Oh my goodness, how much do I love this book? Let me count the ways!!
1 - Who doesn't love a super sexy, high powered, supremely arrogant know it all h...moreOh my goodness, how much do I love this book? Let me count the ways!!
1 - Who doesn't love a super sexy, high powered, supremely arrogant know it all hero who falls head over heels in love with the heroine?
2 - Annabel is one of my all-time favorite heroines! Sweet, spunky and after years of dealing with her over-achieving family, dealing with Heath is a piece of cake!
3 - It's a story about good old-fashioned matchmaking! Yes, matchmakers seem outdated as a general rule, but they are still in existence, it's a cute story line, makes for a cute meet, and so what, you're reading a romance book - lighten up already! Matchmaking is a fun occupation to think/read about, especially in romance books!
4 - I love that she drives her grandma's car and he has a name. It's Sherman! Sherman is big, green and ugly, but somehow this story would be incomplete without it!
5 - Portia and Bodie!! If there is a woman alive who has not felt even a smidgen of the insecurities Portia feels, then I think it's time to check her girl card. As women get older, sometimes those insecurities just get worse and worse, we just get better at hiding them. I love tha Bodie sees right through them, and loves her anyways. And he sticks with her when she's blue, quite literally! But seriously, big, sexy, dangerous looking man with a neck tattoo wants you, every girl's dream, especially the insecure ones!
6 - It's a Susan Elizabeth Phillips book! This should have been numero uno, but I couldn't stop thinking about Heath, and I am too lazy to go back and change the order now! I love everything this woman does!
7 - Dean Robilliard makes a big splash in this book, and thank goodness for that!! *fans herself vigorously* He can call me babydoll any day of the week!
8 - The witty and sassy banter between these two is so enjoyable and downright fun to read/listen to. SEP always does this well, and this one does not disappoint.
9 - Just go out and read the book if you haven't yet, in which case - shame on you! If you have, think about re-reading it again, and pronto!(less)
I have loved Dean in every book he's been in, and his book is no exception! I knew it would take more than just good looks to snag the Bu, but SEP out...moreI have loved Dean in every book he's been in, and his book is no exception! I knew it would take more than just good looks to snag the Bu, but SEP out-did herself with Blue! She's one of my favorite SEP heroines, along with Annabelle and Georgie. Dean and Blue are so mismatched, yet a perfect pair together, and they don't take each other's bs! These two are a complete joy to see together on the page, they just feed off one another and it's great dialogue, as usual from SEP.
Dean, of course is a dreamboat, but this time we get to see a bit more behind the charming surfer quarterback who looks like he stepped out of GQ magazine. I knew there was depth to him! I love that we get to see what makes Dean tick, and more importantly, that he's in fact not perfect, and has a 'sob' story just like the rest of us. He just chose to move past it, so far past it, no one knows he's the son of an aging, but still got it rocker, and an infamous groupie/ingenue. Seeing him work through his family stuff was tough, and it showed him in a very humanly way, something that I think he was lacking in other books, he was a GOD to be worshipped, now he's real.
And Blue! I just love this nursery-rhyme bad girl (this is how Dean thinks of her)! This is a girl after my own heart. She's so tough and fierce, but underneath it all is a soft and pretty woman, just waiting to be loved for herself, and hoping someone will want to keep her. Oh, and I love her integrity, she just will not accept being a charity case. Although, I do think it's good to bend some, just to be flexible, I can see where she's coming from. Nothing has been handed to her, and she's learned from an early age, she's all she can depend on. Seeing her grow and accept herself, fighting to move past her rough upbringing, it was a joy to see, especially when it all worked out in the end for her and Dean!
I also liked April, Dean's mother, and his sister Riley. Jack Patriot took longer to love, but I suppose that's natural, seeing as how he was such a terrible father. He had a lot of making up to do, and I think he did a fairly decent job, could have been better, but I'll take it.
This is one of SEP's better works, in my opinion. I mean, how can you not love a book that has a sexy football player-golden god, a sweet-as-pie kid sister, a gypsy caravan!, a combative-but-adorable bad dresser, and aging rockers who still got it! Witty dialogue, great story lines, awesome narration, what else could you want?(less)
I'm changing my previous review from 4 stars to 5! And this is my new favorite of the series! First, let me start by saying, yes, these are light-hear...moreI'm changing my previous review from 4 stars to 5! And this is my new favorite of the series! First, let me start by saying, yes, these are light-hearted historical romances that Ms. Jeffries writes, but it doesn't make them any less worthy or enjoyable. In fact, I'd argue with anyone who says writing these are easier than the darker more angsty stuff. Just because they are easy to read and maybe not as serious as others would like doesn't mean it's not well done. The story still has to flow and make sense, being an aspiring writer myself, I know nothing in writing is as simple as it looks. This is why I love Sabrina Jeffries! Sometimes I don't want the dark or heavily laden plots, sometimes I want something simple and sweet and steamy!
First off, I want Lachlan for myself, but I guess if Venetia is the one I lose him too, I don't mind at all. I love all the characters, all of them!! Not a one angered me or annoyed me, not even poor Jamie when his feelings were hurt by his unrequited love of Venetia! Everyone in the book is well thought out, enjoyable and distinct, which is a rare accomplishment, in my honest opinion. The buildup of the Scottish Scourge throughout the first two books does a great job of heightening expectations of this simply horrible man who must be villainous. Except, in the first book, when kidnapping Amelia and Lucas, he is gentlemanly to Amelia, and does not want them harmed. You get a glimpse of his true character even then. When he is introduced to us in this book, being his charming and dashing self at a masquerade, it doesn't ring false, as he's only being that way to win Venetia's trust, he really is charming as well as devilish. And Venetia is the kind of heroine I adore! She's smart, funny, minx-ish, emotional, quick to anger, all things I think should be expected of women. In too many romances today (be historical or contemporary) the heroine is portrayed as a strong and independent woman, when we all know we aren't all that way. At least I'm not! Yes, I can hang tough when needed, but everyone has a breaking point, everyone has a soft heart about something, and if you say you don't, they you have no soul and you're not the kind of person I want to read about in a romance. I want passion! Several times in this novel Venetia cries, and in none of them do I see her as weak. When she realizes how injured Lachlan is, and what he has endured, most likely at the hands of men her father hired, it breaks her heart. After she has gone out of her way to be cold to him while conniving with his mother to drive him mad, he goes to a lot of trouble to get her ballads and chocolate, things she adores, just because he wanted to, it makes her so happy she cries. But she's no simpering miss either, and I think the balance is important. Venetia stands up to Lachlan throughout her kidnapping, when he stoically denies he loves her and has bedded her in front of her father to right an injustice he believes has been done, she does not cry then. No, she gives him a piece of her mind, and an ultimatum! They are great characters in my opinion!
I know some have listed the dialog or the phrasing of the dialog as part of the problem, it not being true on Lachlan or Venetia's part. I honestly can't judge this, as I'm no expert. I can tell you that excessive brogue in a novel gets a bit distracting for me, especially if it's an audio book. I know the characters are Scottish, and every once in a while, a gentle reminder of it with a few words and phrases is enough for me. I think one of the reasons I didn't love Outlander is this point. I enjoy the accent something fierce, and if Gerard Butler were to whisper sweet nothings in my ear is that devilish brogue, I'm sure I would be distracted, but for other reasons! But when I'm reading a book, I don't want to be distracted by a dialect I'm not familiar enough with to make it sound natural to me. If a few modern day phrases are thrown in, I may or may not notice, as I'm a modern woman and they are commonplace to me. I don't need to be totally immersed in the culture or scenery or even the language to get the feel of the book. I do have an imagination, and I rather enjoy using it. As I've said in other reviews, give me the basics, and the important stuff, I can handle the rest, thank you very much.
If you can take this book at face value, as something that's fun and easy and has a devilishly sexy hero and an emotionally stable and tender-hearted heroine, then this is a book I highly recommend. I don't promise you'll love it, we all have different tastes, but it's worth a try! If you want to pick apart every detail, every nuance, then avoid, and let me avoid your reviews. I read for fun and enjoyment, if I wanted to have the book dissected, I could just read every critic's review ever of romance novels, as they all accuse them as light, fluffy, and a waste of time for their lack of depth. I only have to point out the loyalty and book sales of the romance genre to show how much people appreciate these kind of books!(less)
I think this is the 4th time I've read this book! I really do enjoy this series! If you do read this, I highly recommend you start with the Royal Brot...moreI think this is the 4th time I've read this book! I really do enjoy this series! If you do read this, I highly recommend you start with the Royal Brotherhood series, specifically To Pleasure a Prince so you don't feel lost!
There's not much I don't like about this book, I love that Louisa is her own person, despite the fact she is Prinny's illegitimate daughter and could have a easy life. Instead, after the death of her beloved half-sister in childbirth, she works diligently for prison reform for women, trying to improve their conditions and help them to reform themselves. Simon has made a bargain with the devil, Prinny to be exact. Marry Louisa and keep her away from her work, and become the next prime minister. Except Prinny has never been someone you can trust. But Simon has lusted for Louisa for seven years and decides he can't lose, that is until Louisa finds out! Back and forth, back and forth, their chemistry is off the charts, but so is their suspicion of each other. It makes for a lot of tense and angst and drama, but I tend to like those sort of things, especially when it's well done, and I think Ms. Jeffries does an excellent job, but I could be biased! (less)
This is absolutely one of my favorite Sabrina Jeffries books ever! But then again, I could be biased, as I love all things Sabrina Jeffries and she is...moreThis is absolutely one of my favorite Sabrina Jeffries books ever! But then again, I could be biased, as I love all things Sabrina Jeffries and she is an auto-buy author for me. This book has tons of things going for it: a sexy American alpha marine, a high-spirited beautiful heroine, possible scandal, kidnapping, highway robbery and ransom, action, adventure, what else could you want?
One of the things I really love about this book is the love story between Lucas and Amelia. They truly are attracted to each other, but are wary of each other (without the other one knowing it at the beginning) and keep secrets from each other, Amelia to protect her step-mother, Lucas to protect his mission and himself. It's not the typical miscommunication romance, which gets old for me. No, this is secret keeping at its best, for good reasons. The stakes are very high, if Amelia is wrong, her beloved step-mother Dolly is a criminal, if Lucas is wrong, the demons that have been hounding him may never go away, and he will have wasted the last 3 years of his life, and the guilt at not being there to help his father (even though it he was in an English prison) in the worst of times, times that made his father commit suicide, will continue. Neither want to be wrong, but they also don't want the other to be hurt. It's a great premise, and I think it works very well between these characters.
Some have said their romance and intimacy happened too soon, but I don't have a problem with that, in fact, I think it works with these two. They are both attracted to each other, but feel they can use that attraction to get information out of the other, but it ends up backfiring as they both begin to care deeply for the other. When Amelia is kidnapped, Lucas doesn't hesistate to rescue her, even though it means if he can't save her in time, he will have to marry her to save her reputation. I love that he genuinely does have reservations about that, but the thought of Amelia in danger pushes those away, and even though it will greatly complicate his mission, he'd still rather save her than see her ruined.
I love Amelia! Honestly, I find it difficult to like a lot of heroines in romances. I think the balance is tough to find for just the right amount of backbone vs heart, and too often for me, the scales are tipped to too much backbone. Yes, women can be strong, and I love that authors want to show that, but it's okay for women to cry, or break down, that doesn't show weakness in my opinion, it shows heart. Sometimes things happen that are too much to take in, and every once in a while, a few tears to relieve the stress are necessary. Amelia is not afraid of her emotions, she willing puts herself out there, knowing the only way to live is full out, even if it breaks her heart. That's the true adventure in this book. At one point in the book, after escaping kidnappers, for Amelia it's the second time, she bursts out laughing. Lucas looks at her funny and asks why she's laughing after everything that's happened. She says, (and I'm paraphrasing as I don't have the book in front of me) 'It's either laugh or go insane.' It's that attitude that makes her lovable. And she really does love Lucas dearly, she's very protective of those she cares about, and he's no exception. The comfort she gives him when he's beginning to panic from being trapped, well, it's sexy as hell, and it works for him, and Amelia knows she has to help him in any way she can so he can stop thinking about the terror.
I can't think of one thing I don't like about this book, but again, I'm biased! This is a great start to a great series, one I recommend for every one who likes Regency romances.(less)
**spoiler alert** I'll admit, this isn't my favorite in the series, in fact, along with Don't Bargain with the Devil, they are sort of forgettable. Bu...more**spoiler alert** I'll admit, this isn't my favorite in the series, in fact, along with Don't Bargain with the Devil, they are sort of forgettable. But I still think they are worth reading, they just won't be wowing you in any big way.
Madeline Prescott is the daughter of a doctor, until recently was practicing in Shropshire. Until a patient of his died in his care, a patient he had administed nitrous oxide to for her pain. The local bigshot, a baron was wreaking havoc, insisting Dr. Prescott had killed the woman, and did some naughty things to her while she was under the influence. Already suffering from melancholy after his wife's death a few years before, this was too much for the doctor. Madeline moved them to Richmond, where she teaches school at 'The School for Heiresses' and is determined to find the notorious scientist who wrote the famous book purporting the uses of nitrous oxide for pain relief and ask his help in clearing her father's name.
Anthony Dalton, Viscount Norwood, inherited his title and all the responsibilites from his brother who died with his wife, leaving their daughter Tessa's care to the courts to decide. Anthony is fighting desperately to keep his niece out of the clutches of his viscious Aunt and Uncle's torturous hands, but a confirmed bachelor and rake who has flaunted society's rules since his childhood spent being disciplined unfairly and cruelly by the baron and his wife, feels he has no chance at guardianship unless he can get Tessa into a good school, proving he has her best interests in mind. Only problem is since he legally doesn't have guardianship yet, and with his reputation preceding him, no one wants to take him seriously.
When Anthony comes to the School for Heiresses, he meets Madeline, who knows of him and his baron of an uncle, and immediately fears the Viscount has alterior motives. When she hears of his niece, and knows she must help protect the girl from such evil, she agrees to champion Anthony, in exchange for his lessons to her class, 'How to Avoid Rakes, Rogues and Fortunehunters.' Fearful of her father's damaged reputation getting out, she neglects to tell Anthony of her troubles, evading all sorts of questions about herself. When Madeline realizes Anthony has participated in nitrous oxide parties, parties given for profligates and the like to abuse, she begs him to take her to a party, even though for him to get caught at one is to damage his reputation and chances for getting Tessa. She refuses to tell him she wants to attend to meet with Sir Humphrey, the scientist who has refused an audience with her so far. Unfortunately she ends up partaking of the nitrous oxide and gives almost all of her secrets plus her innocence to Anthony. Ultimately Anthony proposes, and learning new information damning his baron uncle's reputation, he saves the day for Madeline's father and gains custody of Tessa.
One thing I had a problem with this book was when Madeline and Anthony make love for the first time. She is a virgin, but neglects to tell him this, as she has led him to believe she has been previously ruined. However, Anthony de-flowers her in a quick way, she makes no noise, and he either is to eager to notice her maidenhead or the fact that he's never had a virgin before doesn't clue him in to the fact that she is a virgin. I don't know how this could conceivably happen, but I supppose it has to someone. It seems a little far fetched to me, but this is just a minor stumbling block for me.
I did like that Anthony was not afraid to show his emotions, even though he was slightly ashamed at his tears, he did cried a few times in the book, especially when remembering the torture he endured in his youth, something that still clearly haunts him as an adult. It's very unusual you get a strong masculine man to cry, or not try to hide his emotions. Although he doesn't give up his secrets easily, Madeline pries them out artfully and in such a way to show no pity, only compassion. In this, they are very well suited to each other, and I liked their relationship a lot. They don't stand out among the best of Jeffries' characters, but they well fleshed out and entirely convincing. I can't necessarily say the same for Dr. Prescott, it was almost too little too late for his care and concern of his daughter, and the casual way he talked of ending his life one day, to trying to be her father a few days later was too much, even for Madeline, as she railed at him for his neglect. I wish there would have been a way for him to redeem himself, as it was he was vindicated by Anthony and you don't see much else of him the rest of the book. How could such a weak-willed man with depressive tendencies raised such a strong and smart daughter? Not much is said of her mother, so I'd have to assume it came from her.
I think in reading the whole series, you should not skip this one, especially with the letters back and forth between Charlotte, the headmistress of the school, and her mysterious benefactor, Cousin Michael. Having read the series several times before, and knowing who he is, the letters are almost laughable, in the fact that Charlotte goads Cousin Michael's real self (which she has no clue she's making fun of him to his face or remarking on his lifestyle directly) it's so hilarious now, just pictured the real Cousin Michael reading the letters calling him a profligate and not being able to respond directly without revealing himself. It's very clever and entertaining!(less)
**spoiler alert** I love this series so much!!! I can't get enough of it, I'm ready to start over again after I finish the last one! This is by far on...more**spoiler alert** I love this series so much!!! I can't get enough of it, I'm ready to start over again after I finish the last one! This is by far one of my favorite series ever!
Lucinda Seton is the adopted daughter of a Scottish colonel who has always wondered about the parents who died when she was four, leaving her feeling out of place due to her Spanish blood in proper English society. Quick tempered and even quicker to speak before thinking, Lucy constantly feels she doesn't belong, but nevertheless tries to fit in, especially since the man she thought loved her left her high and dry when he inherited and earldom, telling her she's too much of a hoyden and her Spanish blood is undesirable now that he has a legacy.
Diego Montalvo is a world renowned conjuror, out to find the elusive Dona Lucinda, the only grandchild to a wealthy Marquess who was stolen as a child. Agreeing to find her to earn his family's estate back that has eluded him for 15 years, he is tired of traveling the world and yearns to go home and keep his promise to his dying father. Having never performed in England, he moves in next to the School of Heiresses under the ruse of wanting to open a pleasure garden, throwing the whole town of Richmond into a tizzy. Meanwhile he is searching for Lucy, who may or may not be the Spanish heiress.
When Diego finds Lucy with her hair down, shoes off and relaxing under the cherry trees, enjoying the fresh air, he is instantly enthralled. He finds her seductive and is irresistably drawn to her, but the more he learns of her, the more he despairs of her being 'the' Dona Lucinda. Kidnapping Lucy to take her to Spain, Lucy seduces Diego, not wanting to be married off to some stranger, hoping Diego will want her instead. When she learns what it means he will be giving up, she changes her mind, refusing to marry him, especially with his crappy proposal. Ultimately he grovels enough to beg for her hand and they live happily ever after!
These two are so cute together, and I think they are perfect for each other. They are not the most memorable couple to me, but the fit together so perfectly, it seems like they were made for each other or have always belonged together. Lucy fills some empty places in Diego's heart, and Diego treats Lucy as though she can do no wrong. It's an adorable love story, and the side story of Lucy's background is interesting and sad and heartbreaking when the secrets are all told and everything is unraveled. Also, the letters between Charlotte and 'Cousin' Michael get more and more interesting and heated, ultimately leaving Charlotte in silence after a quarrel between them has Michael ending their correspondence. The next book, Wed Him Before You Bed Him deals with Charlotte and the mysterious 'Cousin' Michael, and even though I've read it before, I can't wait to read it again!!! (less)
I had to stop this after disc 3. This really disappoints me, but I guess it's proof positive that our tastes change with age. I just hope this means m...moreI had to stop this after disc 3. This really disappoints me, but I guess it's proof positive that our tastes change with age. I just hope this means mine is getting better, lol.
The first time I read this book was about 5 years ago, and I gave it 3 stars. Now I don't know what I ever saw in it to give it that. Maybe it's the audiobook. First time I read it, now I'm listening to it. I thought the narrator was okay, nothing to write home about, but she wasn't as grating as the last narrator I listened to. I can't believe I never noticed this author's penchant for using cliches and being so predictable/silly in her phrasing. And she must like passion fruit because she mentions it in this book (the hero pictures the heroine eating passion fruit on the beach with the juices flowing, in more than one way) and the last (it was the heroine's scent I think).
Besides the cliches and silly phrasing, the fact that the heroine is an identical twin, and the hero knew the twin first, but wasn't attracted to her, and when the heroine comes in to investigate her twin's death, now he's attracted, besides that silliness, I was done when the heroine, Kate and the stereotypical Cajun hero, Nick were shot at. Not because they were shot at, just their reactions afterwards. They're walking down the street after dinner, talking about things, Nick notices a red laser pointed at her chest (because he's staring) and pushes her down to avoid the shot. When the all clear is given, they both get up, and Kate asks how he knew they were being targeted, he explains he was checking out her rack. Now, they were just fired upon several times, and even though they are both police, I imagine it's not routine for anyone. Instead of focusing on the fact that someone was after her (maybe the people who were out to get her in Chicago followed her to New Orleans?), she's contemplating whether she's mad he was checking her out and noticing he wasn't apologetic about it. How about making sure no one was hurt? Policing the brass? Getting a license plate of the motorcyle the shooter took off on? Or even a little panic you were shot at? I'd even take wondering if Nick was the intended target. Now is not the time for sexual thoughts, even if you are angry he was checking you out. He just saved your life, you can thank and ream him later.
This plus the following statements (please note these are just a few of the phrases that made me nauseous, add them all together, stir in some more and you get this author's style - which I use to like, so joke's on me too):
Never let them see you sweat.
She was wound as tight as a seven day clock on the eighth day.
He flashed what more than one lover had referred to as his lady killer smile, 'And believe me cher, I'm worth it.'
If you think I look bad, you should see the other guy.
Enough already. I never use to leave books unfinished. Would slug it out for days and weeks, sometimes even months just to finish them. But if anything this rut I'm in has taught me to learn to let go of stuff that just doesn't work for me anymore. There are far too many other books out there I'm wanting to read, no need in wasting time on stuff that takes entirely too much time I could be spending on better stuff. Even if it's so-so, if I can't feel excited to pick up the book and keep going, just let it go. Even six months ago I would have kept at it, but I would have gotten through very few books with this rut I'm stuck in. Time for drastic measures means I'm now okay with having DNFs on my shelf.(less)
This is the first time I've read the series straight through, all in about 2 weeks, and I have to say, there are little things that stand out to me, n...moreThis is the first time I've read the series straight through, all in about 2 weeks, and I have to say, there are little things that stand out to me, now that I know what to look for!! The clues are there, but they are very very slight, in fact, if you don't pay attention to every little encounter with 'Cousin' Michael and his family, Charlotte Harris, you'll probably miss it! From the very first book when Charlotte has to talk to Lady Kirkwood about her relation Lucas Winter, Lady Kirkwood is very brittle to Charlotte, until the school headmistress opens up about a possible match for her son, a very wealthy young miss, who is desperately wanted by the Kirkwood clan. It's so slight as to brush it off as bad manners on Lady K, but now I know why!!
Charlotte Page grew up the daughter of a wealthy commoner, hoping to make a good match for her in exchange of political connections to the peerage. She was basically told to marry David Masters, heir to Viscount Kirkwood, even though they had not seen each other since they were children and he made fun of her. Not wanting to do what her father says, but threatened if she doesn't, Charlotte agrees to meet him, and ends up liking the grown up David. She's wary of his less than stellar reputation, but is willing to give him the benefit of the duobt, that is until she sees him having his way with the maid! Heartbroken that all his tender words have been a lie, she writes a horrible letter about his profligate ways and how it broke her heart, using nicknames for each other in case any one might come across it, somehow the letter ends up at the newspaper and is printed. Of course, the letter makes fun of his silly striped robe that everybody has seen, so everyone knows it's him. Fearing what her father might do to her in the wake of the scandal, Charlotte runs off with a Captain Harris and gets married. After a few years, her husband dies, leaving her in dire straits, and a mysterious 'Cousin' Michael becomes her benefactor, loaning her the money to get her dream of a school for young ladies off the ground.
David Masters' heart turned to ice the day the letter was published, and he never let it thaw in 18 years. Eventually he found out it his younger brother Giles who Charlotte had seen dally with the maid. Giles was wearing the silly striped robe after Charlotte had laughed at David in it, and he gave it to his brother. Of course, Charlotte did not know that then, but eventually learned it several years later herself. Neither did anything to solve anything between, instead they let their love die, and hatred fester. Which is why David initially loaned Charlotte the money under the false name. He was upset, thinking she had escaped the scandal unknown and unscathed, while he suffered for years from the fallout. The idea was to give her everything, then snatch it away and break her heart, leaving her humiliated. Except she wrote him a letter giving her sincere thanks. And another letter, and more and more, the correspondence between Charlotte and 'Cousin' Michael grew into a friendship, and David's vengeance died. Instead he wanted her to succeed.
Which why they meet up again 18 years later, when the land David has held the lien on for 15 years is about to be up, and Charlotte needs to move the school, only she doesn't know it. She has no idea who 'Cousin' Michael is, and David is determined to keep it that way. He just might succeed until he is accused of killing his late wife, and his alibi is meeting with the barrister who is the intermediary between Charlotte and Cousin Michael, but he can't admit that without angering Charlotte. Eventually everything works out, and they all live happily ever after!
I have liked Charlotte the entire series, but I can't say I picture her as a heroine I would like to read about. She seems a bit old for me in a regency era book. Thirty-six is fine for a contemporary book, but in a regency, 36 is practically in her dotage! Her constant vigilence for being an independent woman is a bit tiresome at times, but she is still a likable enough character for me.
Now David is a different matter! I really did enjoy him, maybe it's because he was willing to take on so much, all for the love a woman who had wronged him, but he couldn't not help her and want to be with her, and didn't want to hurt her. Granted his deception was wrong, but without it, Charlotte would be nowhere. He wasn't that great of a husband to his first wife, Sarah, but they knew they married each other for reasons other than love, and he tried to make the best of it. Ultimately her death was kind of sad for me, she really did want to stop fighting with her husband, so wasn't as bad as everyone thought, but she had to die for David and Charlotte to marry. It might have made an equally interesting story if Sarah had grown up, and they were to fall in love after all these years, but I guess people wanted to make Sarah the bad guy in all this.
I could go on and on about this series, but I believe you should read it for yourself and see what you think! It really is one of my favorites!(less)
This is where it all began! Well, where my love affair with NR began anyway. I use to have a job where the work was so mind-numbingly boring I could l...moreThis is where it all began! Well, where my love affair with NR began anyway. I use to have a job where the work was so mind-numbingly boring I could listen to audio books all day. I started with the library, and since I had never read any NR yet, I picked this one at random. That was five years ago, and I've been trying to finish her backlist ever since.
I'll admit at first, I wasn't in love with our hero Cameron, nor his lady Anna. I thought Cam was a tad unlikable and Anna a little too cool. No, what I fell for was NR's writing. I first started reading romances with SEP, and struggled to find writing as intelligent and funny, it was very hit or miss, and though I liked the idea of romances, I really hadn't found many very well written (not to my tastes anyway) and trolling through different online booksellers was not helping. Then I found NR and eventually GoodReads, and I haven't looked back! Now my TBR pile runneth over, and I couldn't be happier!
Having lived inland my whole life, reading about life on the bay was fascinating, it sounds (and looks from what I can tell) beautiful.
The kind of life described is idealistic, but I like that NR shows it's not always the case. Here we have a couple who adopted three very troubled kids, their lives anything but idealistic beforehand. The life they gave them helped them to cope and grow into terrific men, who are now responsible for taking care of a boy their father tried to save before he died. Who better to take care of Seth? It's a very interesting story idea, and the fact that they are all family, trying to make a tough situation work is something I think is lacking in a lot of romances. Often, family is out of the picture, either killed off, out of town or never discussed. I don't know if it's because authors don't want too many people in the story, only want to focus on the hero and heroine, or what, but I really enjoy NR because she does focus on the family, even if there's a lack of family, the yearning to build a family. I think it's a beautiful thing, and she does it wonderfully. After reading several authors trying to add family, I realized it must not be so easy. They can overshadow, interrupt the flow of the story, or just be completely useless. NR does it seamlessly and realistically.
I still don't love Cam and Anna, but I still like them more than other authors characters. I don't know why, but every time Anna is described with her black hair, it threw me. I kept picturing her more as a redhead or brunette. I think it was all the references to her golden skin, had me thinking of her in a golden way. They were likable enough, but not my favorite NR characters ever. I don't think Cam grovels enough, but it's a minor issue.
The boat building part was very interesting to me. Recently I was discussing with my BFF about the things you learn in reading romances. Some people may feel in reading fiction of any kind you're not learning anything. I'll grant that sometimes this is the case. But one of the things I love about Nora Roberts is that she plunges you into her characters' worlds. Whether it's police work, gardening, art history, scuba diving, or boat building in this case, as well as life on the bay, you always gain a little bit of knowledge - or at least I do. Before this I couldn't tell a skipjack from a sunfish, much less that boats had different names. I figured they did, but not growing up anywhere near water or spending any time sailing, it's something I never knew about. Now, I still couldn't tell you a lot, but I do know the difference between the two.
Example of a sunfish:
(I want one now, for my dream house in the neighborhood down the street from me that has a good size lake snaking through it! I could go out on windy days - plenty here - and have some fun!)
Examples of a skipjack:
Big difference in sizes, and when it comes to building, different approaches as well, I'm sure. Seeing the business starting in this book, and the way it continues to grow in the next two is an integral part of the story for me. It's not just background noise, I really feel like I'm involved in the characters' lives, and it's an education. Now, is this Earth-shattering info? Will it change my life in any way? Does it make me a more productive member of society? Probably not. But it does affect me, and if I ever get that dream house in the future, I can get a sunfish, smiling a secret smile, knowing NR is the first person to introduce me to them. This is the beauty of a well written story - you learn about different aspects of life, of other cultures, even just different ways of thinking that you yourself may not have thought of. Fiction, and especially the romance genre are based in reality. Most of us all want to find love, all of us come from some kind of family - good, bad or indifferent - and we all exist in our own worlds, we all just approach life in different ways, and reading romances is an entertaining way of seeing how other people live. If you pick up a NR book, you'll get a good example of this, every single time.(less)