I'm fairly new to historical romance but this was very disappointing fare from what I perceive to be a popular author of the genre.
Though funny at tiI'm fairly new to historical romance but this was very disappointing fare from what I perceive to be a popular author of the genre.
Though funny at times, I found this book to be insubstantial and inconsistent fluff with a couple I didn't think were "made for each other" at all. The Prince wasn't drawn in a very favourable light (you get the feeling he's a useless arrogant rake) until we're told he has a degree from Oxford in archaeology and the weight of responsibility on his shoulders which meant he needed to marry an heiress in order to keep his castle full of outcast (and charming) relatives running, thereby giving him the air of an honourable gentleman. I didn't quite buy it. And to a certain extent, neither did Kate.
24-year-old "I'm over-the-hill" Kate as our downtrodden Cinderella also isn't the most endearing. Despite being intelligent and witty she's always moaning about her looks (she's not ugly, just under-nourished), her stupid "bosom friends" (wax inserts to enhance ones chest i.e. the ye olde version of chicken fillets) and pining for a man she can't have.
Their scenes together weren't all bad, witty banter aside I merely felt their relationship would be more of a fling. Berwick appeared to be a better fit or even the slightly boring Lord Hathaway who seemed charmed by her personality.
The ending left me cold. Kate is the one with all the power to grant both herself and her Prince happiness but she fails to do anything, instead leaving him to agonise over a choice: feed his family by marrying the Russian heiress or marry the seemingly penniless Kate and starve. The way she sat back and waited for him to choose her was cruel to both of them. She knew if he wasn't so desperate for money he'd marry her in a heartbeat so he couldn't be compared to her father who was marrying her mother more for greed than necessity when he rejected Henry. Not only that but if she cared for the tenants of her father's estate so much then why didn't she immediately purchase it from her stepmother upon receiving her inheritance?
Despite being a "retelling" it bore very little resemblance to the fairy tale, and I don't just mean the Disney version. The stepmother though manipulative, controlled very little. She allowed her daughter and step-daughter to walk around without supervision i.e. governesses and chaperones, which sees her daughter falling pregnant out of wedlock because she failed to educate her on sex.
Kate's godmother Henry, although I liked her I was uncomfortable with her connection to Kate's father. It seemed inappropriate that he would ask her to be Kate's godmother so I understood why Henry never took the responsibility seriously until now.
This wasn't exactly compelling reading however, the side characters were far more interesting than the leads: Henry and her husband Leo, Berwick and Effie (I loved how the Prince defended her honour and dealt with Beckham) even the horrible yapping dogs (three tiny Malteses -ew!), the lion, elephant and monkey were entertaining.
Although the author states this was 'not an historical novel' but a fairy tale she does estimate it was set around 1813 though I had my doubts. Powdered wigs were out of fashion at that time -they went out with the fall of Marie Antoinette (1793). I only mention this because their abundant use, especially the ridiculous rainbow-coloured wigs Kate wore, annoyed the hell out of me.
I'll most likely give the author a second chance with When Beauty Tamed the Beast but only because the ratings are quite a bit better than this one.
Favourite Quotes "Why did Ceasar bite Victoria, anyway? I never thought to ask." "She was feeding him from her mouth." "What?"
"He's male. I've noticed that sometimes the brains simply get left out of the package." ~ Kate
"I've no dogs, but I'm willing to consider the lion as a substitute." ~ Prince (Gabriel)
"As long as you're not as much a fool as your sister, there's no need to fuss about a bit of liberty before marriage. Just squeak loudly on your wedding night and your husband will never know." ~Henry
"Are your footmen unfortunate degenerates?" Henry put in cheerfully. "The only one of those in my household is my darling Leo." They all glanced at Henry's husband, seated opposite her. Leo gave Kate a naughty wink and said, "It takes a degenerate to keep track of my wife, I assure you. No one else would have the imagination."
"If my wife had gone to Oxford, they would have had to create a triple first," Leo said. "What did you say?" Henry asked. "In seduction," he whispered.
"Offer me a post as your mistress and I'll stab you with a fork, just as Effie stabbed Beckham. Except the fork won't go in your hand." ~Kate
"Dear me," Gabriel commented. "England seems to have suffered a rash of trollopy young ladies without fathers." ...more
After getting over the giggles and settled down to read this seriously, I found this book educational, interesting and jaw-dropping. If I'd recorded tAfter getting over the giggles and settled down to read this seriously, I found this book educational, interesting and jaw-dropping. If I'd recorded the soundtrack of me reading this it would be full of giggles, gasps, oh my gods and ewws. Anyone listening would assume I was Bonking, instead of reading about it.
Mary Roach fully immerses herself in her research, even taking part in some studies to experience the experiments for herself. I feel for her husband. Being married to her can mean finding yourself chatting to a strange man watching you having sex with your mad wife inside an MRI machine.
Her witty commentary on the history of sex research shows the people behind the white coats weren't all perverts and had a genuine scientific curiosity about sex, the most taboo subject in the world no matter time or place you live in. The negative effect this had on both their careers and their personal lives was sometimes staggering.
However, some of the experiments on animals...err...well, they were uncomfortable to read. Roach only reported on the humane ones but even those -I was questioning where the line between science and bestiality is, if there is one. I'm sorry, researchers but there was a gigantic EWW! moment involving a female primate. It was too weird.
Being female I was most interested in the female chapters than the male which tended to drag for me although penis re-attachment surgery was most...enlightening. *coughs to hide smile*
Certain statistics, anecdotes and trivia (e.g. items removed from naughty places that can't be explained without embarrassment) were spread throughout the book, many of which were in the footnotes so whatever you do, pay attention to those even if you, like some, don't particularly like Roach's writing. Her sense of humour won't be to everyone's taste, for me it's more hit than miss but I can understand why some see it as forced, trying too hard to evoke a laugh from her audience.
In an ideal world I'd want to give this to teenagers as part of their sex education. Anyone who might assume this is just some smutty perverted book just by looking at the cover, is wrong. Neither is it dry and boring, there will be no Zzzz's whilst reading this. If anything I'd warn people: You must have a strong stomach. There are graphic descriptions of surgical procedures that will have you involuntarily crossing your legs in sympathy.
So if you want to read about how men get erections, why some women orgasm and others don't then this book is for you. Have fun and try not to puke....more
Set after the Moon Trilogy, I enjoyed this more-so than those books. It was the slow burn that did it. The hero and heroine don't get together until 5Set after the Moon Trilogy, I enjoyed this more-so than those books. It was the slow burn that did it. The hero and heroine don't get together until 5 years after they first met, and the hero is the alpha of the Cat Clan -that's some self-control!
However, when Wheeler found Emma she was a mess. Damaged by the one who had turned her and forced to kill him to escape, and then with no advice or support she was doing her best to survive on her own. She didn't trust anyone, especially not some strange Cat Alpha. It took her a very long time to even step on to the Cat compound and even longer to become part of their community.
But because of the Alpha's obvious interest in her no one could get close enough to her to become her confidante and therefore impart valuable information on mating so she didn't understand the alpha's interest in her!
I loved the retrospective scenes where we come to understand Emma's background and her relationships and position with the Cat Clan. She may be a small wereanimal as an ocelot but she's fierce and cunning.
My Favourite Scene Security conscious Emma is an Ocelot to Wheeler's lazy, arrogant Lion.
'The economy of movement through the leaves of the tree made little noise, but it was enough that Wheeler turned his massive leonine head in her direction. The sight if a thirty-five pound ocelot flying directly at him must have been disconcerting. The comical expression on the feline face would have been rib-tickling if Emma could have taken a moment to stop and consider it. He was amazed that Emma was doing what she had done. The with bruising force, she abrubtly connected with his body, wrapping her claws around his neck, digging into his back with her rear legs in a manner that made Wheeler suddenly erupt with fury. She bit his neck as he leapt upward, bucking her like a horse with an unruly rider. Sharply, Emma spun on his back and raced backward down his spine, leaping over his violently slashing tail into the brush. Wheeler roared. So much for his serenity. Mere seconds later he was bellowing after her, "Emma, goddammit! What the hell was that?!"'
I knew immediately I'd have to read this. Lillian melting the stiff-upper-lipped Lord Westcliff's stern exterior is a must-read! Hilarious stuff! OnlyI knew immediately I'd have to read this. Lillian melting the stiff-upper-lipped Lord Westcliff's stern exterior is a must-read! Hilarious stuff! Only two criticisms:
1) Westcliff takes advantage of Lillian when she's very drunk. Not something I'd expect from an honourable man like him.
2) The ending with Sebastian and Evie. If I could've afforded another Kindle, I would've stomped it to teeny tiny pieces in anger. [ETA: It turned out well in the end.]
Highly recommended if you need a pick-me-up or a good laugh....more
Locked In Syndrome. It's a controversial subject that's regularly discussed in the UK, in the same sentence as "euthanasia" and "quality of life". It'Locked In Syndrome. It's a controversial subject that's regularly discussed in the UK, in the same sentence as "euthanasia" and "quality of life". It's a sad situation.
Rose was in an accident a considerable number of years ago which has left her body broken and unrecognisable. She can't do anything for herself and is constantly at the mercy of others. Her only interaction with the world is via communication device that translates what little movement she can make into a voice so she can make herself heard, though that suffers a technical fault, and watching MTV all day. She has few visitors except for her sister but never the man she loved, though it quickly becomes obvious that he married her sister.
Rose longs for the day of her death when she can walk through the special door inside her only respite and retreat to what she calls the "Mind Cafe" where she appears as her younger self, complete and healthy as before the accident, a place she can speak with those who've recently died. She wishes to join her loved ones on the other side and can't fathom why those of her family and friends who weren't disabled in a terrible accident have all died before her. What purpose is there to keep her breathing when she's a vegetable?
It's an awful situation. One in which I hope to never be in. And if I ever am, I hope euthanasia is an option by that point.
"I'm officially a dirty old man. You know how cool that is?" I shook my head. "It's one of the stages of life. Dirty old manhood is what every man secretly waits for."
Words, words, where are the words? How can I describe this?
Amazing. Awe-inspiring. Heart-achingly beautiful.
The writing, the language, the emotions and imagination -this is a work of pure genius.
I can't tell you how long I've waited to read something so completely original and inspiring.
And it's a self-contained novel. No unanswered questions that won't be satisfied in a sequel due out in a year. Oh, the glee.
It's not possible for me to go in to detail because I would give away too much. You really need to go in blind and discover that R. J. Anderson deserves an award, many awards. And of course, the tools to write yet another piece of art I can admire, clutch tightly in my hands and call it my precious.
Go read this. Beg, borrow or steal it if you have to, it's worth the jail time, I promise. Go now. I'll see you on the other side....more
After reading 11 chapters I decided to put this down and return it to the library. Not because it was terrible - the writing hooked me from the start,After reading 11 chapters I decided to put this down and return it to the library. Not because it was terrible - the writing hooked me from the start, and the characterization was detailed, delivered via "show" rather than "tell", but it was obvious to me that I was going to be strung along.
Clearly this is a mystery and not paranormal, as advertised. From Armstrong's last few novels, I knew reading the whole would provide few answers to the questions and mysteries posed in the opening chapters. Frustration would only sour my view, so I chose not to continue.
However, the little I read earned my respect for the brave Olivia and left me disgusted by her mother's weak-willed cold-heartedness and James's equally despicable spinelessness when it came to loving and supporting Olivia in spite of the type of public adversity that leaves politicians and prominent figures cringing painfully....more
Nalini Singh is an infuriating, genius of a woman. She is the master of creating and sustaining political intrigue and frustrating mysteries, all theNalini Singh is an infuriating, genius of a woman. She is the master of creating and sustaining political intrigue and frustrating mysteries, all the while skillfully conducting the actions of a small army of entertaining characters. She tantalizes and titillates the brains of her readers, challenging us to spot important information, to guess at what will happen next, manipulating our senses and emotions.
There are many questions we're all asking, the main one being: Who is the Ghost? In this book, Kaleb becomes the more likely candidate by revealing his true power and skill during an emergency rescue mission but I believe him to be a red herring, although I am interested in what his real endgame is. Despite Vasic's weary, defeated outlook his conscience also rules him out. I want to know more about Zaid Adelaja and whether he could be alive. He was the first Arrow, the son of the "father" of the Silence protocol, and someone important to Alice -he could be the Ghost. The Ghost handed Alice over to Judd and SnowDancer for safe-keeping. It could be him.
I'm extremely disappointed in Ming's pathetic plan to snare Sienna. He's supposed to be the ultimate and supreme strategist. Instead of trying to seduce her with reason alone he should've incapacitated her, implanted the control chip, force her to divulge her secrets and turn her into the weapon that would destroy her friends and mate. What an idiot. I look forward to his death.
I wasn't as interested in the romantic coupling as I thought I'd be. Adria certainly deserved happiness after Martin and Riaz had a unique hurdle to overcome but it was Adria who was unexpectedly the one required to break down and take that leap of faith. The elderly human couple was so sweet an example of a relationship without a mate bond being just as devoted and loving as a couple could be.
My favourite quote can be applied to many situations within this book:
"Some things need to broken to become stronger." ~The Ghost
Bonds, alliances and information networks have expanded and tightened. The civil war has begun. The Psy are on the brink self-destruction. Will Silence perish? And will the Net go with it? So many possible outcomes. I can't wait to find out what will happen.
Who is going to have the next book? At first I thought it would be Amara, then Vasic, and then Kaleb finds the object of his long search...Who is she? Faith's cousin, Sahara, who went missing 9 years ago, perhaps? So many mysteries. Evidently, this series still has life in it because this is book 11 and I'm not tired of it yet....more
After falling in love with Dragon Bound I didn't want to read this one because nothing could live up to that first book. Nothing. And it didn't. Not eAfter falling in love with Dragon Bound I didn't want to read this one because nothing could live up to that first book. Nothing. And it didn't. Not even close.
I liked Tricks before this book but here she was a bit irritating here. Irritatingly perfect at times. Everyone falls in love with her. And the one person who doesn't is the villain. A villain I identified very early on. I was unhappy to be proved right. I was hoping for it to be someone I'd never considered.
Tricks and Tiago together didn't quite feel right. Sure they had some funny flirtatious times but they were thrown together out of need. Tricks needed to be protected, from assassins and from herself (she doesn't know when to stop working and look after herself), and he needed a new challenge because he's easily bored if he's not out fighting. They both got what they needed but did they love each other? I can't answer in the positive because I wasn't convinced. They never really got to know each other. Character development was poor in this book compared to Dragon Bound. We barely got to know the supporting cast, even characters that were introduced in book #1 weren't given much page time.
Bought this a few years ago when I was seconded to the accounting department for 18 months. I studied this book and was very impressed with how many qBought this a few years ago when I was seconded to the accounting department for 18 months. I studied this book and was very impressed with how many questions are available to try and answer, plenty of theory and practice so that even a complete beginner like myself could understand.
Fast-forward to 2011 and I'm doing a 3-month starter course in accounting. The materials given to me were appalling so I dug this out and hey presto! I'm not as dumb as I thought. Mostly. A life-saver. ...more