So much more to say but I realized there's just no way to fit it all here. All I can say is that after having completed this breathtaking book, my heaSo much more to say but I realized there's just no way to fit it all here. All I can say is that after having completed this breathtaking book, my heart is oh-so-happy. Pauline and Griff undoubtedly captured my heart. Another brilliant story of love. Poignant, humorous, fantastic. Hot. Holy glorious moments of Unf!
Can't wait till you get your hands on this one. (I'll post more later on.)...more
Really, really wanted to read Head Over Heels but remembered for some unknown reason that I haven't even read the first two. Gaaaah! Rectifying this mReally, really wanted to read Head Over Heels but remembered for some unknown reason that I haven't even read the first two. Gaaaah! Rectifying this mistake and now reading this one. I hope it's as feel-good as it seems to me!
So hard to rate anthologies ... also, while I'd love to sit here and write an actual review, have to just make this short and simple. So muuuch love fSo hard to rate anthologies ... also, while I'd love to sit here and write an actual review, have to just make this short and simple. So muuuch love for Jill Shalvis! Have bought her books already but don't think i have read any yet, so this is a first for me.
Jill Shalvis: All He Wants for Christmas
My, oh my. So when they say "heating up" they really mean it, heh. So many things to love about it: the inverting the usual unrequited love trope, the actual development in the love story, the whole Christmas season not overwhelming the story ... the banter, haha, I live for the banter and the tension. Dustin, how do you not love Dustin? I don't know how Christina held out for so long. :P But seriously though, I love how I went through a whole range of emotions, having those highs and experiencing those lows ... especially that pinch in your heart you get when you know, when you know that there is no way this heartache should even last.
(I don' t normally think up of real life people to base characters on but for som reason, Dustin's description just made me think of Rodrigo Santoro in Love Actually, with his quiet demeanor and his glases amd his hotness. Hahaha.)
This book, I can just forever keep it close to my heart. I can't even form the words for a review. The Rake and the Reformer. I laughed, I cried, thenThis book, I can just forever keep it close to my heart. I can't even form the words for a review. The Rake and the Reformer. I laughed, I cried, then I laughed AND cried some more. So much love.
My heart is so full from reading about these two incredible individuals who defied their situations by not letting circumstances, actions, and reactions define who they are. I reveled in the respect, and the friendship, and all the familial and romantic love found in this story. I loved every moment and I'm so glad I read this jewel.
Wow. I ... did not see that coming, but the tears, there were no stopping them. I had to pause and put the book down and gather myself first before reWow. I ... did not see that coming, but the tears, there were no stopping them. I had to pause and put the book down and gather myself first before reading the last few pages left. It was that emotionally satisfying for me, to read that scene that made me cry. Oh, so good....more
If I only had one word to use for this awesomely delicious adventure, it would be 'revelatory'. I've caught myself surprised numerous times in my readIf I only had one word to use for this awesomely delicious adventure, it would be 'revelatory'. I've caught myself surprised numerous times in my reading, which, needless to say, is thoroughly wonderful and satisfying. I was already more than halfway in lustlove with Colin and I already held Minerva dear, dear to my heart in ANTS, but AWTBW elevated that love for them to new heights.
(view spoiler)[Er, not spoilers really, but under the cut for now nonetheless.
Seeing these two lose their equilibrium as they discover and explore the truths uncovered about each other made my heart ache. We are treated to see beyond the façade, and suddenly I was seeing the imperfections and/or insecurities they attempt to amend, and there they were, authentic and heartrendingly real.
I love Colin for all his good intentions and fierce protectiveness and genuine affection for M, and I love Minerva for her bravery and fierce loyalty and for allowing herself to live her life for herself. Oh, these two. They may have seemed to be an unlikely pair in the beginning, but discerning minds know it is no coincidence that these two people gravitated towards each other; theirs is a cleverly matched alliance formed in the beginning, turned to a deeply loving allegiance that can't be shaken in the end. I'm so glad to partake in this grand adventure to see two genuinely beautiful people flourish and shine, as individuals and as partners.
A Week To Be Wicked is the second book in the Spindle Cove series, and it will be out on March 27, 2012. I've already pre-ordered my copy, but I've been very fortunate to have been given early access to the book via Edelweiss.
The third, A Lady by Midnight, will be out this September. I've been waiting for their story too, since ANTS. Heh.:D ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
He hides his true colors while she hides her true self. That statement alone would have gotten me to read this book right away, but as it was, back inHe hides his true colors while she hides her true self. That statement alone would have gotten me to read this book right away, but as it was, back in April or something, I kept hearing about this book with many readers either abhorring "that scene" and hating the book completely, or admiring the book because of it ... I didn't want to be spoiled so I went ahead and downloaded this and read straightaway. I was so very curious to see what everyone was talking about, and I was really interested to discover also what kind of reaction it would warrant from me. And oh, my. What an experience it was.
I'm not going to lie. This book is a difficult read for me. I don't like reading about betrayal and deception to begin with, because I can't abide by it in real life. Duplicity is the ultimate risk, and trust once broken is so, so hard to earn back. But then again .... people lie all the time. We tell others half truths, we tell them white lies, mostly it's sprung from our (misguided) love and our need to protect others. Truth hurts. But it hurts even more to know that the person we have trusted with our heart has outright lied to us.
Truth hurts, but it doesn't kill. Except maybe if you're Diccan, and you've uncovered a Plot To Kill Someone, and then suddenly the whole country's safety is at stake. As a spy masquerading as a diplomat, he takes his duty to serve his country to heart. He has been doing this for so long, pretending to be someone he's not, that he's perfected the art of Being Somebody Else. And he has been fine with living that kind of life, being known as The Perfection. Up until he got caught in a compromising situation with Grace. Now there's another person who exemplifies duty. As a soldier's daughter, she has learned to sacrifice her own desires. All her life, she has been exactly what others need her to be. She could not wait for the day when she is able to live freely and honestly, without reservation. Grace has dreamt of it for so long, and damn, she has definitely earned it. But she can't have it. Because that choice has been stripped away from her, and she finds herself obliged to Do The Right Thing once more. Diccan and Grace marry.
Truth doesn't kill, but it suffocates. Diccan does the honorable thing and marries Grace (although he bungles that up by not even asking properly in the first place). He knows that he was set up, and that he would be able to protect Grace by staying together. Maybe both of their names can be salvaged. When women get asked The Question, it usually signifies a happy start to their future, not a sad goodbye to dreams now dissolved. Grace entered this marriage with her eyes wide open and her heart already broken. Neither of them harbors the illusion that this marriage is a blessing.
But they do their best.
We see glimpses of who Diccan can be when not bogged down by all the secrets and lies. I think this is why I can never truly hate Diccan. Because as much as it pains me to see the repercussions of his actions are, especially towards Grace, we see how conflicted he is and how much it pains him to do the things that must be done. I think if Ms. Dreyer didn't do an exceptionally good job of showing us how this is greatly affecting Diccan as well, I wouldn't have been able to finish this book. Because truly, some of the things that Diccan does seem well and beyond redemption. To put his duty to his country over his love? Over and over again? How horrible must the choices be to choose from? And to know that each time he is hurting somebody else. Somebody who has become real to him -- a person he has come to care a great deal for. Those moments of inner conflict, when it shows he regrets his actions and that he is even disgusted with himself for putting her through so much, you get the feeling of just how unjust and cruel the fates have been to them. Because Diccan is not a detestable person. He is honorable. He is thoughtful. Protective and gentle. Despite everything he has done, he is still capable of love.
When you're just tolerating someone, you don't really get to see them for who they are, for what they have to offer, and for who you could become because they're present in your life. But once you start caring for them, you start admiring their strengths. You start being attracted to them, not just because of their looks, but because you've seen beyond. Without even knowing, you have come to accept the person just as they are. You begin to see them in a different light, respect blossoms, and love begins to grow.
Grace may not be called beautiful, she may be too tall, she may be a cripple, and she may not know the ways of the ton, but she is not just amazing ... she is real. She is smart. She recognizes truths for what they are. She is so giving, always sharing a piece of herself. Grace is a good person; kind, decent, and loving. Just don't mistake her for weak, because when she is put to the test, her strong character, solid sense of dignity and her heart worthy of love is something remarkable. I fell in love with her. No wonder Diccan fell in love with her.
But it wasn't easy. Like I said, this was tough for me to read. It was challenging for me to finish the first time because of how real it was for me. I don't know how many times I have picked this book up since I first read it. Sometimes I just flip to a page and start reading from there. More often than not, after doing that, I find myself going back from the beginning, completing the book. I've picked this book up when I was very upset at something. I picked it up when I was feeling much angst. I picked it up when I was feeling content. It didn't matter the mood and the time, I suppose, because always, it always feel like a rollercoaster and I'm guaranteed to feel something.
Grace's plight was so heartbreaking. I tried to explain it to a friend once, and usually when I do something like this I like to quote (I remember words.) a passage from the book, a part of the dialogue between the characters ... I couldn't come up with one. The book was littered with those poignant moments, when we have access to Grace's penetrating thoughts and we are allowed passages to those moments of her agonizing and heartrending resolve. It felt to me as if pieces of Grace's heart were scattered in those passages, and I felt as though I was the one who has lost her heart. I had to keep reading. I wanted to know that she didn't give up so much of herself that she becomes lost in the process. I wanted to know that she's learned to not just accept things as they come, but to fight for what she wants and what she needs. I had to know that Grace makes it, dignity in tact, heart pieced back together. I had to be strong for this character, because she had to be strong. As distressed and lost and heartbroken as I was, I still couldn't help but hold on to the hope that she will be wanted and needed and loved. Such was my tenacity in believing in their Happy Ever After.
Because Diccan and Grace, they're essentially two wounded, lovable, damaged, good people caught in the charade. Because as much as truth devastates their heart, it also ultimately frees their soul. Because everything they have been through, all the hurt, humiliation, and anger they were subjected to only strengthened character and fortified their resolve to live the life they deserve with the person they want, and need, and love.
All I can say is that the book did not disappoint. It's a rare book nowadays that can get a reader to experience a whole gamut of feelings and emotions. Surprise, happiness, angst, loneliness, rage, betrayal, shock, confusion, heartache, concern, hope, love .... and in the kind of intensity the story and the characters compels you to feel. There are times when I was just astonished at how much one person can give and overwhelmed at just how much they can take, when I was touched by simple gestures that show their real person, when I was just tempted to close the book and walk away because of the extent of anger and hurt I was feeling at that moment, and there were times when I just wanted to hug the book so close to my chest and never let it go.
This book is totally made of win, and while there are plenty of aspects for me to gush about (like the excellent build up from the get-go with their sThis book is totally made of win, and while there are plenty of aspects for me to gush about (like the excellent build up from the get-go with their sizzling chemistry and undeniable sexual tension:D), what I will take with me, in the end, are the conversations.
Genuine talk . . . angry talk, sensual talk, happy talk, revealing talk, guilty talk, upset talk, and all kinds of talk. I think it's so easy for characters to give in to lust and that's sort of their gateway to 'love' . . . Sometimes we aren't given much chance to get to know each person and the revelations about their character/history/motivation/desires are exposed swiftly. Readers aren't really shown how they fall in love . . . That's why I love this book. It's so refreshing to see these two characters, who, on the surface, are hopeless opposites of each other, but once stripped of their layers, are really just two individuals who make a perfect pair.
They battle and (she)fight the attraction (his weapon: his words; her defense: her actions) existing between them, both having a hard time with emotional ties and the intimacies it necessitates. It's lovely to see each of the characters develop (discuss!) throughout the novel; acknowledging their past, learning more about themselves in the process . . . accepting, trusting, and letting go, and finally making concessions that allowed them to submit to the Power of Love. :D
I downloaded this book on my Nook after reading A Night of Scandal, which I looooved. Needless to say, (after recovering from the book-bliss I am in right now) you will find me reading more of Ms. Sarah Morgan's work. ;)...more
Quite possibly one of the hottest, most delicious story of love I have ever read. (And trust me, I have not stopped devouring romance novels since I dQuite possibly one of the hottest, most delicious story of love I have ever read. (And trust me, I have not stopped devouring romance novels since I discovered it at the beginning of this year, and this is definitely listed in my top five.) There is this Something Special about this book that had me laughing and gasping and fanning myself and sighing and crying and everything in between. Sure, the wallflower spinster heroine has been featured many times before, and so has the rakish hero that is sure to win her heart, but in the hands of Sarah Maclean, their personalities and their stories transcends the archetypes and they simply become .... real.
Maybe it's because even though Lady Calpurnia Hartwell has been put 'on the shelf' she hasn't given up on life -- on living HER life. So though reputable and sensible, she allows herself to do the unthinkable and makes a list of things she must do in her life to satisfy her, so she can be happy. Ladies, who here has not put into words (lists!) their dreams of breaking through and accomplishing the very thing that seems out of reach, limiting us, compelling us to live our lives, but barely just. I for one, can relate to her situation of being boxed in, and I can really sympathize with her, and the only thing left for me to do was to root for this person who turned her life around by being proactive instead of just reactive; this woman who is intelligent and kindhearted, principled, loving, Callie. To see her succeed, to live and experience life and happiness, to achieve her dreams, and most important of all, to be loved, and to see herself as who she is: strong . . . impassioned . . . beautiful. All this, without hurting anyone, without being bitter and cynical, and despite her heartbreak, never wavering on her principles and not compromising her belief.
Then, there's our hero, the very man who ignited that spark within our heroine's heart, Gabriel St. John, the Marquess of Ralston, the man who got swept up in our heroine's plight of adventure (seriously, he did not stand a chance, did he?) My dear Ralston, you were made to love her, and love her you did. Charm her and love her. Infuriate her, and love her. Seduce her and love her (oh my, the sexual tension, unspeakable heights of hotness and sexiness). Encourage her, and love her. Open up to her and love her. Open her eyes to see how beautiful she is, and love her. Make sure she gets to live the life she deserves and love her. You saw her for who she is, and damn that pride, and the stubbornness (well, in you both, really), because you truly and magnificently proved to her just what she means to you.
This is one of those unputdownable books for me. One of those books that made me gasp/sigh audibly. One of those books that gave me those blasted butterflies in my stomach that seemed to turn pterodactyl-like in one of those heart-wrenching scenes. I wanted to scream in frustration and shake the person into realization. I was silently yelling at her, 'Tell him! Tell him!' I was begging him to see what was happening as it was happening and I wanted their happiness together to begin as soon as possible, anxious for the misunderstandings to be set right, knowing that True Love awaits. I wanted more of their story, after they got their happily ever after. I suppose, there is nothing left to say, except that Ms. MacLean has succeeded. Superbly, of course, because just as Ralston told Callie that kisses should not leave you satisfied, the same also goes for reading great stories.