I am one of those readers who finds Ethan MacCarrick to be a completely irresistible hero. He is dark and dangerous, bitter, treacherous, unsociable,...moreI am one of those readers who finds Ethan MacCarrick to be a completely irresistible hero. He is dark and dangerous, bitter, treacherous, unsociable, but deeply delicious. I love his large scar, his hulking presence, and his surly demeanor. But most of all, I love the fact that his wounded heart falls so completely for Madeleine, who happens to be the daughter of his enemy. Initally he plans to seduce and discard her, but she captivates him, and he begins to love her. For me, this story shows that love can come to even the darker hearts.
I think Cole is a fantastic writer, and it's very evident in this story. She knows how to write passion and love, and she researches and presents the Victorian period beautifully. A recommended read if you like passionate historical romance. I plan to reread this book to give it the justice in reviewing it, that it deserves.(less)
This is one of the first Johanna Lindsey books I read. It was magic. It was also my first official sheikh book. Ever since I have had a weakness for s...moreThis is one of the first Johanna Lindsey books I read. It was magic. It was also my first official sheikh book. Ever since I have had a weakness for sheikh romances. I can't even count how many times I read this book. It's been a while but I remember being absolutely transfixed by the writing and the storytelling. It's very romantic, if you don't mind captive situations and forced seduction. I loved the reunion in England and how that plays out. Definitely one of my all time favorites.(less)
This was an interesting and enjoyable read. Vincent is an intriguing hero who thinks he feels nothing, but clearly has never gotten over his childhood...moreThis was an interesting and enjoyable read. Vincent is an intriguing hero who thinks he feels nothing, but clearly has never gotten over his childhood of emotional neglect. He does some pretty bad things because he is exacting revenge for his brother's suicide. However, he does have a turnaround and truly does repent as his love for Larissa changes his heart and melts the layer of ice that encloses the little-used member. It's a very good Christmas read that captures the elements of A Christmas Carol but also gives them a romantic aspect missing from the famous and well-loved Dickens tale. There is no magic here, well, other than the magic of love transforming a heart. Larissa is way too sweet, at least until her heart is broken. But even then, she manages to find the way to forgive Vincent, with a little help from her father. A good read to get you in the mood for Christmas.(less)
**spoiler alert** I really believe that Jared Burkett is the Antichrist. No, really. He is a lousy human being. I never warmed up to him. the reason w...more**spoiler alert** I really believe that Jared Burkett is the Antichrist. No, really. He is a lousy human being. I never warmed up to him. the reason why I somewhat like this book is the way Corinne sticks it too him with her revenge plot. Although she ruins her own reputation in the process. But it's not like she cares. She has no plans to stay in Hawaii, the land of the Jerky Husband, anyway.
I probably wouldn't like this book at all if it weren't for the scene where Corinne wants to reject her baby, but hears it crying and falls in love with her son. Okay I know that sounds cheesy, but I've read this book more than once, and this scene gets me everytime.
Jared is a hero that I wouldn't throw water on if he was on fire. He is just a nasty piece of work. He's near the top of my hated heroes of all time list. I still don't know why Corrine stayed with this man and fell back in love with him. I know a lot of readers hated Corrine. I didn't. She had some growing up to do, and started out this book a spoiled girl. But she matured very much over the course of the book, and even at her worse, she did not deserve Jared Burkett. She turns out to be a very good, loving mother, despite going through a period where she hated the fact that she was pregnant by the man who betrayed her. Is she my favorite JL heroine? No. But I thought she was an decent heroine and I did like her. I think she did grow as a person, so I respected her for that.
So I keep this book moreso to see how Corrine makes Jared look like the putz he is and for the poignant baby scene. Also because it's one of my favorite author's vintage books. I am a book collector, after all.(less)
I love this book. Samuel Gerard is three of my favorite heroes in one: virgin, warrior, and tortured. And Leda is a unique and likeable heroine. She i...moreI love this book. Samuel Gerard is three of my favorite heroes in one: virgin, warrior, and tortured. And Leda is a unique and likeable heroine. She is principled and kind, and can see past the surface to the man that Samuel is. It's a very touching book and my only complaint is I would love an epilogue about two of my favorite characters and their life together.(less)
This was an enjoyable, light, but not too light historical romance. Richard was a sweetie and so was Meriel. I liked their dynamic, how they ended up...moreThis was an enjoyable, light, but not too light historical romance. Richard was a sweetie and so was Meriel. I liked their dynamic, how they ended up being drawn together and falling in love through their mutual concern for young Stephen. I don't care for deception between the H/h, so I wasn't predisposed to this book since Richard is pretending to be someone he's not. But it was handled very well.
Meriel has to overcome her trust issues, both of herself and Richard. She is still dealing with her father's betrayal, and how it rocked her whole mindset. She's a good person, and I like how she nurtured Stephen, and that she didn't let her heart stay hardened against Richard when she realized what a good man he was.
I still like The Lord Next Door more, because it has themes I prefer, but this was quite good, and it shows Gayle Callen's talent for writing a good historical romance. I liked the way she resolved what could have been a very difficult scenario with grace and in a way that brought a smile to my face. I recommend this book.(less)
This book was on the dry side for a Dodd book. The thing that really helps it to me is Damian's passion for Katherine. He wanted her and would stop at...moreThis book was on the dry side for a Dodd book. The thing that really helps it to me is Damian's passion for Katherine. He wanted her and would stop at nothing to have her. It didn't matter that she was the widow of his good friend. Poor Katherine had no idea how to handle Damian. Otherwise I didn't really feel that compelled by the storyline, although the setting of Mexican California was interesting. I give it three stars because I am a sucker for a possessive hero who is obsessed with the heroine.(less)
I love this book. It has a heroine who has had her reputation slandered and an upright hero who ends up helping her and falling in love with her. This...moreI love this book. It has a heroine who has had her reputation slandered and an upright hero who ends up helping her and falling in love with her. This book really impressed me because of the transition of Neil from being a stuffed shirt to a man deeply in love with Elizabeth. Elizabeth really got a bad rap, and did what she could to extricate herself out of the situation, but in the minds of society, she was tarnished goods. Neil starts out looking down on her and believing the lies and the superficial gossip of what was seen on the fateful night that was the nail in the coffin of Elizabeth's reputation In fact she is an innocent and virtuous woman who is being preyed on by an unseen enemy out to ruin her. As Neil gets to know her, he comes to realize that she is a really good person. If you dislike the virginity proof is a sign of innocence plot, you would enjoy this book. Elizabeth seduces Neil while he's drunk, thinking he'll be more likely to have a sexual relationship with her if he doesn't believe she's a virgin. So his feelings for her and coming to love and respect her have nothing to do with her virginity because although he has a vague memory of having sex, he doesn't know it was with her.
Fans of the woman dressed as a man theme would also like this book. Elizabeth doesn't quite make a very convincing man. Neil and his friend immediately know she's a woman, and Neil, feeling sorry for the runaway, takes her into his house for her protection until her situation can be resolved. Events unfold to reveal that although Neil is priggish (it's a Victorian, so that's fitting) he has a good heart and a good head on his shoulders. Although Elizabeth is rather young acting and somewhat impulsive, it doesn't ruin this book for me. I think she is a good match for Neil, who really needs to learn to relax, and slowly does unwind over the course of this book.
This is another underrated gem from the Harlequin Historicals line, in my opinion.(less)
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 t...moreSebastian 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.
This was a great second entry into the Wallflower series. I really enjoyed this story and I firmly believe that Lillian and Westcliff are soulmates. T...moreThis was a great second entry into the Wallflower series. I really enjoyed this story and I firmly believe that Lillian and Westcliff are soulmates. They are both strong, vital people who are not afraid to say what they think and do what they want to do. Westcliff is a very arrogant man and very opinionated. He came off as being a little bit snobby in some ways. Not in the sense that he was too good to associate with self-made men of working class origins. He was very forward-thinking in that manner. But he was snobby in how he viewed Lillian and her sister, because they were brash Americans. Lillian is very forward thinking, and would never fit into the mold of a well-bred, quiet, English lady. Westcliff thinks that's exactly what he wants if he marries. But he's not in a hurry to marry anyway, although he knows he must. I think he was waiting for that spark that exploded when Lillian came into the picture. Perhaps his snooty attitude toward Lillian was just his way of keeping a barrier up against her. Westcliff fought his feelings for Lillian for as long as he could. But I have to give it to him, when he fell, he fell hard.
I enjoyed the way Lillian needled him. Westcliff had a tendency to take himself way too seriously. He needed to loosen up. Lillian starts out finding him too high in the instep and too stuffy and far too bossy, but at the same time, she's fiercely attracted to his muscular vitality and virlity. Westcliff is a keen sportsman and athlete. I like that he believes in working hard and isn't a rake (this was a nice change for a character who was very much of the aristocracy). I think this aura also won over Lillian. There is no question about the strong attraction between Lillian and Westcliff, and it drives this book towards its inevitable conclusion.
In this story, my favorite hero, St. Vincent, is more of a villain. What he does was very ill-advised, and he pays for it the hard way. Luckily it helps to show Marcus, Lord Westcliff, what he is about to allow to slip through his fingers. Maybe that's why Westcliff can't stay mad at him.
I can't say this is one of my favorites by LK. I think it's because Westcliff and Lillian are very abrasive characters who I love in small doses, but can overwhelm me in large doses. But, LK has never written a bad book and she never will, in my opinion. And this book fits so seemlessly into the Wallflower series (with crossover with Again the Magic since Marcus is Aline's older brother) that it's going to be a keeper by default.
Actors I would cast as Westcliff and Lillian: Jamie Bamber and Natalie Portman.