the sense of belonging she yearns for, the de Fallas are driven by seething emotions, and in the grip of the wild customs and traditions of Andalucia, all of which are alien to Alexandra. Among the strange characters and sultry heat of this country, she meets the man who awakens emotions she hardly knew existed. But their path is strewn with obstacles: dangerous rivals, unpredictable events, and inevitable indiscretions. What does Alexandra's destiny hold for her in this flamboyant land of drama and all-consuming passions, where blood is ritually poured on to the sands of sun-drenched bullfighting arenas, mysterious gypsies are embroiled in magic and revenge, and beautiful dark-eyed dancers hide their secrets behind elegant lacy fans?


 I read Fielding's novel The Echoes of Love about a month ago, and unfortunately I didn't enjoy it. As a result, I was hesitant to start Indiscretion.
But I'm happy to say that it was a lot better than TEOL, even if I still didn't love it.


It was a relaxing read, and it was easy to get lost in the exotic world Fielding created. The atmosphere was fully immersed in the story, and the setting was a character in itself. But to be honest, the description - which was exquisitely detailed and frequently vivid, though not as much as you would expect -  was both a positive and a negative.  Yes, it's vivid, and Fielding does a brilliant job of evoking all the senses and showcasing every possible detail in the scene, but the problem lies in that very fact: it leaves nothing to the imagination. And because there's so much detail, it's impossible to take it all in. I didn't find the huge amount of description boring, exactly, but there was just too much to absorb, and at the end of the scene I'd come away without having seen the setting and characters clearly in my mind.  Or at least, without the level of detail Fielding had invested in it.

The plot was incredibly threadbare, and had all the cliches of a stereotypical romance: dashing hero - dark and brooding - innocent heroine, equally dashing rival - but who, unlike the hero, goes just a bit too far over to the dark side.
The language was cheesy and flowery, the dialogue unrealistic, and the passionate exchanges between Alexandra and Salvador made me roll my eyes.

My favourite characters were Esmeralda and Ramon. I did like Alexandra's writing temperament, but I couldn't stand how perfect she was; and by perfect, I mean how beautiful she was. She had real flaws and I liked that, but I couldn't stand how literally every man in the novel was falling at her feet in adoration and begging her to marry him. She was beautiful - the author never missed the chance to remind me - and I just had no patience for a heroine that everyone seemed to be falling in love with and who put the looks of every other woman to shame. 
Salvador was not my kind of hero, but I can certainly see why female readers would swoon over him. Personally, I found him infuriatingly hot and cold (the way he treated Alexandra was aggravating, to say the least) and he had huge potential for becoming controlling, domineering, and overly possessive when it came to Alexandra.

I didn't like the romance at all. Fielding's romances are always very physical, and I personally want more from a romance than that. The amount of lusting that went on between Alexandra and Salvador was tiresome and irritating, and I couldn't stand it.  I wanted more relationship, and yet things were constantly coming back to the physical. I'm not denying physical attraction plays a part in romance - obviously it does - but in this novel it was the emphasis, and that didn't sit well with me.
Here are some passages from the book that added to my dislike of the romance and Salvador:

  "What about the night at Ronda, and this morning?" she {Alexandra} whispered........
"They meant nothing." Salvador lent an arm on the cupboard door and ran the other hand through his unruly hair.
"Nothing?" Alexandra stared in disbelief.
"Why must you always challenge me, Alexandra?" He spoke without looking at her. "You're a very beautiful woman. No hot-blooded man would be able to resist you. Can't you see that?"      

WHAT? Excuse me? I have a huge problem with that conversation, and I feel like it summarises the characters' relationship: they'll spend a passionate minute or so making out in the shadows, and then Salvador will be all cold and distant to Alexandra and she'll have a little tantrum because she doesn't understand why he keeps pushing her away. Not to mention the fact that in this particular dialogue, he basically tells her that it's her fault he's attracted to her and unable to keep his hands off her, and it's all because she's just *insert sigh* too beautiful...  
URGH.
Walk away, girl, walk away.  

And there's more:  


Salvador tells Alexandra when they're married: "We Spanish men don't like to let our wives out of our sight. we suffer an innate feeling of insecurity which makes us possessive and jealous, and I......am no exception to the rule, as you've experienced." They both laughed and he drew her into his arms tenderly.  

You might think, by reading that last line, that he was joking. It's clear he isn't, though, as the rest of the story proves: Salvador is very jealous and possessive at times, and has said similar things to Alexandra throughout the course of the story.
I still say:  Walk away, girl, walk away.



If you love heated, passionate romance amid radiant historical settings and bubbling with secrets and revenge, then I'm positive you'll love Indiscretion. For me, however, the cons stood out more prominently because I didn't love the aspects I've described above.      



4 comments:

  1. Ugh that dialogue is SO cheesy and demeaning. "They meant nothing" OKAY WELL THEN WHY DID YOU DO IT? (Or should I say "them"?) I haaaaate that line that male protagonists like to feed to the female protagonists. -_- I'm sorry you didn't enjoy this book more, Amy! Great review!

    Have a fantastic weekend. =)

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

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    Replies
    1. IKR??!! SO infuriating and disgusting.
      Thanks Alyssa!

      Delete
  2. I haven't had a relaxing read in a while, but this doesn't sound like my type of book. I'm sorry you didn't really like it either! I hope your next read will be more enjoyable :) Thanks for sharing your thoughts, and I hope you have a wonderful weekend :D

    Brittany @ Brittany's Book Rambles

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    Replies
    1. It was nice to read something relaxing, but yeah, I think there're better ones to choose from.
      Thanks Brittany, you too :) Have a lovely week ahead!

      Delete

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