I don't really know what to say, this was all around cliched and horrible. I understand it is a novella but everything was rushed,flowery, and illogic...moreI don't really know what to say, this was all around cliched and horrible. I understand it is a novella but everything was rushed,flowery, and illogical due to the lacking character development. The synopsis has more depth than the actual tale. (less)
Prudence Lancaster is a published gothic writer, but she's been lacking inspiration for her next work. She takes a break to ponder her favorite muse W...morePrudence Lancaster is a published gothic writer, but she's been lacking inspiration for her next work. She takes a break to ponder her favorite muse Wolfinger Abbey from her window. She has adored the structure, the history, the legends of it; since childhood. Pru is interrupted from mooning over the creepy abbey next door by her chirpy younger sister, who gifts us with a dramatic account of the sparkly dandy she met in town; blah blah blah, he's one of the heirs of the Abbey, blah blah, and isn't it all grand *yawn*. Some too boring to rehash courting, visits, conversations, and attempts to finagle a visit to the abbey follow.
Then the clouds part and Earl Ravenscar bursts into the story, he's intense, tortured, and impertinent; and I tittered like any bookslut worth her salt lol. Sebastian's grandfather, The Devil Earl, was oh so evil. He was mean, violent, and handsy. There was also a little to do about locking his wife in a tower until she went mad. The combination of this bleak family history and some of Sebastien's own doings in youth, have all of proper society convinced that he's is cut from the same cloth. The fact that he often plays into the part society has assigned him, doesn't help matters. Before you can say "Holy complications, Batman" the yummy Sebastian is suspected of doing away with his brother and a meddlesome authoress is determined to clear his name.
Five minutes into this book I wanted to beat Pru's sister Phoebe to death with a mallet. Phoebe's the quintessential one dimensional "the world revolves around me" empty headed sister; which makes her the perfect match for Sebastien's Bro the silly "ne'er can do right" spare heir. There is no explanation or hints to the cause of their character, this vagueness of character motivation and plot seem to be a running theme in this novel. Prudence and Phoebe's background gist seems to be that the sisters' parents are deceased and they were then raised by their elderly grandmother who is also now deceased. But that's just a guess, all I know for sure is that the 2 young females live alone save for a servant or 2, with reputations in tact. Highly unlikely and though I'm not a hardass regarding historical accuracy, some insight to the situation would have been welcome.
The scenes between Prudence and Sebastien, chock full of tension and mirth, are where the book really shines. As a couple they're just the right blend of entertaining, adorable,and sensual. Pru's refreshingly sensible and perceptive. She doesn't temporarily spurn Sebastian for the heck of it, lose who she is, or resist the pull she feels towards the earl. From very early on she knows he's the man she's been dreaming of and trusts that he's a better man then he believes. Not even I can bring myself not to like her, despite her tendency to utter "Oh my" (13 times, and yes I'm anal enough to count lmao). After his initial combination of aloof maneuvers and insults, Sebastien shapes up into a right nice reformed rogue. He falls for Pru; spectacles, ink stained hands, eccentricities and all. So in conclusion I adored this book when it focused on the the hero and heroine and was bored to tears during the rest,when the bleh cast of characters and many unconvincing coincidences passing for plot interrupted my fun. (less)
Isadora has been married to the duke of cosway for 11yrs never in that span of time has he bothered to meet the young lady he married by proxy. She pla...moreIsadora has been married to the duke of cosway for 11yrs never in that span of time has he bothered to meet the young lady he married by proxy. She played the meek wifely role for sometime waiting for his return but as the years passed she said to hell with it and indulged in seemly wicked activities to get his attention. Well it worked, his Duke-i-ness has finally decided to make his presence known.
The very beginning of the story is enchanting which was entriely unexpected; since I hadn't cared for isadora in the slightest in previous duchess novels. She always reminded me of "Samantha from Sex in The City". Flamboyant, selfish, hussyrific, occasionally quite amusing in small doses. Simeon on the other hand is a freakazoid. He comes across sexy as hell once or twice. But mostly he's just full of hot air, vague eastern spiritual woo woo, and constant whining/yapping on about how he needs to be in control/his manhood. I'm all for He-man HULK SMASH types of heroes, but Alpha our Simeon ain't. He's more of a petulant Beta with a complex. There's also a sub plot involving Jemma which is yawn city, so I wont even waste your time summarizing it.
Early on in the novel, there are about 2-3 chapters full of way too many irksome side characters being introduced to the story and massive info dumps disguised as casual conversation. I skimmed like the dickens to get through this novel towards the end, and threw the paperback at the wall when the couple had a serious conversation about the need to have a silly foreign sounding secret code word when she needed to meekly acknowledge or comply to his demands, no matter the request or the terrorists win. With the exception of a sparse handful of delightful moments James is known for, the book sucked....hard. I'd advise skipping directly from 'Duchess By Night'(bk3) to 'A Duke of Her Own' (bk6).
a 1 star rating for me means literally what it flashes when you hover over it, "Didn't like it". And I didn't like this book, but I don't hate it. I try to use a crap load of tags to differentiate/give additional insight as to what level of non-like I felt while reading it/why. In this case, I enjoyed a few aspects of this book but the majority of its execution was WEAK. Maybe I'll continue reading some of the books in the series, maybe not. There so many really great books out there and this isn't one of them.
I was a bottomless romance pit as a teen, I read everything and loved it all( Including books that now make me gag); until I read this. It mentally sc...moreI was a bottomless romance pit as a teen, I read everything and loved it all( Including books that now make me gag); until I read this. It mentally scarred me at 16 so much, that I didn't touch a historical romance again until I was 25.
The entire book our hero's either acting from selfish ulterior motives, paranoid distrust (that results in cruelty), or 'let's make this all about me' guilt = /. During the course of the book he beats her until she cries (I forget whether it was a horse whip or a riding crop), rapes, threatens to cheat, and desserts his heroine not once but twice due to his own idiocy (each time leaving his lady love to grovel to win him back). The book ended with me disgusted about how he broke Whitney's spirit with all the emotional abuse and since none of his issues trusting her are ever resolved the HEA is unbelievable.(less)
**spoiler alert** Lottie had lived most of her life under the thumb of her family's crazed benefactor. She ran away and has found a semblance of peace...more**spoiler alert** Lottie had lived most of her life under the thumb of her family's crazed benefactor. She ran away and has found a semblance of peace in the country, until she's found by a certain dangerous bow street runner. The first 8 chapters are magical but IMO the story goes down hill pretty quickly after. There are a few mini plots (secret identities, mental scars, family issues) aside from the main romance/protection plot. With skill extremely predictable books can be enjoyable, but this ain't the case here. I guess my biggest gripe is that 'Lady Sophia's Lover' was so brilliant. The Chemistry between Sophia and Ross is explosive not just the eventual sex; but the banter and how we watch their attraction grow into love. We're never shown that with Nick and Lottie, just told.
So what he buys her a crap load of dresses and some candy. Nick never fleshes out into a fully dimensional character. All we're left knowing at end of the novel is mostly what we went in knowing he's handsome, reckless, and something horrible happened to him as a teen. Now he just has a wife and a few other superficial changes to his residence and profession.
quick summary of chpts 7-12 : (all side plots not included purposely)
:cue hot sex: Lottie: tell me about your self Nick: * I'm so not talking to you now, I'm as cold as Ice. Feel the chill of my haughty retreat into myself* Lottie: Oh noez, I've gone and done it again *haz a sad* Nick: (my secret is so dark, so painful) *sigh*
Nick: Lets go shopping *spend spend spend* Lottie: wait..no...ok yay!
Nick: Danger is so smexy :sex sex sex: Lottie: lets sleep in my room together Nick: NEVER!! I'm off to run the streets, that'll learn you.* flips cape in the wind dramatically then flees into the night* Lottie: I shall cringe like a abused puppy and wring my hands until he returns. * fret fret fret*
Lottie: why is he so schitzo? I just want to wuvvvv him... Nick's Sister: He's mysterious, he's always been mysterious *dum dum dum dum*
*shop spend shop spend shop*
Nick: the crazy old man will never get you, I will protect you always. *frowns* ( unless he manages to get in your bedroom while your sleeping, then your shit out of luck) Lottie: Your the bestest, except when you acting like a petulant ass which is most of the time; but I'm martyr.
: a few more temper tantrums from Nick and kinky sex scenes:
Lottie: It's ok you can tell me. Nick: I can't *sigh* Lottie: sure you can, I bet it starts with a "r" and rhymes with ape.... go for it Nick: Oh no, it wasn't that. The great horror of my life doesn't have the actual gravity of "that". Alas, I'm plagued by guilt, memories of violence, criminals,and death... though I've done really bad things, am a former criminal king pin, have seen and caused much death, and partake in violence often. *trembles* Lottie: I still love you. Nick: *shock awe*
So while sex scenes were smokin', there was no actual romance to speak of nor character growth. Personally I think Kleypas was trying so hard to throw in enough tortured angst and cliched themes that she lost her way.