St. Bride's Church Fleet Street, London, England, c.1830*
★★★★½ I read this when it first came out over ten years ago and remember loving Colin. Though...moreSt. Bride's Church Fleet Street, London, England, c.1830*
★★★★½ I read this when it first came out over ten years ago and remember loving Colin. Though I’m a bit of a “re-reader,” I haven’t done so. Consequently, I jumped at the chance to join in a “buddy read,” the forth in this enduring series.
However, on re-read I was really impressed with Penelope. Don’t get me wrong: I still had heart palpitations over Colin and his deep green eyes. Nevertheless, I appreciated Penelope’s subtle straight-forward intelligence, calm humor, and not-so-common common sense. Not that she doesn’t have a secret or two up her sleeve.
I was also surprised at how much more I enjoyed seeing these two “perfect for each other” people – the wallflower spinster no one notices and the always popular “Golden Boy” – go from friendship to love on this second visit to Ms. Quinn’s world.
Of course, it isn’t strictly true that they were friends first, because Penelope has loved Colin for years. She always felt any attention Colin gave her was but perfunctory courtesy. Thus, it is a sweet delight to see him finally realize the jewel right under his nose. This story more than simply ‘holds up’ – it is definitely worthy of notice today.
P.S. I wish they’d put it on audio!
P.P.S. Ms Quinn borrowed the curmudgeonly** Lady Danbury from Stephanie Laurens’ Cynster series and made her more than a walk-on character – she’s an integral part of the plot. Such fun!
*19th century engraving; engraver unknown 19th century; public domain picture.
** Yes, I know “curmudgeonly” is a masculine term, but it works here, I think.(less)
Antique embroidered gloves in musée national de la Renaissance - end of 17th c. to early 18th c. [image error] ★★★★½ Recently re-read this one as a “bud...moreAntique embroidered gloves in musée national de la Renaissance - end of 17th c. to early 18th c. [image error] ★★★★½ Recently re-read this one as a “buddy read.” While I loved the whole “seeing her across a crowded ballroom” thing, it didn't work for some of my fellow GRs “buddy readers.” It did for me; I thought that night was magical.
I did think Benedict was a bit of a jerk about the mistress stuff, but it was realistic for the era. I was thinking of knocking this down a star because of that, but this is such a great series.
Plus, Ms. Quinn did a wonderful job on a “Cinderella” retelling. I loved to hate Sophie’s step-mother, Araminta; she really pushed my buttons. (Isn’t it interesting how some villains push your buttons more than others?) And the ending was fun.
An all-time fav that I loved so much I even bought it in hardback; nevertheless, it just didn't hold up through the years when I re-read it last year....moreAn all-time fav that I loved so much I even bought it in hardback; nevertheless, it just didn't hold up through the years when I re-read it last year. Clayton was too much of an a$$hat, especially over the last Big Misunderstanding. Still, it is a roller-coaster ride for those that like it. I remember feeling Clayton had so much potential and wanting for him to be just a little bit different so I could like him a little bit more. (At times, he appears as two different men.) This is one of those books, unlike The Flame and the Flower, that makes me question my past romance tastes. I remember reading this a couple of times back then and it made me cry. Now, I was just disgusted and disgruntled. (less)
★★★★½ I read this, the second in the Highlands’ Lairds series, years ago and thought I’d give it another go to see if it still held up. (It does!) The...more★★★★½ I read this, the second in the Highlands’ Lairds series, years ago and thought I’d give it another go to see if it still held up. (It does!) There was also going to be a “buddy read” – something I find hard to resist, since I love a good discussion about a great book.
My image of green eyed, brown-haired Gillian. Picture by artist, Cris Ortega.
Thank you, Pamela(AllHoney), one of my “buddy read” group, for introducing me to this talented artist.
What can I say about a classic Garwood Highland Medieval and –at 546 pages – a “chunkster” to boot? I feel like I’m repeating myself about Ms. Garwood; but, while there were a few LOL moments, what I really found was that I was smiling throughout this book. I like smiling while I read; it gives me a warm feeling; makes me want to hunker down under my covers and stay there, indulging in a bit of escapism to Garwood’s Medieval Scotland. This writer can get away with a subtle brand of humor that others cannot. The prologue in this one is excellent, and instantly transported me there. Even in the urgency and danger of the situation JG still managed to capture the character and innocence of a young Gillian and make me… well, smile. ☺
Here we get two love stories in one, which some people don’t like, but I found one complimented the other and made the developing friendship between the two women, Gillian and Bridgid, a more realistic relationship. It gave them something to talk about. (Not that there wasn’t enough action, intrigue, and betrayal going on in the story.) This was true for the corresponding relationship between the two long-time comrades and heroes, Brodick and Ramsey. They all got to know each other on a different level, and it is easy for me to see the four of them remaining friends for life.
That said, I felt the resolution of secondary love story was a bit too quick; greedy romance reader that I am, I would have liked a smidgen more. Maybe a wedding?
My image of Bridgid on her wedding day; I guess, Ramsey is the frog, LOL! Picture by artist, Cris Ortega.
And I felt JG missed a golden opportunity with Alec, the child that was kidnapped, when he spit after each utterance of King John’s name. To an appalled Gillian, he explained that Brodick did this too (or cursed); yet, when Brodick does mention King John later – there’s no spitting, cursing or any attempt to refrain from either. Granted, a very small flaw, but I was looking forward to the imagined scene.
Still, an almost flawless delivery of a sweet and spicy romance. I’ll have to read it again in another couple years to see if it still holds up then.
Really more like 3 ½ stars. I'm not real crazy about books where the hero is attracted to another woman, and this one was able to (eventually) overcom...moreReally more like 3 ½ stars. I'm not real crazy about books where the hero is attracted to another woman, and this one was able to (eventually) overcome my Romancelandia Rule regarding this, so I give Ms. Quinn credit. I remember my feelings for this book waxed and waned over the course of it; I fretted about how they would ever get their HEA. Still, unlike others, I did like the epilogue.(less)
My first exposure to SEP was Heaven, Texas and, therefore, it has a special place in my heart. This is not just another bad-boy football superstar wit...moreMy first exposure to SEP was Heaven, Texas and, therefore, it has a special place in my heart. This is not just another bad-boy football superstar with a diabolic gleam meets 30 year-old wallflower story. These characters had depth. (view spoiler)[I actually had to call my best friend - who doesn't read romance books, but loves football - and tell her about the scene where Gracie discovers Bobby Tom reviewing the video of his career-ending injury over and over again. I fell in love with him before that, but that just made me sob. (hide spoiler)]
Loved the road trip, Bobby Tom's menopausal mother and her secondary romance, the actress he works with on the movie, Gracie’s make-over followed by him wondering who the hell’s driving his convertible, the ice cream scene, Gracie's ideas for his old house, how you could see them falling in love as the pages turned, their real-sounding fights, LOL moments, and…well, everything. This one went directly onto my ‘re-read for comfort' bookshelf and sent me to the bookstore to pick up more of the Chicago Stars series.
Oh, and the end of Heaven, Texas is absolutely, positively worth waiting for. Actually, it is one of the best endings in many a romance book. Don’t click the following spoiler if you haven’t already read the book. (view spoiler)[SEP has an ability to make me laugh and cry at the same time, and she perfected it in Heaven, Texas. At the end, Gracie is down on the rough ground with Bobby Tom. They’re on the side of the road after he’s broken out of jail to chase after her, everybody follows along and she’s protecting him so it's really a comedy of errors-tear jerker. Question: If that happens, does it count as a groveling scene? (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
I have to confess that Emmaline Troy is one of my favorite heroines in a paranormal romance. Sometimes-only sometimes -I get especially tired of books...moreI have to confess that Emmaline Troy is one of my favorite heroines in a paranormal romance. Sometimes-only sometimes -I get especially tired of books where the heroine is the feisty, aggressive person right from the get-go. Did they pop from the womb, full Rambo-ette, ready to take on the world? (My friend swears her daughter did.) How did they get that way? It is sometimes more interesting to see a meek personality like Emma develop. Yes, she has been sheltered and she's a wuss, but she grows into a beautiful, complex blend of Vampire and Valkyrie. Plus, I loved her wardrobe. She doesn’t have a dog like most of my favorite heroines do…but wait, I forgot, Lachlain MacRieve fits that bill. :)
I also have to confess that, up until Emma, I didn't read a lot of paranormal romances. I had read all of Kresley Cole's books. That is another reason this is on my 'all-time-favorites' bookshelf. It was the one that opened me up to the genre.(less)
★★★★½ (This is a review of the audiobook.) This was a “re-read via audio” for me. I can’t believe how much I had f...moreThe match lit by the passionate Win!
★★★★½ (This is a review of the audiobook.) This was a “re-read via audio” for me. I can’t believe how much I had forgotten about Kev and Win’s love story. I have always enjoyed the appearance of these two in the other books in the Hathaways series more than in their own volume. However, on listening to the elegant Rosalyn Landor narrator this one, it is kicked up a ½ star. She is so versatile on the voices and the infection of tones and nuances for the many dramas that take place. I can’t believe I forgot the wardrobe scene, Dodger’s part in it all, Amelia’s pregnancy, and also all the secrets we learn about Kev and Cam. Well worth the “re-read” via my ears.
Made it to 4 1/2 stars; but hero was too much of an asshat at the beginning of the book to get a full ★★★★★. Not my fav by this author (so I've only r...moreMade it to 4 1/2 stars; but hero was too much of an asshat at the beginning of the book to get a full ★★★★★. Not my fav by this author (so I've only read it twice, LOL!), but still miles higher than other authors who wrote in this era.(less)