I had trouble getting into this book. I should have loved it. I'm a sucker for marriage of convenience theme, I love tortured/angsty characters, and iI had trouble getting into this book. I should have loved it. I'm a sucker for marriage of convenience theme, I love tortured/angsty characters, and it's set in Scotland. But I had trouble connecting to the characters. Even in spite of the major angst the hero and heroine were feeling, I felt like I was viewing them through a thick glass instead of being plopped right there in the action.
I'm not saying that Kaye isn't a good writer. That's evidently true. I like how honest and authentic she is about women's issues and what it was like being a wife in the 19th century. In that sense, I did feel for Ainsley. I can imagine how difficult it must have been in her marriage, seeing her husband drive them into economic ruin and having her needs unmet and feeling like she was disgusting to her husband.
I guess my disconnect was that I didn't quite believe in the romance between Ainsley and Innes. Innes never won me over and I never formed an emotional connection to him. I think he was really cruel in some ways to Ainsley, even knowing how bad her first marriage had been. I felt the grovel at the end could have been more authentic. I don't know that I would have taken him back so easily after the way he ended things.
So sadly, I have to give this one three stars. I hope I that I enjoy her other books more, because I do see some promise in her descriptive writing, authentic heroines, and sensual romance....more
This was a wonderful book. Initially, I enjoyed the effortless chemistry between the leads and found it a pleasant read. But by the end, I was holdingThis was a wonderful book. Initially, I enjoyed the effortless chemistry between the leads and found it a pleasant read. But by the end, I was holding my breath at how well Enoch sustains the tension of their situation. Definitely recommended to fans of Scottish historical romance.
This was definitely a unique Harlequin Presents. Aiesha really is a bad girl. She's not a very nice person, and while I felt sympathy for her, at firsThis was definitely a unique Harlequin Presents. Aiesha really is a bad girl. She's not a very nice person, and while I felt sympathy for her, at first, she was not easy to like. As time went along, it was clear that her outrageous behavior and caustic personality was a defense mechanism against the deprived nature of her childhood and all its attendant disappointments. She used sex as a weapon, and I'm not ever a fan of that kind of behavior. At the same time, it was refreshing to have a bad heroine and a nice hero. Milburne flipped the usual HP script around, giving Aiesha many of the HP hero traits. I think it would have been cooler if she was independently wealthy so that 'gold digger' aspect was not part of the equation.
The sexuality was a lot more blatant in this book, probably because Aiesha is quite sexually experienced and rather callused about sex. James tends to be more circumspect about sex, although he definitely knows what he's doing in the bed. I would have loved to see him as an inexperienced hero, which would have made the role reversal more thorough. Although James does have a condemning attitude towards Aiesha initially, I really did respect and like him. He was seriously harmed emotionally by Aiesha's antics ten years ago, and had a reason to be angry. I liked that he was able to put that behind him and evaluate Aiesha more thoroughly and he had learned to see past her offensive behavior and sex kitten armor to the wounded woman underneath.
The ending was pretty cool. Aiesha gets her dream come true and her man, and realizes that she doesn't have to be ashamed of her childhood, because none of that is her fault. At the same time, I think she did learn that treating people badly because of what she'd been deprived of wasn't good behavior either.
By the end of this book, I did believe that Aiesha and James truly loved each other, and were more than willing to take a risk and go after a life together, regardless of what had taken place in the past. James showed that he was for her and she showed that she loved him in a very demonstrative way.
I would give this four stars. It was well written and thoughtful. Despite the way it seemed, this is a very angsty and rather pathos-inducing. It made me feel a bit melancholy after I finished it, so that's why I didn't rate it higher....more
I wanted to like this a little more than I did, but I did find it a pleasant and enjoyable read. Readers who enjoy spinster/rogue romance, tortured heI wanted to like this a little more than I did, but I did find it a pleasant and enjoyable read. Readers who enjoy spinster/rogue romance, tortured heroes with a bad reputation, and heroines who finally get their day in the sun, along with the fairy tale theme, will probably like this book.
As always, I enjoyed this book by Ms. Thomas. Her writing is warm and sweet and beguiling. Her characters are distinct with interesting layers. I feelAs always, I enjoyed this book by Ms. Thomas. Her writing is warm and sweet and beguiling. Her characters are distinct with interesting layers. I feel like I am an honorary member of Harmony, Texas. I am always happy to go back there for a visit.
This was a very enjoyable reading experience! I especially appreciate how much they just talked to each other and got to know each other at the beginnThis was a very enjoyable reading experience! I especially appreciate how much they just talked to each other and got to know each other at the beginning. I miss that in romances. Constant is a wonderful heroine, and it was great for Kameron to realize how much he didn't deserve her, despite the fact she loved him dearly. The story is quite interesting, but a twisty-turny path to happy ever after. I recommend it.
Kally Bright is a teenager living in the year of 2184, in Chigo (once Chicago, Illinois) , in a totalitarian society in which people are given very liKally Bright is a teenager living in the year of 2184, in Chigo (once Chicago, Illinois) , in a totalitarian society in which people are given very little choice in anything they do. The government (now called govment) has outlawed and regulated many aspects of living, and now dictates who and when people marry.
On her sixteenth birthday, Kally finds out that she must marry a man who has already been married. If she refuses, she will be given a lower-paying job, which will make her life more difficult and further limit her options, much like her mother. Kally has a hobby of fixing clocks, which is also illegal. When she starts fixing a clock for an elderly neighbor, she discovers a necklace hidden inside its case, with a pendant shaped like the globe of the former Earth, before all the mega-quakes changed the continents. She dons the necklace, and ends up traveling back to 18th century Scotland, where she saves the nearby laird’s young baby from a wolf, and ends up being temporarily adopted into the clan. An old lady she encounters tells her she is a time sneak and gives her a very important task to fulfill. Kally quickly learns to adjust to life in the 18th century, which has living in a restricted future beat by a margin, and makes close friends with the Laird Duncan’s older son, Ian. Just when she is about to accomplish her mission, she gets sent forward to her own time again. On her seventeenth birthday, Kally goes back to Scotland and encounters a sixteen-year-old Mac, the baby she once saved, and falls in love with him. Can Kally make promises of forever with Mac while her mother waits alone in the far future and when she doesn’t even understand how time sneaking works in the first place?
Sneaks takes the idea of time travel and gives us a young, appealing heroine to go along with for the ride. I enjoyed the view of 18th century Scotland, and reading about Kally adjusting to living there. She’s a fun, good-hearted girl that it’s easy to root for. Kally cares about others, even when it makes her life more difficult. The social dynamics of a teen living in a restrictive future society spoke to me. Most teens in the current day society take it for granted that they can choose their own spouse, can date whomever they desire, and pick any profession that holds their appeal; and more importantly, have access to good quality food and water and live in a clean environment. One would assume that a futuristic teen going back to pre-modern Scotland would be miserable and unhappy, but instead, Kally loves it. That was an interesting change when it comes to a time travel story.
Additionally, this story has an advantage merely for its novel theme in a genre that seems focused more on forbidden romance with bad boys of supernatural origins and the obligatory love triangle. I enjoyed the fact that B. Button took her young adult story in a different direction, and still this reader a satisfying romance to enjoy. As a person who loves books set in historical Scotland, I enjoyed those details. They felt authentic, without being tedious or like a pedantic history lesson. I have the feeling that a young female reader will appreciate the historical touches, including hunky young warriors in kilts.
As a novella, this story doesn’t have the intricate feel of a longer fiction novel. However, for what’s there, it’s a good, well-written story that involved me. The appeal of reading about a young woman as she finds out what she wants in life, and her potential as an individual is undeniable, with a deep identification factor for most women and girls. She has to balance the love for her mother with a newfound romantic love, knowing that each are important to her life, and she gets a chance to stretch her wings in a new world without the restrictions of her old, albeit future, one. I definitely enjoyed reading about Kally’s journey of love and self-discovery in Sneaks. I think this book would appeal to younger readers and older readers who enjoy young adult fiction.
After reading this entire book, I would say the comparison to Julie Garwood's Highland romance books is apt. Yet, it's good to have a new author who wAfter reading this entire book, I would say the comparison to Julie Garwood's Highland romance books is apt. Yet, it's good to have a new author who writes Highland romance with a lovable heroine and a fierce hero who is not quite tamed, but definitely gives his heart to her. If it works, why not do it?
Favorite aspects of this novel:
*Hands down, I really like Mairin. Who doesn't like a heroine who is genuinely kind and good-hearted? One who is also tough and determined but sweet and innocent as well. *A hero who does truly love her and shows it, despite the fact that it goes against his well-earned, tough-guy reputation to be a marshmallow for his woman. Ewan happily said I love you, which is awesome! (view spoiler)[Even though he married her for her dowry and heritage, in the end, he was more than willing to sacrifice that just to have her safe and sound with him. (hide spoiler)] *The suspense was good. The book starts with a bang, and the tension is well-sustained throughout with threats on Mairin's life. My heart was beating very fast towards the end. I literally wondered if I would get the happy ending I expected. Of course, I was not disappointed. *The bonding between Mairin and Crispen. Too cute how he would sleep in the bed with her and truly adored her. But then, she risked personal injury for his safety. Crispen was a cute kid period. *I felt like the period was well-represented without going too stereotypical "Highland romance." While I don't mind brogue, it was nice that Banks didn't feel the need to pepper the dialogue with Highlander accents. And the hero didn't wear a kilt. He wore trews. A Highland book but I didn't have to constantly be reminded of that in an in-your-face way.
*I think Mairin took more lickings than Harry Dresden from the series by Jim Butcher, and boy does he get hurt a lot! If this was a Charmed episode, she'd be rendered infertile by all the injuries she received (for those who watched, you know I'm talking about Piper). *Evil, evil villain. I did feel cheated that (view spoiler)[ I didn't get to see him get his arse kicked by Ewan, Mairin, or at least someone. My hope is that this is rectified in future books. (hide spoiler)]. *Really like that Rhionna promises to be a bonafide kickbutt heroine. Looking forward to her book. *The love scenes are nicely steamy! (view spoiler)[ I loved how after their first time is abbreviated by a threat, and Mairin does not have much confidence in Ewan's loving skills, he proves her wrong! (hide spoiler)]
Overall, this is a very good book. I am glad to find some newer Highland historical romance novels to read, since I enjoy them. While it wasn't mind-blowing, it was entertaining and had a novel feel to it so that I didn't feel like I was reading the same book again. The characters were well-developed and the humor touches were good. While Ewan and Mairin both have some miss-steps in their interactions with each other, it was clear that they were meant for each other, and I could feel the love. I also loved how Mairin won over the clan's loyalty.
I recommend this book to historical romance readers, especially those who enjoy medieval, Highlander books.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more