LoveSpell, $6.99, ISBN 0-505-52690-5
Fantasy Romance, 2006
Divine Madness takes place some time after Divine Fire but it can stand alone well since the author provides whatever there is to know to allow any new reader to fill in the blanks. However, do take note that the romance is often pushed to the background. This is more of an urban fantasy style story with romance than the other way around.
This one revolves around Ninon de L’Enclos, based on the historical person, who in this story is on the run from someone who wants her dead due to a deal she made with the devil to attain immortality. Fearing that she is losing her mind, she travels to Mexico to seek answers and hopefully a way to defeat her ancient enemy. She also finds Dr Miguel Stuart and a chance at love in the process.
My failure to fully appreciate this story is due to my inability to appreciate Ms Jackson’s homage of a character to the real Ninon. The Ninon of history is said to be a seductress, a cunning manipulator, a feminist, and an artist. This Ninon is desperate and on the run. She giggles and talks to her cat. She comes off more like a typical romance heroine in danger of turning into a crazy cat lady rather than a seductress or a manipulator. As a result, I find it very hard not to go “Oh, please!” every time this Ninon does all but comes short of giggling and playing with her ponytails. This Ninon is a cute heroine in danger. Is she supposed to be a homage to the historical Ninon? Oh dear.
The author uses all kinds of tricks to make the story interesting. The story has switches in points of view as it goes from one act to another. Even Ninon’s cat gets to show off his point of view too. There are diary excerpts as well, along with flashback scenes. The author uses all kinds of tricks and fancy stylistics here to make this story come off like something Anne Rice will come up with, but unfortunately, because I fail to appreciate Ninon, I fail to find this story interesting. Sorry, but who knows, maybe if this story is rewritten and the heroine’s name is changed to Punky Brewster, I will change my mind and find this story too cute for words.