Continuing the saga of the Alistair clan, Devil's Cub takes up the tale with the Marquis Vidal, son of the Duke of Avon and LeoniOriginally read 2008.
Continuing the saga of the Alistair clan, Devil's Cub takes up the tale with the Marquis Vidal, son of the Duke of Avon and Leonie from These Old Shades. Vidal is showing all the signs of following in his fathers infamous footsteps, gambling heavily, drinking excessively, dueling, and cutting a wide swath through the female population of England. He is cold-hearted and detached for the most part, and definitely reckless. His one real affection is his mother, and he shows a deal of respect for his father, if not actual affection.
I loved watching Vidal change. I'd have liked a little more exploration of his changed feelings, but did understand what fascinated him about Mary, and why he decided he needed her.
More than anything, perhaps, I enjoyed revisiting the characters from These Old Shades. Leonie is a funny as ever, and her interactions with Rupert are still delightful. Heyer's ability to write secondary characters is one of her strong points, and this novel is filled with people we may see only once or twice, but who are well-rounded enough to be memorable.
The last installment of the Alistair Trilogy is actually one of Heyer's historical novels, An Infamous Army, which bring together characters from these books, and a secondary character from Regency Buck. I consider The Black Moth to be the Prequel to this series, even though the names are different. It's obvious that Heyer used the Duke of Andover from The Black Moth as the inspiration for the Duke of Avon, and lifted almost the entire backstory for the characters in These Old Shades from the previous book....more
Part romance and part history, this is a truly incredible novel. I listened to the entire 15 hours over two days. I couldn't stop. I have put off listening to this book for a couple of years because I was afraid I'd find the details of the battles boring, but I needn't have worried. It's true I was a little overwhelmed at times by the sheer amount of information presented, but I was always fascinated. Even when I was a bit lost with the names and descriptions, I enjoyed the beauty of the language. I took the time to look up a little about the Battle of Waterloo, and seeing some of the people and place names in print helped me keep them somewhat straight. While I listened to the battle, which takes up about the last third of the book, I had several maps of the campaign open on the computer and was able to follow the details tolerably well that way. I paused the narration periodically to figure out the troop movements on the map, and while I'm sure the finer details still escaped me, at least I was not lost. In fact, I was mesmerized, shocked, and moved by the descriptions.
The romance was not typical of romance novels, although in retrospect it makes sense for Heyer to write it. Barbara Childs is the granddaughter of "The Devils Cub" and the great-granddaughter of Justin, the Duke of Avon in "These Old Shades." Neither of those heroes was what one would call a nice person, and neither is Barbara. What I can sometimes accept in a hero I have a little more problem with in a heroine. I disliked her extremely for the first half of the book, but was able to accept the eventual change of heart as real. Charles is a wonderful hero.
I am glad I reread "Regency Buck" right before this. Judith and Worth play a large role in An Infamous Army, and it was good to see more of them. The present Duke of Avon (Dominic of The Devil's Cub) and his wife Mary also make an appearance. Since Heyer tends to end her romances with the confession of love, it's always wonderful to see how the characters from previous books are getting on after marriage.
I recommend reading in this order: The Black Moth (the villain from this book is very obviously the prototype for the Duke of Avon in These Old Shades. Read this for the backstory, although the names were changed for These Old Shades.) These Old Shades The Devil's Cub Regency Buck An Infamous Army...more
SOA Listening Challenge 2011: Pick an audiobook that received a DIK grade at AAR in print format. TBR Challenge 2011.
I rarely give 5 star ratings, butSOA Listening Challenge 2011: Pick an audiobook that received a DIK grade at AAR in print format. TBR Challenge 2011.
I rarely give 5 star ratings, but I can't really think of a complaint about this book. The writing is clever and witty, and the narration is truly masterful. Since the plot works as a series of vignettes, it is an easy book to put down at the end of a chapter, and that can be both good and bad, I suppose. But toward the end I really didn't want to put it down. I needed to know how Miss Pettigrew's amazing day was going to end. It was wonderful!
I've seen the movie and enjoyed it very much, but the book (as is often the case) is even better!...more
Great book. I can't even think of any caveats. Super characters, plus great secondary characters who were also given interesting story lines. There weGreat book. I can't even think of any caveats. Super characters, plus great secondary characters who were also given interesting story lines. There were no overused plot devices to make me cringe, and lots of humor. I enjoyed this book from start to finish. As always, Anna Fields is unsurpassed as a narrator. ...more
TBR Challenge 2011: General read- this book has been on my TBR list for over 6 months. SFR Reading Challenge 2011: This finishes my "Earth Level" forTBR Challenge 2011: General read- this book has been on my TBR list for over 6 months. SFR Reading Challenge 2011: This finishes my "Earth Level" for the challenge, 5 sci-fi rom books in 2011. The "Moon Level" means reading 15 sci-fi rom book in 2011, and I may try for it. SOA Listening Challenge 2011- Listen to a new-to-you author.
Primary Inversion is a a difficult book to categorize. It definitely has romance, but it's not a typical "romance" novel. There is a "happy for now" with the hope of a "happy ever after," which is important to me as a reader, but there is so much more to this book. I think the main appeal of this book to the romance reader would be the intensely character-driven story. The sci-fi details are intricate and amazing, but the character development trumps even that. Sauscony is an amazing heroine. Her personal journey through this book is heart-rending and satisfying.
This is one of many books set in the Skolian Empire, and I plan on returning there to "visit" in the not-too-distant future.
I listened to the audiobook from audible.com narrated by the always excellent Anna Fields....more
Notes: Has several background characters in common with The Black Moth (Gunning sisters, Walpole, etc.). Duke of Avon very likeOriginally read 11/2008.
Notes: Has several background characters in common with The Black Moth (Gunning sisters, Walpole, etc.). Duke of Avon very like Duke of Andover, including family relationships. Davenport is like Frank Fortesque in Black Moth. There was a mention of an affair in Avon's recent past similar to plot of Black Moth. Anthony and Jenny seem like the couple from The Black Moth (Jack and Di). Jenny is the lady Avon kidnapped.
I listened to this audiobook (I'd read it in print over three years ago) mainly because of a chance comment I made to my daughter. After reading The Black Moth, I told my daughter that, although the villain, Duke of Andover, was an evil person, still, there was something about him that made me wish Heyer had written a "happy ending" for him as well. My daughter Hannah then told me about the similarities between the Duke of Andover and the Duke of Avon in These Old Shades. I was amazed at how remarkably similar the background story were once I was listening to These Old Shades and was delighted to get to see "The Devil" Andover/Avon get his redemption and happy ending.
I'd also forgotten how incredibly funny this book is, and how much I love Leonie. Every character in this book is richly drawn. Definitely one of Heyer's best....more
Although at times disturbing, Fallen from Grace was an engrossing tale. I knew going into the book that the male lead was a high class prostitute.4.5*
Although at times disturbing, Fallen from Grace was an engrossing tale. I knew going into the book that the male lead was a high class prostitute. What I didn't know, even with all the glowing reviews, was how an author could take such a sad protagonist and make him a man of character. Ryan is street smart and savvy, learning early on how to get by and make the choices necessary for his survival. His character is strong, well-developed, and gut-wrenching. Sara's character was somewhat weaker, although with depth and believable emotions.
The build up of attraction between the two leads was well crafted and subtle. The underlying emotions of both characters were completely believable an convincing. I didn't fault Sara for her reactions, they were normal and understandable. It hurt to read, but I still understood.
Another surprise in the story was the low-keyed humor. Ms. Leone used a delicate touch, and the playful banter and humorous situation took some of the edge off the the readers growing awareness that something was bound to happen between the leads, and it might not be pleasant.
Fallen from Grace is tightly written, with no filler or extraneous pieces. The information about the lives of runaways and the type of help that might be available was seamlessly woven into the story. The emotional situation Sara found herself in was powerful and thought provoking. This is not an easy book, but a very rewarding one. Highly recommended.
I recently read another book which also did an excellent job exploring the life of runaway teens. It's the fourth in a series, but the most sober of the four books: No Such Thing as a Free Ride by Shelly Fredman. Highly recommended....more
Beautifully written, surprisingly romantic, and thoroughly enjoyable. Bujold's world-building is superb, complex yet easy to imagine and follow. I looBeautifully written, surprisingly romantic, and thoroughly enjoyable. Bujold's world-building is superb, complex yet easy to imagine and follow. I look forward to the next installment. ...more
4.5* This was fun, fun, fun! I loved the characters. None of them, even the "bad guys" were stereotypical or 2-dimensional. The story was fast-moving4.5* This was fun, fun, fun! I loved the characters. None of them, even the "bad guys" were stereotypical or 2-dimensional. The story was fast-moving and well-plotted. The reader is given glimpses and hints about past secrets and future revelations, but the story unfolds naturally as the book progresses. And the action was like a roller-coaster ride with slow, tension producing climbs followed by non-stop, heart-pounding descents. I felt like I was there on the ship, on the outposts and in the dogfights. I was very thankful for the sometimes laugh-out-loud humor that was the perfect tension relief. The reception of the Gadi delegation onto the Earth ship was priceless.
The book wasn't perfect and I could nit-pick a few things. But that would be to ruin the fun for me if no one else. I choose to over-look the occasional over-the-top scene or a few moments of confusion about a point of the story. I want to bask in one of the most fun, and somehow unique, books I've read in a long time.
Oh, yeah...and there is a really sweet love story going on here, too. ;-)...more
Even more enjoyable the second time around than the first. I particularly like, who is very reminiscent of Darcy from Pride and Prejudice, but more thEven more enjoyable the second time around than the first. I particularly like, who is very reminiscent of Darcy from Pride and Prejudice, but more than that, I like that Heyer doesn't have him break character. Sylvester's feelings for Phoebe are slow to grow, and grow against his will and better judgement. I also appreciate that Phoebe isn't transformed into a beauty. In fact she never rates much more than "becoming" throughout the book. Both characters make bad decisions and have flaws, and these problems don't suddenly get resolved with an "I love you." Sylvester has to work for what he finally realizes wants, and his awakening is quite moving. These two aren't perhaps the most noble or likable character Heyer has written, but they are definitely two of the most realistic....more
I'm biased because this is written by my mother-in-law, but it really is a wonderful coming of age story set in rural VA during WWII. It has recentlyI'm biased because this is written by my mother-in-law, but it really is a wonderful coming of age story set in rural VA during WWII. It has recently been released in paperback....more
I loved the main characters in this book. They are fabulous. The story overall may be slightly weaker than some others, but a slightly weaker book froI loved the main characters in this book. They are fabulous. The story overall may be slightly weaker than some others, but a slightly weaker book from Carla Kelly is still the cream of the crop!...more