Although even mediocre Loretta Chase is better than most authors, I found myself disappointed after reading this, for there had been a very long breakAlthough even mediocre Loretta Chase is better than most authors, I found myself disappointed after reading this, for there had been a very long break in which Ms. Chase wasn't gracing her world with excellently written romances. It was just on the dry side. I had to try really hard to get involved with Carsington and Mirabel, although they both were perfectly nice people and I didn't dislike them. I guess I just have very high standards for the author who wrote my favorite book of all time. So I'd give it three stars. If anything, it was a sign that Ms. Chase had not retired from writing romances forever. As Chase is a favorite, it's still a keeper for me....more
In Blue Sage, Anne Stuart poses the question, "Could you fall in love with the son of the man who murdered your parents and several other people, andIn Blue Sage, Anne Stuart poses the question, "Could you fall in love with the son of the man who murdered your parents and several other people, and maimed you for life?" And she answers it beautifully.
This is a very tough situation, and you would think that it would be way too dark to tackle in a series romance, but Ms. Stuart really does a great job with this plot. From the beginning you can see the struggle that Charles Tanner, Jr. (who goes by Tanner) has had, trying to deal with the fact that his father was a mass-murderer. He has faced prejudice because of it, even though he did nothing to earn it. This story reminds me a little of the Paul Newman movie "The Long Hot Summer" in how Ben Quick has to deal with his father's reputation as a despicable barn burner.
Ellie is an interesting character. She has been made into a living martyr by the town because she was the only survivor of the massacre. She basically has no identity outside of that, and is living a half-life but is afraid to have any goals or aspirations outside of this. When Tanner comes back to town, she is actually nicer to him than pretty much everyone else, even though she has the most reason to hate him. I believe that Ellie just wanted to get past what happen and move on, but the town wouldn't let her.
Tanner has an outcast personality, with good reason. He doesn't take crap from anyone, and says exactly what he thinks. He doesn't treat Ellie like a plaster saint. He says things that are designed to provoke her, in fact. Tanner succeeds very well in waking Ellie up out of the coma she's living in. His fearlessness inspires Ellie to become her own person and take what she wants out of life. Their relationship is a passionate and eventually loving one, but not smooth-sailing. But seeing these two characters who have so many reasons not to be together find solace, acceptance, and love, is a message that touches me. This is definitely one of her more serious category romances, but well worth the read....more
This is one of my all time favorites by Diana Palmer. What can I say, I love a hero that has scars or has lost an arm or something. Simon lost his armThis is one of my all time favorites by Diana Palmer. What can I say, I love a hero that has scars or has lost an arm or something. Simon lost his arm. He's also a bit grumpy and withdrawn. He is helplessly drawn to socialite Tira who is bright and beautiful, but he doesn't want to be. And Tira has been in love with Simon for years. She is hanging out with Charles for companionship, but Simon mistakes this as a sexual relationship and perceives Tira in a negative light because of. Nevertheless he wants her desperately. I loved all the longing and unfulfilled passions between them. I also love the way that they come together as they realize that a future without each other is not a future worth living, and thus work together resolve their issues. As I have said many times, Diana Palmer knows how to tell a love story. FYI this is part of the series of books about the Callaghan brothers. All are must reads....more
Like the sun comes up after a dark night, so love comes into the hearts of those who thought that they had no chance at being loved. Catherine AndersoLike the sun comes up after a dark night, so love comes into the hearts of those who thought that they had no chance at being loved. Catherine Anderson has made this kind of story her stock and trade, and she truly does it well.
In this heartwarming story, Laura Townsend is the unsuspecting heroine who will find love in a very unlikely place. Five years ago, Laura had a great life: an exciting career, a boyfriend, and lots of friends. Until she hit her head in a swimming accident, and obtained irreversible brain damage in the process. Now, she’s barely making ends meet with her disability, and various odd jobs. Her grandmother and her friend Mary Coulter suggest interviewing at Mary’s sons’ veterinary clinic. Laura loves animals, and taking care of them is something she can do really well, so long as she is not required to do a lot of reading. Her anxieties about not being able to do that are the only part that has her worried. She never, ever thought that the gorgeous, successful, intelligent clinic owner, Dr. Isaiah Coulter could fall in love with her, even if she loved him in return. But she was wrong.
Isaiah is a busy man. He loves his job as a veterinarian, even if he has so much work that he doesn’t even have time to eat. He agrees to consider hiring the brain-damaged young woman who is his mother’s friend’s granddaughter, but he makes no promises that he’ll hire her. She has to be able to do the job. His brother and he cannot afford to carry dead weight at their hospital. He’s sure that she won't even make it past the interview. When he sees her, he realizes how badly he’s stereotyped mentally-handicapped people, and he’s a big enough man to admit it. Laura has a beauty, a light and a sweetness, bringing joy to his life, and she’s incredible with the animals. She takes wonderful care of them and they love her back. She also takes care of the clinic employees, feeding them and making the clinic a warmer place for her presence. His life with Laura in it will never be the same. Before, his mind was focused on medicine. He didn’t even have time for dating. But each day he spends with Laura, opens his mind up to different possibilities. Even though he tells himself he’s not ready for marriage and a family, images of settling down and having a life with Laura seem to play constantly in his brain. And he admires Laura. She’s lost a lot, but worked hard to regain her independence, and to compensate for her lost ability to speak, and read words and numbers. She impresses Isaiah with her generous nature, her intelligence, and her determination. He comes to see that his life without Laura means nothing, because she brings such joy to it.
But there is someone who wants to sabotage Laura’s reputation at the clinic, and have her out of the picture. Does Isaiah trust Laura enough to believe in her integrity, and her commitment to doing what’s best for the animals in her care?
To my great joy, Isaiah did trust Laura. Even when the evidence was stacked against him. It made me livid to see how this person was sabotaging Laura (hurting animals and people in the process). And some people found it too easy to believe that just because Laura suffered from aphasia, that she was stupid and irresponsible. Honestly, I am glad I read Isaiah’s brother, Tucker’s book (Sun Kissed) before I read this one, because he really annoyed me. He was very judgmental and dismissive of Laura. His advice to Isaiah to break up with Laura was just about the last straw for me. I liked him in his book, but I didn’t end this book being such a big fan of his.
I think that the portrayal of how the mentally handicapped are perceived was daring, but truthful. Through Isaiah, I question my perceptions of mental disability. I have heard of aphasia, but I haven’t encountered someone with this disorder. Even though Laura was no less intelligent, she couldn’t communicate as well, so people would assume she was a stupid person, and some treated her that way. One would hope that people wouldn’t hold that against a person, or judge them. But Laura had faced prejudice. Her boyfriend broke up with her because of her disability, and her friends stopped calling. Although her family was loving and supportive, they had their own lives to live. Thus, Laura was trapped in a lonely world, other than her grandmother and the animals she adored. Working at the clinic opened her life to possibilities, and showed her that although her past career as a scientist was over, her ability to lead a productive, happy life was not. Isaiah was a darling guy. He truly wanted to make Laura happy, and accepted and loved her for who she was. He wasn’t ashamed because she had to speak slowly, and couldn’t read writing as easily as others. He was patient with her need to spend a lot longer at tasks others might find easy. But this wasn’t a one-way relationship. Laura takes great care of Isaiah, turning his house into a home, making sure he eats well, and has clean, neat clothes to wear. Although his stupid brother tells him he wouldn’t be happy with a woman of Laura’s shortcomings for long, Isaiah knows that it’s just the opposite. She’s the woman he had been waiting for his whole life.
This is another favorite, sweet, inspiring romance from Ms. Anderson. She has way with characters, writing lovable heroes and heroines you are happy to see fall in love. Once I started this book, I literally didn’t want to put it down. Definitely a keeper for me. ...more
Phantom Waltz is the first romance I read that has a heroine with a serious handicap. Bethany Coulter is permanently paralyzed from the waist down. WhPhantom Waltz is the first romance I read that has a heroine with a serious handicap. Bethany Coulter is permanently paralyzed from the waist down. While she has not given up on life, and maintains a healthy outlook, she has no expectations to fall in love and get married. She is very much protected and adored by her brothers, and loved by her family, so she's not a sad girl. I liked that this book doesn't come from the perspective that poor Bethany's life is over after she had the bad fall from her cutting horse. She's not mooning around and living a half-life. But love will come along and show her more possibilities for her life.
When Ryan Kendrick comes into her life, she realizes that there is a spark missing. Like many of Catherine Anderson heroes, Ryan is a man who gives his whole heart to the woman he loves, and does everything in his power to make her happy and gives fully of himself to her. Ryan is attracted to Bethany, although it comes as a bit of a surprise to him when he realizes she is in a wheelchair. I thought that was realistic. I don't think it's wrong to say that a person doesn't expect that they will fall in love and seek ever after with another person with disabilities. It's human nature for people to want life wrapped in the best package. We don't like complications as a rule. But Ryan feels an intense attraction (on many levels with Bethany), too intense to let something like her being in a wheelchair stand in the way of being with her. He quickly falls in love with Bethany, and he is willing to make whatever adjustments are necessary for them to have their happy life together. At first, Bethany's brothers are opposed to the match, because they don't believe that Ryan will stay the course, or that he's prepared for some of the hardships he will face with a disabled partner. But Ryan's steadfast devotion to Bethany eventually wins them over.
I really appreciated how Ms. Anderson infused this story with realism. In my ignorance, there are aspects of life for a disabled person that I didn't really spend much time thinking about, such as the sex life of a woman who has paralysis. I think that Ms. Anderson had to have done careful research on this to get it right. The love scenes had their characteristic steaminess for a Catherine Anderson novel, despite Bethany's handicap. You really see how Ryan is more than willing to do whatever is necessary to make sure that Bethany is fulfilled. I am rather ashamed at my ignorance on this issue. I also learned about pregnancy and childbirth considerations for a woman who is paralyzed from the waist down. I like few things more than learning something as I seek an experience for entertainment value. It's that much more rewarding for me.
There are bumps in the road, for this couple, but their love for each other sees them through. If you enjoy emotional, heartfelt contemporary romance that shows that love can overcome many obstacles, you would love this book.
This book was amazing in a lot of ways. Who would have thought I would go ga-ga over a bisexual, seriously dominant, kinda scary guy like Vishous? WelThis book was amazing in a lot of ways. Who would have thought I would go ga-ga over a bisexual, seriously dominant, kinda scary guy like Vishous? Well I fell, flat on my face. This guy is amazing. He is extremely attractive, imagine big, tall, ice blue eyes, black hair (I'm a sucker for blue eyes and black hair), and extremely intelligent also.
The way that JR Ward wrote this book did it. She put so much love and effort into telling this man's story that you couldn't help but love him. I love his selfless love for Butch. I love how he looked at Jane and saw his soulmate. I love that he fights for the Brothers and helps them out in manifold ways.
Also I cry for the torture and abuse he suffered at the hands of his so-called father. And what amounts to neglect from his mother. And then she wants him to step up as Primale and leave behind all that he loves.... Man. And not to mention having to give up Butch but always be there for him.
This book really ripped away at my heart. I couldn't put it down.
I really liked Jane. She was very down to earth and likable. But tough at the same time. Most people would have flipped out when they were exposed to a world that was so different from what they knew. She took it like a champ. And she never even blinked at the fact that Vishous was in love with another man and was seriously into bondage and stuff. She accepted him for who he was. Jane fits into the Brotherhood's life like a long-lost puzzle. She is the half to Vishous' whole that he was missing. She doesn't replace Butch but she still gives Vishous the love and acceptance he deserved for so long.
If I had one complaint, then it was how things were resolved with Jane. Don't worry. They end up together. I can't give it away because it will spoil it. I am still feeling a little uncertain about that. Otherwise, I loved this story. Even writing about it makes me get an ache in my chest....more
I loved this book. I had heard many criticisms about it not being as good as the others, and Phury not being as fleshed out. I have to say that I haveI loved this book. I had heard many criticisms about it not being as good as the others, and Phury not being as fleshed out. I have to say that I have a real understanding of Phury now. His torment is very much internal and revolves around his sense of failure, his not being able to "get there on time", as my mother so wisely said as we discussed the book last night at dinner. He failed in helping his parents, he failed in getting his brother back faster. Boy does he have a whopping case of Survivor's Guilt.
I went through the whole gamut of emotions as I read this book: anger, sadness, joy, rage, helplessness, you name it. I was right there next to Phury every step of the way. And most of all, I felt his isolation. I firmly believe that he is the least understood of the brothers, and in some ways has been given less understanding. I would never justify drug abuse, but pretty much all the Brothers, possibly excepting Wrath, have had some pretty destructive habits.
I hurt for him when he was kicked out of the Brotherhood, but at the same time, I knew it was for the best. He could not grow if he didn't leave that safety net behind. And in my understanding of addiction, you cannot enable the addicted person. Zsadist said some harsh things to Phury, and maybe they needed to be said, and at the same time, I am so glad that Phury confronted him on never saying thanks. It needed to be said. Phury has been in a vicious cycle, as my sister said. He always feels the need to play the Knight in Shining Armor, yet continually goes without having his own needs met. It has taken a toll on him and I believe, lead to him seeking solace in drugs.
These Brothers are very highly sexed individuals, so I cannot imagine how difficult it must have been to spend many, many years celibate, and Phury did not have Zsadist's issues with sex to lessen his sex drive. The red smoke was a coping mechanism that started to consume him. But what is most telling is that when Phury gets the chance to have all the sex he wants, as the Primale, he is tormented about it, and hedges at doing his duty. I interpreted this as Phury being a romantic, pure and simple. Also it tied into his Savior complex issues. He was just burned out, and the last thing he wanted was to be responsible for forty more people, and their offspring. Plus, he wanted one woman, Cormia.
Once again, I am utterly impressed with JR Ward's ability to tell a story. This book shone from the first sentence. I love how she starts the book from the Omega's perspective, showing a little of his side of things, and showing some vulnerabilities, and what seems like 'humanity' in him. It leads so well into a major shift in the storyline. And what a shift it is.
I read this book late compared to other reads. I did that on purpose. I wanted to stagger my reading of the wonderful series because I did not want to go a long time before a new installment came out. Since I am very active in the romance novel fan community, I have heard many comments about this book, a lot of them less positive. Another area of major complaints was with Cormia. I don't understand why. I adored Cormia. I think she is PERFECT for Phury. They are both innocents in some ways, and their coming together could be nothing but destiny. I was quite annoyed that Phury wouldn't yield to this destiny, but understanding his Savior/Failure complex, he felt his was not worthy of her, and would only destroy her if he gave into his love for her.
Cormia was not a doormat, as has been implied. She is a soft, sweet woman, with a backbone of TITANIUM. This is made clear in how she steps up and is not afraid to tell off the Primale. I can't blame her for being intimidated by a houseful of enormous, formidable warriors. Going from a world of white and blandness to a world full of color, textures, emotions, and sensations. In fact, I loved seeing her immerse herself in this world. I enjoyed her innocent childlike enjoyment of simply running around on the lawn, and swimming naked, smelling roses, and watching movies for the first time. If anything, I wish that Phury had spent more time with her enjoying these moments. Whenever Phury was off "lighting up" I was telling him, go "play" with Cormia. However I did like that we got to see John Matthew interact with and be attracted to Cormia and to realize that his destiny lay in another direction as far as mates, a tough, strong woman that makes his heart beat faster. That person being Xhex.
It was nice to see Cormia and Bella interact and become friends. Cormia picks up right away, that Phury is mooning over Bella. She feels that Bella is a rival for his affections, because right away, Cormia feels possessive of Phury. He is her man, and she does not want to share him with anyone, much less her Chosen sisters, or Bella. But soon, she realizes that Bella is a true friend, and that Bella wants Cormia to win Phury. I loved their girl-bonding moments.
Cormia did help Phury in ways that the other characters could not. Her love and peaceful nature helped him to deal with his demons as he detoxed from two hundred years of drug abuse. That was a grand moment for me. I love Phury and I hated seeing him on that awful downward spiral. The scene in the bathroom was one of the most painful scenes in a book I've ever read (and since we are talking about the Black Dagger Brotherhood books, that's saying something.) It made the final triumph of Phury so much sweeter. That is not to say that Phury doesn't have a hard struggle ahead, but he is not alone in it, as he soon finds out.
It was painful to see Phury and Zsadist so at odds in this book, but I realize that this had to happen for their relationship to evolve and to heal. I was so glad at the scene near the end where Zsadist comes and sings again for his brother, accompanied by the other Brothers. I was practically crying, but also smiling at this. In fact, had this not been in the book, I would have been severely disappointed. And we also find out that although it seemed that Zsadist washed his hands of Phury, he never did abandon him. That was also great to experience.
I loved seeing Cormia and Phury interact. There was chemistry and fate in their interactions, although neither really seemed to grasp it. I think their relationship is one of the sweetest, most innocent in this series, and for that, it earns a special place in my heart.
Now for the other character's in the book. It was so great to see more of the triad: John Matthew, Qhuinn, and Blaylock. I wish there was more of Blay's viewpoint, but maybe that will be in the next few books. I just love John Matthew so much. I am happy that he is healing, slowly but surely. Not there yet, but he's going in that direction. His sense of shame for what happens to him, should not be a burden he has to bear, but I was so glad that he knows that there are people there to love and support him. His heartbreak about the loss of Tohr is readily apparent. And his joy at his return was sweet.
Qhuinn is such a complex character that we are just getting to know. He is a tortured guy just as much as the other brothers. I don't like his habit of picking up any person who's interested, but it makes sense in light of his self-worth issues. I cannot believe how callous his family was. It hurts to see "a male of worth" treated in such a way. And it shows the deep decay and rot in the society of the Glymera that a terrible person like Lash is lauded, whereas a really good, worthwhile person like Qhuinn is disparaged because he happens to have odd-colored eyes. Come on now. His relationship with Blay is so moving to me. I wish I could wave a magic wand and work things out for them, but that's not meant to be. Time will tell how things resolve in their case.
Now onto Rhev. Goodness I am fascinated and attracted to his character. He is complex with a capital "C." I loved how Ward seemed to put Phury and Rhev forward as contrasts to each other. The interesting thing is that they are like different sides of the same coin. The interesting thing is that Rhev is the "dark knight," whereas Phury is the "white knight," yet in some ways Phury might be more tarnished. I don't like that Rhev is a drug-dealer and pimp. Basically he is a smooth criminal. But he is also a really good person with valid motivations. This book only made my appetite for him grow. There are so many questions about him I want answers to. I can't wait to see him find his shellan to love him. His loneliness is heartbreaking, although he does have his good friend Xhex. But even with Xhex, he has to maintain a distance that leaves him in the solitary wasteland of his own inner sorrow.
Xhex has just a small part in this book, but it makes me hunger for more. She is a really cool, interesting character. I am dying to see her and John Matthew get together. They are made for each other, although one might shake her or his head at the thought of it. The bathroom scene with them was short, but WOW! Chemistry!
Other great moments: Qhuinn finding his place in the world of the Brothers. That was so cool. Go Wrath! Also loved the advent of the oh-so intriguing Lassiter. I can't say the evolution of Lash was a great moment, but it made for good reading.
I feel I could write ten pages about this book, but I won't belabor the point. I love this book. My life has been enriched in the reading of it. And although not all the moments I experienced in the reading were fun, I have no regrets in following these characters on their dark journey, with the hope of light at the end of the tunnel. In fact, it was some of the most enjoyable hours I've spent in the past several days.
This my favorite in the Seven Brides series. For some reason I just adored Jefferson, although he was grumpy and hard to get along with. He was so hotThis my favorite in the Seven Brides series. For some reason I just adored Jefferson, although he was grumpy and hard to get along with. He was so hot to me. I like heroes who have injuries or are missing limbs, scarred, etc. He is missing an arm from the War Between The States. Jeff is quite bitter because he fought for the losing side in the war, and self-conscious about his missing arm. But boy he is so sexy that missing an arm is not a detraction (it's an added bonus for me). Violet is from the North and she is strongly anti-Southern because of her family having ties to the abolitionist movement and also due to losing a family member in the War, so there's already tension, but there was some serious chemistry and attraction between them. This drove the book and made it very enjoyable. I could read another 300 pages about Jeff because I just loved him as a hero. I liked that Violet could handle him despite him being very alpha and grumpy at that. It was also good because Jeff was stuck trying to help Violet watch his troublemaking nieces. From what I remember, the family calls them the "Terrible twins." It was pretty funny watching some of their antics, which tended to throw this unlikely couple together. Definitely a keeper in all ways. I like that they show up in later books, and in Fern, Violet makes a comment that she's been pregnant for most of their marriage (Jeff is pretty virile, as you can guess.) ...more
I can't tell you how much I love this book. It's a special love story, with characters you will never find in another book. Carter McKoy has my compleI can't tell you how much I love this book. It's a special love story, with characters you will never find in another book. Carter McKoy has my complete and utter devotion. He may not attract all romance novel fans. He doesn't talk, not that he can't. He just doesn't. He's a recluse. He's a virgin. But he's a survivor. His family was horribly murdered while he was forced to hide out. His parents told him to survive and that's what he did. His strength of will and character are what attracted me to him and earned my eternal devotion. He's a beta hero, but he's no pushover. He's capable and resourceful, and reading this book only shows just how endowed with these traits he is. One day he decides to find a wife. His chosen bride is Bailee, who has the choice of getting married to one of the men who shows up for the wife lottery or possibly being hanged for killing a man who tried to assault her and her friends. The town is so small and devoid of women that the lawman would much rather marry off the three women criminals than see them hung. It turns out to be a very fortunate day for both Bailee and Carter. Carter takes home his new bride, and the love story begins. It's a true, simple love story. Although they are not alike, Carter and Bailee are true soulmates. They embody what a marriage should be. Watching them grow to know and to love each other and take care of each other is a true joy. They truly meet each others' needs. If you want to read a different kind of romance with a very unique hero, but one that shows the true spirit of romance, read this book. I doubt that you would be disappointed. They don't call Jodi Thomas the queen of Texas romance for no reason....more
I really loved this book. I thought it was so neat to have a deaf hero, and to see how he has compensated and become a very strong, capable man duringI really loved this book. I thought it was so neat to have a deaf hero, and to see how he has compensated and become a very strong, capable man during a time when people with disabilities were discounted and not even considered worthy of having their own properties and running their lives. I also enjoyed the relationship between Mairi and Robert. Lyn Stone knows how to write romantic and sensual, and interesting love stories. A must read.”...more
Sebastian is one of the sexiest heroes ever written. Gosh the man just makes me melt. Out of all the Wallflowers, Evie is my favorite, hands-down. I tSebastian is one of the sexiest heroes ever written. Gosh the man just makes me melt. Out of all the Wallflowers, Evie is my favorite, hands-down. I thought she was an interesting character and I wanted to know more about her, although she didn't seem to say much. But what she did and didn't say sparked my curiosity about her. I knew I was eager to read her book. I was overjoyed that Ms. Kleypas paired her with Sebastian. I saw a possibility there between them, don't ask me why. Literally, I said, "Yes!" when I read the excerpt for this book and saw that they would be paired together. I loved how at first Sebastian kind of didn't see Evangeline, but when he saw her, he really saw her. He is the most considerate, divine husband for such a former rake. He is crazy about Evie and can't seem to keep his hands off of her. He sees to her every need and is very honest about his shortcomings. I was glad that Evangeline didn't just give herself away lightly to Sebastian. She treated herself with worth and that was what Sebastian needed from a woman, for a rake who could have any women he wanted (except for Lillian, a lesson he learned well in Autumn).
This book has a very wonderful transition in character. Sebastian doesn't all of a sudden become a golden boy. He'll always be acerbic, and devious. But he puts those traits to excellent use. I believe that he had the ability to be a decent person deep inside, but he just needed purpose. St. Vincent found that purpose in marrying Evie and taking over her father's gambling establishment. And it was great to see that incredible mind of his, and his energy, and creativeness go to work. His keen eye sees the opportunities in things, and good comes of it. One of the reason that Lisa Kleypas is one of my favorite authors is the way that she can write such wonderful heroes. They are not just dukes and earls, and even if they are peers, they still have an industrious core and the desire to be about something. They have depth and integrity and a core of strength that I find very attractive. Another reason is her divine touch with romance. This woman understands the power of a love story. Both traits of hers are clearly evident in this story. We also see Evie grow and become more self-confident. She went from being the shy type with a stutter (although she had to have a lion-heart to approach the worst rake in London and proposition him into marriage. Go Evie). We see how she has supported her friends and been there when they needed her. It's great to see her get something for herself and be cared for in return. Evie sees something in St. Vincent, and isn't afraid to work toward bringing that out. Watching this relationship unfold between these two very unlikely people was a divine pleasure for me. If there was any shortcoming with this book, I wish it had more love scenes (the passion is fiery between Evie and St. Vincent, I wanted more of those scenes), but otherwise this is a wonderful book and my favorite in the series.
**spoiler alert** I liked this book quite a bit. But, to be honest, I expected to like it more than I did. It was very good, and I liked both the hero**spoiler alert** I liked this book quite a bit. But, to be honest, I expected to like it more than I did. It was very good, and I liked both the hero and the heroine. Samantha really did help Gabriel to come to terms with the loss of his sight, his disfigurement, and his loss of his place as 'golden boy' in his society world. I think one of my major issues was the events after the climax. Hmm, I think I would have preferred that he not regain his sight. Sounds bad, huh? Getting his sight back made things too easy, I think. If he didn't get it back, then he really would have to change for good. But, his change was good for him, overall, but he didn't really lose anything to make a significant epiphany. Also, I didn't like how he didn't recognize Samantha when he sees Cecily again. If he was really that much in love with her, why wouldn't he have felt that connection? He had sex with her as Cecily, he'd had sex with her as Samantha, and the light bulb didn't come on. I was a bit surprised with that, considering that he was so in love with Samantha, and searched for her for many months after she disappeared. Also, I thought he was pretty callous to Cecily. She offers herself to him, and he takes what she's offering, but comes right out and coldly says, "I'll never love you." It made me wonder if he really had changed. It seemed like something the old Gabriel would have done.
This was a perfectly good book. But I don't think it's near my favorite of Teresa Medeiros's. Gabriel was, and ended up being just too much of a golden boy type for me. A man of privilege used to getting exactly what he wants in life. He suffers for a season, but he returns right back to his previous place in life, with few lessons learned. At least, that's my opinion.
This is one of those books where I wondered what really had been accomplished. If you don't think too hard and don't expect too much evolution and change in your heroes, you'll probably be fine with this book. I would have liked to see a little more in Gabriel after what he went through. I do have to say I loved Sam the dog, and Samantha, the heroine, and it was engaging and well-written. Thus, the four star rating....more
This is a truly lovely romance story about two scarred people who find each other. There are parts that made me so sad to think about how Gillian wasThis is a truly lovely romance story about two scarred people who find each other. There are parts that made me so sad to think about how Gillian was treated by her family. I was pretty curious to see how Ms. Kurland would handle a blind hero in a medieval romance. Think about it. How difficult that would be for a blinded knight? How could he run his keep, and keep what he earned by blood and sweat, in a world where might means right? I think she did a great job of dealing with the blindness issue. There's a part that is very realistic, although those who dislike heroes who are not 100% physically capable probably won't like it. But it made sense the way things happen.
I thought the emotion and love between Gillian and Christopher was so touching and poignant. The power of it transcended the words on the paper and went right to my heart. There are no love scenes in this book. And to be honest, they are not necessary. Yes, I love a good love scene, but a book that has a powerful love story doesn't need one.
This book was also good for the way you see scared, shy Gillian grow into a strong, beautiful woman. She was described as being unattractive, but part of it was because of her lack of self-esteem and belief that she was unworthy. There is no magical makeover. You see Gillian's inner beauty bloom as she is carefully tended and loved by Christopher. It brought tears to my eyes.
Christopher is a wonderful hero, thoughtful, intelligent, kind, and strong. He's been in a funk because of his loss of vision, but you don't hold that against him. It's perfectly understandable.
The humor was the perfect balance to the often dark subject matter. Colin, who has his own story in From This Moment On, is Christopher's best friend and companion. Christopher always knows when Colin is around because he can smell him. Colin's not too fond of bathing, so he has a characteristic odor. Despite my being a stickler for good personal hygiene, Colin won me over for his kind heart behind a gruff exterior. I loved his back-handed matchmaking for Gillian and Christopher.
This was a great medieval romance. Highly recommended.
Not too many romances have a hero who's describes as 'loutish,' has pervasive body odor, and is clueless about wooing a woman. I was a bit worried wheNot too many romances have a hero who's describes as 'loutish,' has pervasive body odor, and is clueless about wooing a woman. I was a bit worried when I heard of this book. I didn't see how a hero would BO would possibly appeal to me. But, I loved it. It's very funny, but also touching. Alienore is so afraid of getting married to Colin (her betrothed), she runs off, dressing as a man. She ends up being reluctant squire to Colin, who is determined to make a 'man' out of her. This book is connected to This Is All I Ask, as Colin is Christopher's best friend. Colin really endeared himself to me in This is All I Ask. So, I was excited to read his story, BO aside. Colin turns out to be a great hero, and makes a wonderful husband. Minor spoiler: love the scene near the end when he finds out Alienore is pregnant and faints dead away! Too funny!...more
This book is so good. I think it straddles the abyss of women's fiction (I hate women's fiction) but in such a good way. I say that because although iThis book is so good. I think it straddles the abyss of women's fiction (I hate women's fiction) but in such a good way. I say that because although it's a romance, it's also a story about two sisters and their journey to finding a home and stability. The writing was so effortless and the storytelling utterly addictive. The characters snuck their way inside your heart. Venus is a very unique but completely likeable heroine. Her upbringing is quite unusual, and she is a piano prodigy who ends up being a lounge singer. Her sister is the delicate, vulnerable type that men love to prey on. But you can't resent her or hold it against her. You want to give her a hug instead. Did I mention they are part Japanese? She had me there. I love reading books with characters of Asian heritage. Let me tell you about Gib. He was utterly wonderful. He is such a sweetie. He's missing part of his hand and possibly more on the sexually inexperienced side. He's strong but also kind and loving. I really loved the romance between Venus and Gib. They are two people who have been through bad times and you want them to be happy, together.
I can't say enough good things about this book. It doesn't have any suspense or uber-dramatic moments, but they are not necessary. You just want to read about these great characters that Deborah Smith has created....more
I loved this book because the hero Draker wasn't a rake, and he was socially awkward, in fact, having the disposition of a big bear with a thorn in hiI loved this book because the hero Draker wasn't a rake, and he was socially awkward, in fact, having the disposition of a big bear with a thorn in his paw. He thought he was unlovable by women, but he couldn't stay away from Regina. Regina was fascinated and drawn to him despite her determination not to marry. And honestly, so was I. For some reason I like heroes who are a little grumpy and unapproachable. I found him very sexy in fact. Regina looked and acted like a perfect princess and was very mannerly, but she had a dark secret that has tormented her. I was really glad to see them come together and find happiness. This is my favorite in The Royal Brotherhood Trilogy....more
**spoiler alert** I ended up rebuying this book after I gave it away because the hero was married while he started a relationship with the heroine. Ad**spoiler alert** I ended up rebuying this book after I gave it away because the hero was married while he started a relationship with the heroine. Adultery is one of my pet peeves. However, I regretted it, because this was a very good book. The heroine has scarred vocal chords, and is very self-conscious about the way she talks. She bonds with the hero's son, who also has a disability (I believe he is deaf). This was a very intense, emotional book. I wish that the hero had fessed up that he was still married, but otherwise, I really enjoyed it. So I had to rebuy it. That is a lesson to me. That's why I don't get rid of books that I love or like very much. In the long run, it ends up costing more because a lot of my old favorites become hard to find, such as, Desire Has No Mercy, which I finally got another copy of. This is vintage Susan Napier, and she's always good....more
I quite enjoyed this book. Andrew is the type of hero I wish I saw more in romances. He's a complete nerd and a bit of a mad-scientist inventor thrownI quite enjoyed this book. Andrew is the type of hero I wish I saw more in romances. He's a complete nerd and a bit of a mad-scientist inventor thrown in. He's a hot nerd, though, with a very sexy body and beautiful reddish hair. He sounded very very yummy to me, anyway. I loved the fiery chemistry between Andrew and Celsie. At first they thought it was mutual dislike but it turned out to be the beginning of a deep love. Although superficially they are different, there was a meeting of the minds, and a mutual respect that I believe a couple should have. I like that they were both misfits and felt like they would never be understood or accepted by society, although for different reasons.
Celsie is a tall, slender woman who feels like she's not very attractive, but Andrew definitely found her attractive from the beginning. Celsie supported Andrew's desire to invent, and Andrew supported Celsie's crusade to protect animals that few care about, such as cart horses, and dogs used to turn the spits that meat is roasted on. I could see some of myself in both of them. I am a bleeding heart and I love animals, and hate their unnecessary suffering. I am also a bit of a nerd who can get lost in the things running around my brain, like Andrew. Andrew's deep dark secret was a bit odd. I felt like more time could have been spent on wrapping that up. I don't want to spoil anyone so I won't go into detail about that.
Loved the aphrodesiac storyline. Imagine jumping someone's bones like Celsie did Andrew. That was funny and steamy. I loved glimpses of Lucian, the Duke of Blackheath, who schemes and connives to get his younger siblings married and settled. He's a great character, and I fell in love with him when I read The Wicked One, which is his book and the last in the series. It's interesting to see how things work out in this to start his relationship with Eva. They are definitely a match made in Heaven, or perhaps a place south of there.
I loved the Georgian setting, which is like Regency but a lot more wild and free-wheeling. Part of me wishes this book was about fifty pages longer so we could delve deeper into Andrew's abilities/curse, whatever you want to call it, and have a more leisurely climax. But overall, I am very happy with book and enjoyed it because it reminds me of the great historical romances I used to devour several years ago, and seem less in the offering recently. ...more
This is probably more of a 3.5/5.0, but I rounded up to a 4/5. I liked that the hero was a veterinarian, and he was a really sweet guy. You may not liThis is probably more of a 3.5/5.0, but I rounded up to a 4/5. I liked that the hero was a veterinarian, and he was a really sweet guy. You may not like the hoydenish heroine, but she really did have her reasons for running around in pants: She was trying to protect her horse from her brother's machinations, so she stole him and ran off with him, dressed as a boy. I liked Ariadne, and I felt that her actions were justified, even though she was going against social mores and codes for that time. She was between a rock and a hard place, and her brother was a lowlife. Good thing she encountered Colin, who protected her when she intervened when a jerk was beating a cart-horse to death.
I think my bar was set high because the first book I read by Ms. Harmon was The Wicked One, which I adored, so that's why I couldn't rate this one as high. However, this is a nice, enjoyable read, with a hero who is a working man--a veterinarian. He walks with a limp from an old war injury, and carries some emotional baggage from what he saw during the Napoleonic wars (another point in this book's favor). Yet, he is a very good man that I definitely fell for as a hero. Back in those days, veterinarians didn't have much social caliber (not that this has changed much), but they were very important due to the livestock industry, and the fact that people used animals as transportation. Veterinarians probably did a better job than human doctors at treating illnesses and diseases, because the educational process was better for animal medicine. When I read this, I was impressed, because you could tell that Ms. Harmon did research the horse-breeding and veterinary medicine archives for this period. Kudos to her. Pretty solid read, and worth your time, especially if you have an interest in animals, and beta heroes, for that matter....more
Simple Jess is a simple love story. People tend to think of simple things as unworthy. Not the case at all. In a world where everything is complicatedSimple Jess is a simple love story. People tend to think of simple things as unworthy. Not the case at all. In a world where everything is complicated, murky, and it's hard to tell what is real and what isn't, the simple gets taken for granted. Kind of like Jesse Best.
Merriam-Webster lists these definitions of Simple, which I will hide in a spoiler if you don't care to read them...(view spoiler)[
I am a person who puts a lot of importance in education and in using your brain. I can blame that in part on my upbringing, but not completely. I have internalized that message way too much. I think that this book was therapeutic for me. In the rat race of life, I often forget to value what there is in my life that is free from elaboration, unconditional, without guile, fundamental. I put too much importance in achieving, only to feel bereft when those things fail to deliver. At the end of the day, I can still be loved, even if I am not the MVP at my job, don’t have millions of dollars in the bank, listed as a MENSA member, or on Maxim's Hot 100 or People's most beautiful list.
Jesse is the reminder of the steadfast things in life. The pure items of worth and beauty that seem diminished when we look in the horizon and see the greener grass that doesn’t belong to us. His heart is full of love. He’s a man who can be trusted to do what he promises. His ability to forgive is not based on his lack of intelligence but in the strength of his loving heart. When Althea needed help he gave it to her, asking for very little in return. And Althea saw that what Jesse lacked was much less than what he possessed.
Althea thought being alone and independent was better than relying on anyone else. She’d always felt like the unwanted addition since her father left her and went off to remarry another woman. She was the spare relative that had to prove she was worthy of being around. She didn’t want that feeling for her son, and she jealously guarded him, afraid to allow anyone else to influence him. But Jesse showed her that it was okay to trust in someone else, with her son and with everything that was truly of value. It took the kind words of Granny Piggott to get her to see that we need people, even those people who are the hardest to deal with.
I thought about the strange magic that is love. Our tendency to believe that our soulmate will come in a certain package or a specific way. That is if we even believe that love is possible for us. But God has other plans for us. I feel that in this story he was telling me that he gives beauty for ashes. Even though Jess was born diminished, and many folks took every opportunity to remind him of that, he had been given much in return for what he lacked. And that was more than enough to see him safe, loved, and content, and a blessing to others in his life. Another reminder to me that being content is the goal. Appreciating what seems merely adequate, when beneath or through a different set of glasses is pure riches.
I appreciate the simple beauty of this story. In the simplicity, I found true richness of storytelling and a resonance on an emotional level that makes me smile as I type the final words of this review. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
When I read a book, I want to become involved emotionally. A book that does that is more likely to be highly rated. Such was the case with The Duke anWhen I read a book, I want to become involved emotionally. A book that does that is more likely to be highly rated. Such was the case with The Duke and I.
I have a sickness, an infatuation for tortured, dark, conflicted heroes. The happy-go-lucky guys don't capture my imagination nearly so much as their darker counterparts. Fortunately, Simon was tortured enough to keep me happy.
The beginning of this book was brilliantly done. I was already captivated with Simon, the future Duke of Hastings. My heart cried for him. I wanted to see him overcome the obstacles that were unfairly set before him, to become the man he was capable of being. And boy, did he become quite a man.
Imagine my surprise, that for all my affinity for Simon, that the star of this story was Daphne? She started out very mild, sweet (typical Regency heroine), not necessarily standing out. But, by the end of this book, I loved her. She was just the woman that Simon needed. He was what she wanted, and she was going to get her man, and wouldn't settle for less than all of him. She had mettle, and she wasn't afraid to challenge Simon to change the future, and to shake free from the chains of the past, which held him prisoner. Perhaps he never would have found true happiness and joy if Daphne had not hammered (gently and not so gently, at times) at the walls around his heart.
The event that puts a strain on their marriage could be read in different ways. I like that Ms. Quinn put that scene in. It was a brave move on her part. And there is enough ambiguity there to wonder if there was some culpability on Daphne's part. And it turns around some of those ever-present outcries we often get about sexual dynamics in romance.
I liked that Simon had his so-called 'flaw'. I don't tend to care for perfect characters, because I don't enjoy rooting for them nearly so much as the flawed/less-than perfect ones. I loved that Daphne accepted that about him, and thought he was wonderful for overcoming the obstacles he faced, and that she thought he was brilliant. She loved him so much, enough to fight for him, and she did many times. In fact, I'd call Daphne the Knight in Shining Armor of this book. Go, Daphne!
What was underwhelming about this book?
Well, I thought some of the humor aspects were a bit off. I couldn't find the balance between humor and angst. On the plus side, I did like the family dynamics, and the humor they brought to the situation. Those were some of my favorite humorous moments. I liked very much that Daphne's family were useful weapons in her arsenal to win her fair prince. Simon had never felt the loving bonds of family. He was captivated by the Bridgerton family dynamics, good and bad.
I must say that Anthony annoyed the crap out of me. He was a bit of a hypocrit. I think that he forgot that Simon was a man he respected, and that he cared about his best friend. When he saw that Simon and Daphne had an attraction to each other, Simon became his enemy. He refused to believe that Simon could be honorable. I know what you're saying. I realize that Anthony took his responsiblity to protect his sister seriously. But, if Simon could look at the situation from Anthony's vantage point, I would hope that Anthony would try to do the same. I didn't see him doing that. I do have to say that I really admired how well Daphne stood up to her over-protective brothers, especially when they tried to interfere in her marriage. She put her foot down, and she needed to, or that wouldn't even stop, for as long as she was married.
The other thing that bothered me about this book was that at times, it seemed to lapse into a modern voice. I know I shouldn't be so picky, but that's a rather large pet peeve of mine. However, I do have to say that for the most part, Ms. Quinn does the Regency period very well.
I thought this was a good book, and probably my second favorite novel by Julia Quinn, after To Sir Phillip with Love. I don't go for the lighter Regencies that much, but this had enough angst in it to keep me pretty happy. Although I read it for a challenge, and to get it off my tbr pile, where it had been languishing for several years, I ended up reading it very quickly, and I enjoyed it very much.