4.5 stars. Not what I expected, but a great read all the same! I first heard of this debut book a few months ago and was instantly intrigued that it i4.5 stars. Not what I expected, but a great read all the same! I first heard of this debut book a few months ago and was instantly intrigued that it is a PNR series set in historical London 1880's. So when I noticed Netgalley had it I immediately requested it.
This book paints a vivid picture of a darker Gothic London, one plagued with cut throats and thieves, fathers who sell their daughters for a tidy sum, and cunning men willing to risk damnation of their very souls.
In this version of a 'beauty and the beast' theme, Lord Benjamin Archer hides his identity and disfigurement from the world behind a dark mask. Cloaked in the shadows of darkness, he spies the beautiful Miranda Ellis defending herself from would-be attackers and instantly finds himself enthralled. In time he arranges a marriage with Mira and whisks her off to his remote castle.
For years Archer has been obsessed with finding the cure for his 'illness'. He constantly fights his inner demons, and now struggles with a burning desire for his new bride. But when his friends start getting murdered and he is the most likely of suspects, Miranda's safety is all that matters.
I absolutely loved the darker, Gothic historical feel of this story. Archer is a tortured hero who feels he must hide from the world. Miranda slowly comes to learn of his 'illness' and other secrets, meanwhile hiding secrets of her own. We meet many other nefarious and interesting characters as well, including Mira's sisters who will have their own books in this series.
The paranormal part of the story is slowly revealed and therefor hard to explain, and in fact best left for the reader to discover. The world Archer and Miranda live in is the actual London 1880's, but we learn that not everyone is as one would believe. There are some people who have gifts, or curses depending on your point of view, that simply go beyond the imagination.
If I have any complaints it is that the romance was pushed to the later part of the book. However, there was a great deal of relationship building and tension between the H/h, so my complaint is small. Overall, Kristen Callihan has an amazing writing voice so I have no doubt this author will be a big hit with romance fans. I am excited to read the next book in this series, or whatever else she publishes.
Wow, even better the second time through! So much happens in this story that it's easy to miss many of the details in the first read. This time I sawWow, even better the second time through! So much happens in this story that it's easy to miss many of the details in the first read. This time I saw the story unfold from a very different perspective as I knew what was ahead of them. It made me really appreciate the talented Suzanne Collins. She created an amazing futuristic dystopian world, then showed it to us from the point-of-view of a seemingly insignificant young lady named Katniss. (Who turns out to be anything but insignificant).
If you haven't read it, don't write it off simply because it's classified as a young adult read, or worse because its being compared to the teen favorites Twilight and Harry Potter. I hate those comparisons, and in this case they are completely off the mark. I personally don't consider it a young adult book even though many of the lead characters are all teens.
Despite the YA classification, The Hunger Games addresses some very adult topics and is for mature minded people. It has a darker tone that will pull on all of your human emotions. It has a lot of action and violence, but not in a gratuitous way. It will make you think about the value of a human life, and how even great triumphs can be bitter sweet and come with a devastating cost.
Now I have to go re-read the final two in this book. Even though I know how it all ends, it feels like a fresh new read the second time around as I can see all of those clues more clearly, understand the strategies a bit better, and visualize the world with more depth. I loved this one, and I sure hope the movie does it justice. ...more
I think they call this kind of a book a 'sleeper', where it slowly creeps into popularity one review at a time until it becomes a bona fide and populaI think they call this kind of a book a 'sleeper', where it slowly creeps into popularity one review at a time until it becomes a bona fide and popular hit. Written in 2002, published in 2005, and it just now seems to be finding its reading public. In the last year this book was recommended repeatedly both here and at Amazon, and I am so glad to have read it. Simply wonderful, and what a surprising and strong epilogue! Sniff, sniff...
I thought it lived up to the hype. If you like historicals with a southern charm, a small town simple kind of setting, and an emotional storyline that will pull out some tears, this one is for you. I was impressed. ...more
4.5! I've been hearing this author mentioned a lot lately, and now I know why. This historical romance is easily on par with some of the best authors4.5! I've been hearing this author mentioned a lot lately, and now I know why. This historical romance is easily on par with some of the best authors of this genre - Balogh, Quinn, Kleypas...etc.
I think the one thing I enjoyed most about this story is how I got to see the romance evolve from a cold and simple business association to a deeply warm and passionate friendship all the way to a heart stopping love. Both characters evolve emotionally as well, when they realize the circumstances of which they created may not have the intended outcome.
A Lady Awakened was a great tale that kept me fully engaged, with a strong storyline and two well developed, interesting characters. I will definitely be reading the next in this series soon. ...more
A great character driven story that brings the roughness of the wild west to life. It had a slow pace to it, especially in the beginning, but it justA great character driven story that brings the roughness of the wild west to life. It had a slow pace to it, especially in the beginning, but it just worked. I especially enjoyed the way the H/h could laugh and enjoy each other despite all the crazy hard times going on in their world. The dialogue between H/h was especially funny at times, and the story was told in a way that made you feel you were right there in the old west. I will read the next in this series for certain. Hope you enjoy it! ...more
4.5 stars. Wow, a great realty-based, action-packed romance suspense story. It kind of reminded me of those movies starring Jodie Foster, you know the4.5 stars. Wow, a great realty-based, action-packed romance suspense story. It kind of reminded me of those movies starring Jodie Foster, you know the ones with edge-of-your seat action and suspense, a smart and realistic heroine running for her life, and a tight realistic plot. No Navy SEALs or damsel in distress in this story. The heroine is trying to escape the clutches of her drug lord ex-husband, who wants her dead and their son as an heir to his illicit business. The hero is an FBI agent who has been working undercover for years trying to bring the drug lord down. The romance starts slow as the book focuses on the plot and action, but about half way things begin to heat up to sizzling. I can't believe this was a debut. I enjoyed it!!