Love! Love this series! This book was even better than the first--tight plotting, great characters (who doesn't like spending time with the March fami...moreLove! Love this series! This book was even better than the first--tight plotting, great characters (who doesn't like spending time with the March family?), and as always, a simmering, long-standing attraction between spunky Lady Julia and her not-yet-quite lover Brisbane. Brisbane is every Victorian fiction lover's dream: dark, brooding, smart, HOT! And STILL they drag out the will-they-or-won't-they suspense of them getting together, which is good, but man, I want them together! Fingers crossed in book #3!
Lady Julia is resting and recovering in Italy with two of her brothers when her father summons them home to his house (an old Abbey) for Christmas in England. Unfortunately, someone gets murdered. These things tend to happen when Julia and Brisbane are together...except Brisbane brought along a fiancee (!) and hasn't contacted Julia in the 6 months she was away. That cad! I have a special fondness for Julia's busybody sister Portia, and I LOVE how Raybourn keeps some secrets back from the reader. I think she's just such a clever writer, and I love her style. Onto book #3!(less)
Raybourn continues to turn out great writing in her delicious Lady Julia Grey series, and this is no exception. Julia, to be closer to Brisbane (and k...moreRaybourn continues to turn out great writing in her delicious Lady Julia Grey series, and this is no exception. Julia, to be closer to Brisbane (and knowing it will drive him batty), travels with her sister Portia to Brisbane's new house on the Moor (against his explicit wishes that she do so), and of course it's removed, spooky, sad and haunted. She is determined that Brisbane will declare his love for her before she leaves (and also because she is sure he needs her). If he cannot, or will not, she will leave and never see him again. But she has no idea that being at the house leaves Brisbane as tortured and haunted as ever, as mysteries from his past prevent them from being together. If you want some star-crossed lovers, look no further...Heathcliff and Catherine have nothing on Julia and Brisbane! For a book with no sex scenes (sad, isn't it?) Raybourn makes these two characters absolutely sizzle with chemistry, especially because they have such good reasons (mostly due to his dangerous career choice and her financial status) why they can't be together--none of this manufactured lameness that is in so many romance novels. The story is filled with angst, but of the best kind. And finally--some resolution! I believe this is one of my favorite fiction series, possibly surpassing Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series...and my love for Jamie and Clare runs quite deep. Brisbane is really the perfect romantic gothic hero--tortured, hot, dark, deep, removed, but of course deeply in love with Julia. And Julia is just as spunky, rich, entitled, and delightful as ever. Great use of the spooky setting of the moor, and some creepy side characters make this 3rd book a lot of fun.
I'm so very excited that book #4 is coming out this fall!(less)
I actually think I liked this more than Giffin's other books, so it gets 4.5 stars (but not quite good enough for perfect 5 star chick lit). Emily Gif...moreI actually think I liked this more than Giffin's other books, so it gets 4.5 stars (but not quite good enough for perfect 5 star chick lit). Emily Giffin, like Jonathan Tropper, really understands how people behave in difficult situations, and has empathy for the bad decisions people often make. Her main characters are three dimensional and flawed, and I often come away from her stories understanding (but not agreeing with) the choices that they make.
In this case, single mother Valerie's life is turned upside down when her son is burned in an accident. Married suburbanite stay-at-home mom Tessa is married to the plastic surgeon who fixes Valerie's son and then gets more involved in their lives than he should. Watching the unfolding drama as these characters' lives intertwine and seeing just how the story would play out made this a great page-turner. I knew mostly how the story would progress, but I was interested with how they'd get there. Giffin always knows how to write shades of gray (well, except for the plastic surgeon husband...he's really the most badly behaved party in this three-person circus). There's never any easy answers when it comes to families involved with infidelities, and I liked how Giffin even made some stock one-dimensional characters (Tessa's rich neighbor lady friends...usually an easy target) have complexities in their own lives that explains why they act the way they do.
I also definitely enjoyed how Giffin weaved Something Borrowed's Dexter and Rachel into the story as her brother and sister-in-law, and didn't even realize it until someone mentioned Darcy, and I thought--wait a minute...I know that character! But I like having all the characters interact in the same universe. I enjoy the continuity!(less)