I loved this Romance! It was the perfect balance of strong but flawed heroine and strong but flawed hero who don't seem like they should mesh...but doI loved this Romance! It was the perfect balance of strong but flawed heroine and strong but flawed hero who don't seem like they should mesh...but do. What I liked so much about romance was that her belief in him made him a better person. She'd been content with her lot in life before he came, and even finding out his true intentions never really alters that belief...and it is that belief that allows him to let go of hurts and those evil intentions, even if he doesn't ever quite succumb to her rather flakey way of thinking. Compelling characters, a lovely countryside setting, and lots of intrigue make this one of my favorite historical romances yet. My only complaint is that I'd have liked more of the hero's pov and more character development from the brothers. Otherwise, good stuff....more
Not as good as the first Flavia de Luce, but second books rarely as good as the first. Still, a fun read. Flavia is my favorite 11 year old poisoner-iNot as good as the first Flavia de Luce, but second books rarely as good as the first. Still, a fun read. Flavia is my favorite 11 year old poisoner-in-training....more
Miss Penelope Lumley has just graduated from Swanburne Academy for Poor Bright Girls. Her first position as a governess turns out to be quite the straMiss Penelope Lumley has just graduated from Swanburne Academy for Poor Bright Girls. Her first position as a governess turns out to be quite the strange one. She's brought to Ashton Place and told to watch over and train the three children that the lord of the manor, Lord Fredrick, found in the woods. Lord Fredrick gives them ridiculous names and no one really expects Miss Penelope to be able to teach them anything. Of course, Miss Penelope Lumley is armed with wit, common sense, a love of learning and teaching, and the many sensible sayings of Agatha Swanburne, founder of the Swanburne school. The three children, Beowulf, Cassiopeia, and Alexander have some strange hard to break tendencies such as chasing squirrels and howling. This is probably due to their unusual upbringing by wolves. But in the end, the children prove their humanity and do abundant credit to Miss Penelope Lumley's governessing skills.
The book is written very much in the time period and vein of "The Secret Garden" or "The Little Princess" but is much more tongue-in-cheek and witty than either of those classic reads. It is very obviously also the first of a series, as the Mysterious Howling is never actually explained and really only comes in towards the end of the book anyway. This book didn't get the full amount of stars mainly for some plotting issues, but it isn't a book that is really so much about plot. It is episodic in nature, and each episode shows a little more about the characters and their relationships and loyalties to each other. The book is also, perhaps, just perhaps, a little to cheeky and impressed with itself. By which I mean, adults, especially those that loved the aforementioned Victorian girl stories will love this book and be in on the joke(s). But will it appeal so mightily to its intended audience?...more
**spoiler alert** Good, not my favorite Quinn, but enjoyable and fast paced with likeable characters.
***SPOILER ALERT*** I was less than happy about th**spoiler alert** Good, not my favorite Quinn, but enjoyable and fast paced with likeable characters.
***SPOILER ALERT*** I was less than happy about the epilogue. The Lost Duke didn't want to be duke through the ENTIRE book and nothing in his training or character seemed to point at him making a good duke whereas the displaced duke was very good at it. Yet in the epilogue Jack takes over the role and it just happens that he's awesome at it. What? I feel like that whole ducal issue is one that should have been written slightly differently. ...more
There was a lot of natural circumstantial and character tension that this book could have built upon. The historical and physical settings were well dThere was a lot of natural circumstantial and character tension that this book could have built upon. The historical and physical settings were well done and layed a solid foundation. But, instead of using the background and the natural tension to create the conflict, the author went back to the old infuriating technique in romance novels of having the characters make a bunch of assumptions about the other characters thoughts and feelings and then never talking about how they actually feel. A big pet peeve for me is inconsistencies in characters in a romance novel and this novel's characters didn't know if they were coming or going. One minute he loves her the next his eyes are glittering and cold and the next he's kissing her again without anything much transpiring to create the shifts. Also, the ending was so ridiculous, even for Victorian times, that I lost my suspension of disbelief.
Read for the setting and the background of railroads and Christmas in Victorian times, don't expect much in the way of satisfying plot or characterizations. ...more