Publisher: St Martin’s Paperbacks
Double Fantasy is a book that somehow got missed in my reading of Cheryl Holt books! I was wandering through YouTube last week (that thing is completely addictive!) and found a promotional video for the book. Have a look!
What could be better? Two pirates bent on revenge, two beautiful sisters, and a yummy mostly naked man on the cover of the book! Combine that with Cheryl Holt’s magical writing, and poof…….a great read!! Read on…..
Double Fantasy is the first book in the “Fantasy Series” by Cheryl Holt and tells the story of Jamie Merrick and Anne Carstairs. Jamie and Jack Merrick are the first born twin sons of the Earl of Gladstone and their servant mother (the secret wife of the earl). They are sent away after their mother dies shortly after their she gives birth, and the twin’s existence is concealed so that the Earl can make a “respectable” marriage. The boys are essentially abandoned and lead a life of hardship and torture. They grow up to be ruthless privateers. How they move from being homeless and starving to owning their own boat and sailing the seven seas is somewhat foggy.
The story starts as they are returning to Gladstone to claim the Earldom from their half-brother, Percy, and his twin sister Ophelia. Jamie finds Anne wandering in the woods and is immediately attracted to her. That evening Jamie and Jack confront Percy, Ophelia, their demented mother and Anne and Sarah. (poor relations that live at Gladstone) Jamie announces that he will marry Anne and she gets to decide who is allowed to remain living in the house and who must go. It’s an interesting premise for a story but goes downhill from here!
I found the book filled with odd story lines and characters that I found to be un-redeeming and inconsistent. Jamie seems to act like a blustering pirate most of the time – ordering people around and tying them up or confining them when they don’t obey. Jack is spineless. He finds a perfect match in Sarah but fails her over and over again. How they end up together at the end of the book seems completely puzzling as they seem to change their minds more often than they change their underwear!
Jamie abandons Anne at Gladstone with no intention of returning although he loves her? He then whores and drinks his way through London. Since he abandons Anne and Jack won’t help her, Percy and Ophelia and their demented mother return and take over Gladstone. The evil Percy and Ophelia have been having a torrid incestuous relationship for years. The point of this sub-plot is unknown to me! I must admit I didn’t find it necessary to have details of incest in this book.
I have read many of Cheryl Holt’s books and I was very disappointed by this one. I had to force myself to finish it so that I could review it. That is probably the first time I have even been remotely disappointed with something that Cheryl Holt has written. Cheryl Holt has been voted one of the top 25 Erotic Writers of all time. The cover of this book is appealing with a hottie on the cover and the quote “Holt plays into fantasies like a virtuoso….an erotic powerhouse.” from Romantic Times BOOK reviews on the back. Generally, I agree with this review about Cheryl Holt’s books – I feel that she is capable of better!