This beautifully rendered story of life and love will deeply move you. At times, it would make you laugh, though it will also make you cry/sob. If you...moreThis beautifully rendered story of life and love will deeply move you. At times, it would make you laugh, though it will also make you cry/sob. If you, like me, read through to the end and find Lou and Will's story heartachingly real and gut wrenching and yet - and yet, ultimately uplifting and inspirational, I know that we're alike in finding these people's life stories will linger in our minds and in our hearts. (Literally could not stop big, fat tears rolling down my face reading the last few chapters, it makes you wonder how you yourself would react if placed in the same position, but I'm so glad to read the letter and it's message, and know that they had joy and they were indeed happy.)(less)
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 hea...moreSo 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.)(less)
IT'S A MUST READ. I really don't want to say anything because I don't want to spoil it for you guys out there who haven't read this yet. Just. Wow. Wh...moreIT'S A MUST READ. I really don't want to say anything because I don't want to spoil it for you guys out there who haven't read this yet. Just. Wow. What an experience it will be for you. Tessa's writing is superb, and she's one of the best writers out there. The entire Spindle Cove series is just too amazing for words, so if you haven't yet, read A Night To Surrender and A Week To Be Wicked and I guarantee you'll fall in love with it just as you will for A Lady By Midnight. <3(less)
The course of true love never did run smooth. Very true, especially when it is made even more complicated when you find yourself falling in love with...moreThe course of true love never did run smooth. Very true, especially when it is made even more complicated when you find yourself falling in love with The Enemy. 'The Runaway Countess' is a stunning debut novel from Ms LaValle; it is thrilling and fraught with tension and intrigue, it is sensual and seductive, and it is sure to captivate your heart. I know that from the first chapter, I was very impressed with the crisp clarity of writing, of how the lush narrative allowed me to immerse myself in Trent and Mazie's world without diffidence.
We are immediately aware that the stakes are high; we see and feel the desperation that should overpower a weaker person, and yet loyalty, strength of character and bravery prevail, and we see into the heart of Mazie Chetwyn who has been captured, indeed guilty of the 'mercy' crimes she has committed. She knows firsthand about the oppression and corruption going on around her and has teamed up with the local highwayman, the Midnight Rider, to set things right. Of course, there are two sides to the story, and so we meet Trent Carthwick, twelfth Earl of Radford, the Lord Lieutenant of Nottinghamshire, who is principled and respectable ... a discerning and intelligent man who believes wholeheartedly in the law. The scandal surrounding the Midnight Rider and his accomplice is threatening everything he is; all he has known and worked hard for, and so he must remain in Nottinghamshire to sort it all out, capture the Midnight Rider, and reestablish the honor of his family name. He doesn't remain oblivious to the injustice and damage inflicted upon the locals for long, thanks to Mazie challenging him at every turn. Eventually, the fissures in his otherwise just and stable world emerge, and he is forced to reevaluate his position and actions regarding whom to trust, without losing faith in the system of the law.
I found myself falling for Mazie and Trent, two extraordinary people struggling to do right in this world, in their own way. Infallible they are not, but they adapt and they learn, they choose and they act, never just sitting idly by. I do so appreciate the complex situation they find themselves in, and I can't take for granted the thought process and the dueling emotions regarding the heavy decisions they both must make. Every now and then I found myself needing to pause for a bit to digest their current status or state of mind. What must it be like for Trent, finding himself inevitably drawn to, in love with, a guilty criminal, who is dead set on protecting the person he must apprehend? What then, when he finally gets to know her heart and see beyond her actions, and yet know that 'he could not have it all. He was destined to lose something in the end. ' Duty, honor, and responsibility. Freedom, happiness, and love. What must it be like for Mazie, already faced with threats to her freedom and life, but still loyal and unwavering in her protection of the Midnight Rider? What then, when she discovers for herself that though, yes, he is duty-bound and very much on the side of the law, that he has a very kind heart, that he is willing to change ... that he is also stuck in an impossible situation between the locals and the gentry, and that he is 'just a man. A man with a heart, with tears and worries of his own.' When the time comes that she is able to trust, would she also be able to give up freedom? Love? My heart breaks for them.
One of my favorite things about this book is the undeniable attraction between the two. Try as they might, and as perverse as it is to desire one's enemy, well, there it is, the attraction simmering, sizzling, burning up the pages. Oh my goodness, those scenes are so hot, sensual, and oh so delicious. Their kisses alone would have been the death of me already, but wait till you get to Chapter Sixteen. Whew. My favorite line in the entire book is about their third kiss, in fact.
It was a kiss born of thunderstorms and the wild loneliness of the night. It was hot, fierce, and needy.
I love, love Mazie's uncensored thoughts, actually laughed out loud at some of the moments when she is struggling not to feel affected, not to show that she is affected, and then finally admitting, and submitting, to her passion and desire. 'He could do whatever it was his eyes were saying they wanted to do.'
Oh, so refreshing to see a heroine voice her (treacheroussincere) desire for the hero.
He looked up at her from where he bent over the spigot. That devilish lock of hair fell across his forehead and her breath caught. Even after their argument, even after the brittle fear of the morning, she was still attracted to him. It was entirely unfair that he was so handsome. She wished he weren't so beautiful. No, she amended. She loved that he was beautiful. She wished he weren't her enemy. That he wasn't always so determined to ruin her life.
I love Trent's intensity, and by intense, I mean, wow. I'm surprised Mazie hasn't yet melted, what with the smoldering gazes, always under his scrutiny and observations and stares. I ... have no words, hehe. Trent could not disguise his attraction to her even if he tried. But more than this, I loved how Trent tried to cope with his new found feelings for her while trying to reconcile it with the reality of who Mazie was. I love the moments where we are shown Trent's kindness, his gentleness, to everyone from the locals, his sister, Mazie. Even when he knew Mazie was not being forthcoming, despite trying to reign in his feelings for Mazie, there is no doubt he is very attuned to her, even without complete comprehension.
It distressed him seeing her so upset. And his distress over her distress distressed him even more. Which made no sense being that she continued to lie to him, even knowing what he had at stake. She was a devil of a confusing woman.
There is so much to recommend in this gem of a book. One of them is Cat, Trent's unhappily married sister and Mazie's peer. I love Cat so much, and my heart goes out for her too. (Ms LaValle, we ARE going to learn more about Cat, aren't we? Yes or yes? :D) She's wonderful, I love her character so much. There are two particular conversations she had with Mazie that made me feel that gnawing ache in my heart. The first one happened when Mazie decided to hide from Trent. Two very impressive, undaunted, protective sisters, alone, together; in a large library; their conversation very telling. Cat's candor illuminating on some truths, confessed directly or otherwise. The second one happened towards the end.
“You will run.” “I don’t know.” She was honest. “Trent knows the truth, understands why the Midnight Rider did what he did. It is his decision what happens next. I am not going to stay and help your brother find my br—my friend. There is nothing left for me here.” “There is love.” Mazie shook her head. She took her stance and pulled back on her bowstring. “No matter what happens, we will hurt each other terribly/" "Does it work, running away?" Cat's voice was marked by concern and frustration. "Is that why Forster has been gone so many years?"
I really am curious to hear more about Cat. Here's to hoping we'll soon find out. :D
I thoroughly enjoyed my reading of this novel. It grips you right from the very start, and doesn't let you want to let go. It was well worth the journey to the end and see how the situations were resolved. By the time I reached the end, I had tears threatening to fall while a goofy grin was pasted on my face. I would definitely recommend 'The Runaway Countess' to everyone. :)
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 read...moreIf 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"]>(less)
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 re...moreWow. 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.(less)
I was going through my library last night when I saw this book and decided to pick it up. Obviously the summary is not going to give away the plot but...moreI was going through my library last night when I saw this book and decided to pick it up. Obviously the summary is not going to give away the plot but now that I've read the book, that summary just doesn't match for me ... it doesn't do it justice .. Because this book is not all light and fluffy. Yes, it does revolve around the marriage agreement, and it is hilarious at times, with the witty banter, the clever comebacks, with theirhis stubbornness that just endears him even more. The story though, it's got so much more to offer than that. I won't spoil it for anybody, but I will just say that there will be many people touched by Dan's situation and by Jo's circumstances. I even shed a tear or two at different times. I loved it didn't shy away from emotionally heavy matters such as those present in the book. I loved the characters, both the h/h were so real, flawed, struggling, trying, and you can't help but love them and root for them. They've been best friends practically their whole life, and you really do get the sense of their very strong and solid friendship. It made me have faith in their relationship that even as a reader, I wasn't so worried because I saw their unwavering devotion to each other. There was this great scene in the kitchen when Dan and Jo were talking, where he proved exactly how much he knows Jo, that I didn't even realize what was going on until she paused and I had the same epiphany. Jo, too, gifts Dan something like it when in the end, she gives him a chance to be alone to figure some things out. Then, there were supporting characters that were also awesome, and were actually very ... supportive of their plight, hehehe. Overall, I really enjoyed this book. There were plenty of moments to love and there were sooo many moments that made me fall in love. The ending was a little too much for me, like something I would expect from a romcom movie, but apparently Dan could do no wrong in my eyes because it just made me love him even more. This is my first of the author, but I'm definitely off to buy more of her work. :D(less)
How is it there's only five stars available? I'd pluck some more from the night skies if I could because this is just made of so much win. The kind th...moreHow is it there's only five stars available? I'd pluck some more from the night skies if I could because this is just made of so much win. The kind that really awesome romances are made of. The kind that would engage your mind and not just yor heart. You know the one. Yup, that's the kind that would make you laugh out loud, swoon and sigh and grin goofily because your heart is just so, so full of love. I still have so much to say but I'm feeling indescribably happy and I'm just bursting with joy that review will just have to wait. Hehehe.
A Night To Surrender is a gem of a read. It will take you to dizzying heights of happiness, laughter, and love (and likely even some tears -- oh, Bram!). I found ANTS to be a brilliantly written story set in a charming little seaside village, teeming with distinctive characters bound to capture your heart with their humor, tenacity, passion, and spirit.
I have a profound love for Susanna and Bram, two amazingly beautiful survivors: damaged and vulnerable, stalwart and duty-bound. From the moment they meet, each has shaken up the others' world, challenging each other in every clever way possible. Their attraction is undeniable, genuine. Their connection is substantive, vital. It's very clear that their lives will never be the same again, simply as their encounter has brought a change in them. The journey they had to take for them to be able to let love in, is not to be missed. What an adventure it was, to go from being able to recognize their own weaknesses, break down solidly built defenses, overcome their fears and let go of their insecurities, to knowing the truth that one doesn't have to be perfect to be exactly what they need, and being able to trust unequivocally, and meet in the middle without sacrificing who they are at the core. I absolutely love the flirtatious banter and the witty repartee between the two (I can't pick favorites because there's just so many, but a laugh-out-loud moment that comes to mind would be when Susanna and Bram have a conversation with Sir Lewis, The One With The 'Proposal'. Heehee.) To tell the truth, these two didn't just make me laugh, they made me cry too. Look out for that moment when Bram confronts Sir Lewis, and tell me that your heart didn't just swell even just a little, that you didn't feel even just a bit of ache, a bit of sympathy, and a lot of respect. And love. Love, that goes without saying.
The secondary characters are an awesome bunch, truly. Some had me hooting with laughter, some were very appealing and charming, some I found to be very intriguing, and some were even deceiving; vexing and disappointing and not at all perfect or how we thought they'd be. Just like in life, we have those people we love who are maybe blinded by their own passion, or perhaps who simply cannot understand us. Those are the people that force us to adapt and change, and help us be better and stronger. And oh, to have all of these people reside in a place such as Spindle Cove ... I found myself pausing at certain moments in the book, wishing SC was an actual place I could visit, real and inviting as it is. If only.
I have already recommended this to everyone I know, and I even went out to buy it for some of my closest friends, because I just couldn't contain my excitement for this book and I couldn't wait for my friends to experience the satisfaction for themselves. What an excellent way to start the series, and I cannot wait to read about Colin and Minerva's story. :D
Favorite quotes, and there are so many to choose from: (view spoiler)[
* ... with everything ...
"No, Susanna," he said. "I cannot love you just a little. If that's what you want, you must find a different man." His green eyes were breathtaking in their intensity. His thumb brushed her bottom lip. "Because I can only love you entirely. With everything I am, and everything I will be. Body, mind, heart, soul."
* ... at last ...
"A beast is just what you want. A big, dark medieval brute to throw you to the ground, tear the clothes from your body, and have his wicked way with you. I know I’m right. I haven’t forgotten how excited you were in the aftermath of that blast." The nerve of him! How could he tell? She lifted her chin. "Well, I haven't forgotten the sound you made when I first touched your brow. It wasn't even a moan, it was more like . . . like a whimper." He made a dismissive sound. "Oh yes. A plaintive, yearning whimper. Because you want an angel. A sweet, tender virgin to hold you and stroke you and whisper precious promises and make you feel human." "That's absurd," he scoffed. "You're just begging to be taught a hard, fast lesson in what it means to please a man." "You're just longing to put your head in my lap and feel my fingers in your hair. He backed her up against a rock. "You need a good ravaging." "You," she breathed, "need a hug." They stared at each other for long, tense moments. At first, looking each other in the eye. Then looking each other in the lips. "You know what I think?" he said, coming closer. So close she could feel his breath wash warm against her cheek. "I think we’re having one of those vexing arguments again." "The kind where both sides are right?" "Hell, yes." And this time, when they kissed, they both made that sound. That deep, moaning, yearning, whimpering sound. That sound that said yes. And at last. And you are exactly what I need."
* ... have a guess ...
"Tonight," he announced, "is the night we take back that village. And we're not going to do it by marching in lines or committing acts of brave idiocy. We're going to do it by being men. Manly men. The kind of men a woman wants to take control." Brows wrinkled in confusion. "But . . ." The blacksmith looked around the group. "We are men. Last I checked, anyhow." "It's not just a matter of having the proper equipment. It's using the equipment properly." Leaping up on a crate, Colin spread his arms wide. "Look at me. Now look at yourselves. Now look back at me. I am the man you want to be like." Dawes crossed his arms. "Why is that, precisely?" "Do you know how many women I've bedded?" When Rufus and Finn perked, he waved at them. "Have a guess, boys." "Seventeen," offered Finn. "More." "Eighteen." "Still more." "Er . . . nineteen?" "Oh, for the love of God," he muttered. "We'll be here all day. Let's just call the number more than you can imagine. Because clearly, that is the case." Under his breath, he added, "Perhaps higher than you know how to count."
* ... not wounded ...
"My pride's not wounded, for God's sake. And no, I'm not disappointed. Nor haunted, nor embittered, nor threatened. Stop trying to pin all these emotions on me like frilly pink ribbons. I'm not one of your delicate spinsters, Miss Finch. This isn't about my tender feelings. I have things to accomplish, and you"--he poked a single finger into her shoulder--"are hindering me."
As a hopeless romantic myself, I could not help but be mesmerized by Ms. Harriet Evans' book covers. In fact, another friend bought her book also beca...moreAs a hopeless romantic myself, I could not help but be mesmerized by Ms. Harriet Evans' book covers. In fact, another friend bought her book also because of the pretty. We just had to have it. I eventually managed to tear my eyes from the covers, and with titles and little summaries like these, who can resist what hopes to be a good read, yeah? This is a long post, and spoilers of course, so beware.
(view spoiler)[I wanted to like Laura Foster, I really did. However, in Part One, it seemed like all I wanted to do was bludgeon her into actually seeing how foolish, selfish and irrational she's being. Every time I see Dan's name on the page, I had the urge to shove someone out the window or something. I don't care how in love you think you are, it doesn't excuse you for your intentions and actions. It's not just your life you're ruining, you know (yes, no matter how contemptible that "tiny detail" Amy is -- this is why I had a difficult time charging through with the story, the affair part of it). Laura's fall from grace was warranted, as she had let her life spiral out of control for months before actually putting a stop to the madness. How to redeem this character? Fortunately for her, she has good people around her, with her friends cutting her some slack, not judging but quietly supporting (Jo/Hillary/Yorky/Chris).
When she met Nick, I had that feeling of relief, that I can actually breathe now, that here's a good guy for Laura, you know? Of course he has his secrets, of course he's got his own baggage, and I know it's enough for someone to be wary, let alone Laura who claims that she's already learned her lesson, so I understand the hesitation. It made the whole falling in love process even sweeter. I really liked Part Two of the book. (Yup, started to like Laura as soon as she didn't let herself be used anymore.) The one where I saw Laura's honesty shine (it was refreshing and it was funny, and she had me laughing out loud quite a few times too), her vulnerability and her good heart. I liked her concern for Charles, all her questions and comments about the supposed marquis, all the while directed to Nick (does anyone need to wonder what's going on internally with Nick?). No wonder Nick relished his time with her, all those moments that he was just another person, instead of a person of title. As for Nick's hiding away his true identity aside, I truly felt that he was sincere in his feelings for Laura, and that one cannot help but fall in love with him despite of it. Lucky that they found that kind of connection with each other, the one where you feel that you've known the other person since forever when it has really been days, lucky to be able to share a glass of wine and good conversation without being the least bit concerned with judgement or hidden agendas.
When things become more real (meeting the family and becoming aware of all that entails) -- they part ways. Well, Laura takes the cowardly way out. No, it's not over Cecilia, Nick's purported girlfriend (although yes, that plays a part, and no, they don't drag this out (for which I'm glad) into a Big Misunderstanding because truly she means nothing to Nick). Thinking to herself that it wouldn't really work out, that they're too different from each other . . . . she gets it in her head that she doesn't belong with him. For someone who says they're turning over a new leaf, Laura's thoughts expose the truth: Best it ends like this,a lovely memory, a beautiful summer interlude, like something out of a book. Leave it there, recognize it for what it is. Still mightily influenced by her books and romantic side, waiting for the romantic hero set-up and all. Oh, Laura. Because she's trying to change, because she wants to be a different person, she says no to The One and walks away, precisely because she's already fallen in love with him.
So, what is a girl who fled from the love of her life to do? When Laura goes back to her reality, she works hard to set things right and her efforts are not wasted. She gets back her job she earns it back. She tries to remedy the damage done in her personal relationships, with her awesome friends and her family.
Speaking of family, Mary, her grandmother, is awesome and supportive and chock-full of wisdom for Laura (Don't run away from it, just because it's difficult. Don't."). We meet her brother Simon, and witness his changing relationship with Laura as they go through somewhat parallel tales of love. She closes the chapter of her life that includes scum Dan. Her fresh start is not without its failings, as Laura, who is still grappling to find that delicate balance of being in love without being hopelessly so (she goes to extreme, denouncing love, calling it a fairy tale, and saying things like fairy tales aren't real), and though she tries to be strong, goes through a few more stumbles and falls, all of which left me with that dreadful feeling in the pit of my stomach. Oh, yes, Part Three has me rooting for Laura and her growth as a person, as well as for her and Nick to get their HEA. :D
By the time I reached Part Four, I just really, really wanted the both of them to get over the fears/insecurities/doubts/any other naggling feeling each had about committing to a relationship. Quite clear that they just ... fit. With their comfortable interactions, him with his protective gestures and allowing herself to be open to her, to confide in her, and her with the concern about his well-being and both with their love. Le sigh. Eventually Laura has an understanding of the thing that she was striving for all this time, "she'd finally recognized that she needed a balance, the balance between being hopelessly head-in-the-clouds about everything, and being Mrs. Danvers for the rest of her life, dour and dressed in black and frowning on anything enjoyable." She takes a chance again, and decides to take Nick up on his invitation. Hey, did we talk about the awesome friends/family yet? Because Charles certainly is one, and yup, the debacle notwithstanding, he was filled with good intentions. I loved that he had the guts to do what he did, and for reminding Laura why she's "special." It was good for Laura to see Nick through other people's eyes (come on, girl, this is what you're going to give up??:P) but it was also the most hilarious thing when she thought that she "couldn't bear another long exposition from yet another person about why Nick was just the greatest person in the world ever, since landlords, lords and even land were invented." Niiiiice.
Chapter 48 is made of love. From the metaphorical long/dark/gloomy room and the portraits of past Needhams looking down on them, watching, to the small/intimate/romantic gestures and whatnot. Ugh. These are the moments I have been waiting for, and for sure I will enjoy it! Damn, I miss the banter. I miss the quiet moments. Like this one:
He looked so dreadfully alone in his black jacket, the hollows of his cheekbones dark in the moonlit room, his eyes unreadable. She stared at him, drinking in the sight of him, her heart clenching as she thought how vulnerable he was, despite everything he had. She went over to him. "Not my business," she said, and shivered. "I'm sorry." He looked down at her. "What for, Laura?" he said, smiling. "What on earth for?" and he took her left hand in his right hand and put it in his jacket pocket, then did the same with her right hand, his fingers losing around hers, so that she was facing him. He said quietly, "So. I thought we weren't speaking to each other." "You were quite horrible to me last time I saw you, in London," said Laura. "Laura, shame on you." His hands, in their pockets, tightened around hers. "You were the last person I was expecting to see there. That was a good day, that day, and you came along and ruined it." "Charming!" said Laura. "I mean," he said, his mouth close to her ear, "that was the first day I hadn't thought about you. Constantly. And then there you were. Having a really bad day. And I was trying to make it better, but I didn't know what to do -- what to say..." He trailed off.
I love that they're openly talking about It now, although yes, they still do get interrupted (out of their control). Nick's declaration about who Cecilia really is to him, and his confession to Laura and imploring her to open her eyes and *see* who she truly is to him ... le sigh. Happy Book Noise, serious giggle/sigh combination.
"Nick," said Laura, putting her hands up, "really -- it's none of my business." "Isn't it? he said, his voice reverberating in her ear, his lips close to her hair. "It's nothing to do with you, is it?" "No," said Laura, shaking her head and looking up at him, bemused. "Nick -- you're the Marquis of Ranelagh. I'm nothing. Well, not nothings, but...You can do what you want, I don't--" "You still don't see it, do you?" said Nick. "Seriously, you still can't see it?" "What?" said Laura. He ran his hands through his hair and, not looking at her, said, "What if being with you was the first proper conversation I'd had with someone for years? That I felt like the person I really was, for once?" he backed away, gripped his tie, loosening it. "God, Laura. Don't say that, not you, especially not you." "What do you mean?" "You can't see it, even now?" he said tiredly. "I'm not the Marquis of Ranelagh, that's not me. That's the thing I inherited, just like you inherited your total stupidity from some family member of yours, I don't know who." Laura gasped in outraged, and he smiled wickedly at her in the darkness. She shivered. "Silly girl. I'm sorry. You're cold." He looked at her appraisingly, then took off his jacket and put it around her shoulders. "Thank you," she said. "My pleasure," he replied, mock-formally. He took a quick breath, and said, "We seem to have been going around in circles, haven't we? But let me just say this." His voice was softer. "I'm not the marquis. I am sometimes, of course. But I'm still the person you met this summer, before it all got confusing, bogged down with all that other crap." [...] "People bowing, asking the same questions all the time. It's my responsibility. I have to deal with it, and I don't mind, in fact I'm proud of it; but you -- you made me feel like a real person for once. And I -- I wanted to do the same for you. I wanted you to feel better about yourself, to realize how completely, totally wonderful you are, Laura." He took her hand and kissed her palm gently, his forehead touching hers.
This man ... oh man, straight from the heart; straight to my heart. And speaking of hearts, and the interruption, we knew it was inevitable, but it wasn't any less sad, when Laura's grandmother passed away. Her letter to Laura clarified a bunch of the mysterious comments she had told Laura previously, the one that affected her mother and aunt both. Also, the letter neatly tied-in Nick's mother's story. At the end of her grandmother's admission is the simple reminder of Laura's capacity to love. (sniff) It doesn't end in heartbreak though, as even after death, Mary was able to forge (influence?) a reunion between Nick and his mother (hooray for Nick!). There's also Laura's epiphany that she is truly happier now than she was ever before (and it really had nothing to do with Nick, but with her finally being comfortable with who she is). (Sometimes fantasy was better than reality. In moderation, as she'd assured Yorky. Obviously.)
The Declaration of Love. I was laughing and crying and swooning. Seriously, so worth it. Hahaha. Nick's impatience at Laura's bewilderment at his presence. Hee. The cheek and the boldness and confidence and the loooove. And it doesn't matter if she says no, because hot damn, he will spend the rest of his life trying to convince her otherwise. Because they should be together. THEY matter. That's all. ;)
"I'm here to tell you I love you," he said matter-of-factly. "What?" said Laura. "Yep," Nick said. He nodded. "I wish I didn't, most of the time. But I do." "You--" "Yes," said Nick calmly. "It's a really pain." He pulled her to her feet and wrapped his arms around her. "You are a thorn in my side, Laura." He bent his head and kissed her. After a few seconds he lifted his head, still holding her tightly. "An annoying, gorgeous thorn in my side. And I can't seem to get rid of you, of feeling like this. So that's why I'm here. I'm in love with you, and I know whatever you say, I always will be." He kissed her again. "I thought you should know," he said, his voice a little hoarse.
So. Even though it was rocky at first, I'm glad I didn't just put away the book because of that one situation the heroine got entangled in. It was a good journey for her; the transformation that was at times painful was believable. I truly fell for the hero, and his struggle was well-represented too. Their romance was at times sweet, at times achingly difficult, but it was real, and hot damn, they deserved the HEA. The supporting cast of characters of awesome as well, as even their plight was genuine and heartfelt and you cannot help but root for their HEA's too. :)
(The moments. Mmmm. The first kiss. The date. The picnic. The scarf. The hand holding (plural). The jacket. The Declaration of Love. Hmmmmm.) (hide spoiler)] ["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"]>["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"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
I loved these two so much!! I confess, reading the ending left me laughing hysterically at Celia and Tarquin and just grinning like a fool in love. Fe...moreI loved these two so much!! I confess, reading the ending left me laughing hysterically at Celia and Tarquin and just grinning like a fool in love. Felt the love so much; these two are definitely getting added to my favorite hero/heroine/couple list. <3(less)
I had put down the book sometime ago and it was a struggle for me to finish because of the heroine ... everyone and everything else in this story work...moreI had put down the book sometime ago and it was a struggle for me to finish because of the heroine ... everyone and everything else in this story worked beautifully for me, but I just could NOT believe the heroine's stance of doing everything her way/by herself/blah blah and not letting anyone in ... (maybe at first, sure, but after some time, and with the sincerity Kevin was showing her ...) If it weren't for Kevin (and the Kowalski's of course, and Paulie & Sam) ... gah. (less)