Outside of some paranormal romances and the (very) occasional contemporary, I don't read too much from the romance genre. In fact, I had all but shunnOutside of some paranormal romances and the (very) occasional contemporary, I don't read too much from the romance genre. In fact, I had all but shunned anything resembling an historical romance. Whenever the genre came to mind, all that I could imagine was ripped bodices, heaving bosoms, petticoats and engorged members. I'll admit, this was particularly unfair of me since I'm pretty open-minded when it comes to any other genre. So, when Avon sent this book along to me I didn't even intend to read it, let alone review it. In a fit of boredom I decided to pick it up and, I have to say, Ms. Warren's Seduced by His Touch has made me take a second look at the historicals that I've grossly ignored.
Due to my inexperience with the genre, my opinions don't reflect much knowledge about this sort of writing. As a novice though, I can speak to those who are of the same mind that I was pre-Seduced. My advice to historical newbies - at least give it a try.
This novel trumps most of the paranormal and contemporary romances that I've read - ever. From what I gather, the premise of the plain spinster and the charming rake is a recurring theme amongst the genre, maybe even an overused one. I can attest to that much since I went on a historical romance binge immediately after finishing this one. Despite this though, the story was rather engrossing. I didn't put it down once after I started. The heroine Grace is a refreshing character. Not only is she intelligent and talented, but she also isn't one of those whining bores who are too caught up with their spinster status to be endearing to the reader. She may not be completely happy, but she at least seems content with her life before the hero, Jack, waltzes in.
Like Grace, there's more to Jack as well. Sure, he's a bit of a slut prior to the infamous bet with Grace's father, but he's also kind and (apart from having to hide the truth behind their meeting) pretty honest. Although the circumstances of his courtship of Grace aren't to his liking, his reservations become all but non-existent once he sets eyes on her. Every romantic overture he makes comes from a place of genuine attraction. Their relationship evolves realistically and, over the course of the novel, produces plenty of funny, sexy, and touching moments. I definitely shed a tear or two during the latter half of the story. To my surprise, I also found myself quite turned on a time or two throughout.
I was glad to find that the sex scenes were pretty darned near perfect. They weren't overly sweet, nor were they vulgar. Warren also managed create just the right amount of them and placed them at appropriate points in the tale so that they never hindered the storytelling...
Going into this novel I wasn't sure what to expect. After reading the cover copy, I thought that the plot sounded like it would be a bit disjointed anGoing into this novel I wasn't sure what to expect. After reading the cover copy, I thought that the plot sounded like it would be a bit disjointed and that too much would be going on in this novel. I'm glad to say that Laura Weiss's How It Ends proved to be not only enjoyable, but also quite unique.
The course that the story takes is one of a realistic and touching evolution of the primary character Hanna. Starting with her sophomore year, Weiss illustrates all of the typical adolescent experiences but manages to make them seem fresh and significant. Hanna is a sympathetic heroine and her voice adds greatly to the narration of the story. All too often in young adult novels, the teenage experience comes across as played and it is difficult to care for the protagonist but, thankfully, Weiss doesn't fall into that trap with Hanna.
What makes this book a notable one though is the unique and touching relationship that Hanna has with her surrogate grandmother, Helen. Helen's story and point-of-view is just as integral to this novel as Hanna's. Weiss does an excellent job of weaving their intersecting tales - her success is especially apparent during the parts where the tone changes to relay Helen's past byway of the audiobook that she has written...