San Francisco Surrender - Donna Fletcher
Cross-posted at www.thebookpushers.com as a retro review:This is going to be an oldie but a goodie review, because San Francisco Surrender was one of the first big historical romances that I read as a teen. I evolved from reading Sweet Valley High/High school romances which I soon got bored with, and then I went on to Harlequins. But then I discovered Historical Romance and holy manitties, how I fell in love! And most especially I had fallen in love with those Zebra Hologram historical romances. If this was an imprint that was cracklicious then this was the one for me. I recently reread this book and I was pleasantly surprised about the nostalgia effect that came upon me, especially the second time around — although there are a few issues I have with the book. So this review is going to be a tad different to my usual ones. I will include the views of my fourteen year old self along with my current opinions to the book!(Fourteen year old self)OMG! This hero has a dragon tattoo on his arm (swoons!!!!!) and its a historical romance and the heroine is spunky (yes I thought spunky at the time!). And she’s dressed like a boy and she got one over the hero. I’M.IN.LOVE with this book.(Current self)San Francisco Surrender has all the ingredients that makes me a happy bunny for a romance. It has a heroine, Victoria, who is disguised as a boy (I so adore this trope!) and is forced into a life of crime to help support her ailing sister. A smexy hero called Sebastian Blood (you gotta love a surname like that!) with a dragon tattoo who finds himself outwitted and mugged by Victoria — although he has no idea that she’s a girl or the thief called The Serpent. But something about this scrawny little kid called Vic calls to him, and he soon invites and takes him in to work for his business when he learns that his sister Beth is gravely ill. But Victoria is on a mission: she wants to kill her uncle who is the man who destroyed her family and stolen their money. Disguising herself as Vic is the only way she can get information and to move freely about and get revenge on her uncle. But it’s very difficult to do so when an alpha male with a dragon tattoo discovers that Vic has boobies, and then understands why he’s so drawn to the little feisty girl who dares to rebel against his orders.(Fourteen year old self)I adored their banter and Vic really stands up to him and omg *Sigh*. The scene where he discovered she has boobs – ha ha! Big alpha male tricked by a girl and he didn’t even guess why he was so drawn to her! And the love scenes? Hawt! The scene when she teases him is so funny and builds up the tension beautifully.(Current self)Sebastian also discovers Victoria’s past and the vendetta she has against her step uncle. Typical Alpha male hero going all protective too but I like that Victoria stands up to him and still sneaks out meeting her old friends to find out information on how to get vengeance on her uncle. Her relationship with Sebastian soon after they get married doesn’t go smoothly when he gets into alphahole mode, but Victoria deflects this attitude when she proactively asks for advice from a friend about sex and seduction and goes on to seduce him which I love!During my second reread, there were a few elements which had me rolling my eyes at Sebastian and even Victoria because of a misunderstanding early on in the book, but it never verged onto TSTL territory and the story and characters do hold well. I am pretty happy that the nostalgic feel fits close to what I felt as a teen and this is an old skool read which I will treasure. San Franscico Surrender is a fun and sexy read with a feisty heroine and an old style alpha male that never becomes abusive or callous, and I am really glad the author has re-released it in digital format because in my eyes it’s a gem of a read!