One of the best Medieval romance books I have read. It made my cry and laugh. The main and secondary characters were wonderful and the action was steaOne of the best Medieval romance books I have read. It made my cry and laugh. The main and secondary characters were wonderful and the action was steady. Great insight into the heroine's feelings of isolation. Wonderful love story.
Update: This one is on my ‘favorites’ list and now that I see Amazon has it available via Kindle I thought I would do a quick review here. I have recently re-read it and it still holds up. If you are looking for a book with a good medieval Scotland setting, this is a very good one with a twist. The beginning starts with the heroine about to be burned at the stake as a witch. Gwendolyn has endured prejudice and rejection all her life and the author does a wonderful character study of her. She is one of the strongest fragile persons in many a book. In an enjoyable Robin Hood fashion, Mad Alex saves her. Karyn Monk is such a good writer she is able to take the reader back to a time when many people were superstitious and yet manages to bring today’s issues to life, i.e. those of being ostracized and bullied. She made me cry, she made me laugh. I felt for these characters, including the secondary ones, even if the later are somewhat one-dimensional. This is the book that made Karyn Monk an auto-buy author for me. ...more
What is a Contemporary Romance doing on my Favorite’s shelf when it is mostly filled with Historicals? One word: Walker. I fell in love with this stroWhat is a Contemporary Romance doing on my Favorite’s shelf when it is mostly filled with Historicals? One word: Walker. I fell in love with this strong, quiet Marine. Susan Mallery wrote him to perfection: a lone wolf searching with tenacity for meaning in a cruel world. His backstory broke my heart, yet was not too melodramatic – and a probable response for a 17 - 18 year-old guy. The whole book was very down to earth and realistic, especially the dialogues. Elissa was a believable character making concerted strides forward in her life; I could understand her wariness and not wanting to be indebted to anyone. I liked her relationship with her adorable five-year old daughter Zoë and their cooking efforts. It was a fast read, seemed to flow, and I could see Walker and Elissa fall in love as the pages turned. But then, I’m a sucker for a couple that tries to remain ‘just friends’ while fighting their attraction and SM writes it well. My only complaint is I would have like more of these three characters in the rest of the Buchanan series, though they do pop up.
Side story: The whole flat tire episode in the opening sequence worked for me. Funny that I got one soon after reading this book. I was working Nights (I’m an ICU nurse) – a time when tire stores are closed. My husband - a very busy man, who considers time as money, however has always been concerned about my safety - didn’t tell me when he went to go to work in the morning, he just drove to the store and bought all four new top-of-the-line tires while I was sleeping and had them put on. People in my unit were talking about romantic things their spouses did and I mentioned this and received a lot of flak about it, most of which was that it didn’t fit the criteria. Months later one of the flak-throwers went out to the garage to go to work and found a note from their husband on the steering wheel: ‘Your left front tire is flat.’ Not having AAA, and needing to get to her shift on time, the hospital had to pay for a taxi to drive her to work; she told me when she arrived that she’d changed her opinion. :o) ...more
I am a re-reader. I even have a bookshelf at GR that I call my ‘re-read-for-comfort' shelf of books that have to be read more than twice to be placeI am a re-reader. I even have a bookshelf at GR that I call my ‘re-read-for-comfort' shelf of books that have to be read more than twice to be placed there. And I mean comfort in many ways. Sometimes a new book, after crossing one of my romance “don’ts”, will actually leave me with a bitter aftertaste and I will reach for a book with characters I can depend on to give me what I want. I am definitely a mood reader, so some people might be surprised by what is on there. Even a few paranormal reads for this die-hard "historical romance with a HEA" reader. In truth, some have broken my “romance books don’ts”, but the authors have done it so well I have to read it again.
But Heiress for Hire doesn’t have any romance “don’ts” in it. It is just pure enjoyment. Oh, well, there is a kid in the story; however, that is not one of my “don’ts”. Our Hero, Danny Tucker, discovers he has an unknown-to-him eight-year old daughter by the name of Piper. Our Heroine, Amanda Delmar, has recently had her funds cut off by her father while she is stuck in Cuttersville, Ohio, visiting Boston - a friend from the first book in the series, A Date with the Other Side (which you don’t have to read to enjoy this book). Boston is now married to Danny’s ex-wife (who he is still friends with), Shelby.
Yes, Amanda is spoiled, but she was raised that way. Plus, she has a little dog named Baby, who she risks her outfit and skin for, so she can’t be all bad. She definitely grows up in this book; first, by Danny helping her find a job (at which she fails) and then by babysitting Piper, who she instantly connects with; all teaching her more than just the value of a dollar.
There are so many wonderful scenes, most with Piper and Danny, but enough with Danny alone. Danny thinks he’s a big, dull, boring farmer. Amanda thinks without her breast implants (which she recently had removed) and money, she has nothing with which to attract and hold a man. Some dialogue makes me laugh out loud. When Amanda tangles with Danny’s mom, it brings a smile to my lips; yet I empathize with Willie’s desire and frustration in wanting to get close to her grand-daughter. When Piper reveals her hair to Amanda, after they've play Barbie’s, it makes my throat close up no matter how many times I read it.
Yes, I definitely notice more details and character nuance each time I re-read this book. I also notice the writer’s style and enjoy it more. Sometimes I just gobbled down a book too fast and need to re-read it. Other times I need something I can re-read fast because I have other things on my mind and it’s light and breezy and doesn’t require much concentration. In other situations I want total escapism. I did this recently when I stayed at the hospital all day while a friend had an unpleasant procedure done and I didn’t want to cry.
This is a cute, light, fluffy story.
But, if you’re a lover of contemporary romance, it’s definitely worth at least one read by you.
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.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. 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. ...more
My mother wouldn't let me read "Gone With the Wind" until I was 16. A few years ago I was at a cocktail party and they asked the trivia question "WhatMy mother wouldn't let me read "Gone With the Wind" until I was 16. A few years ago I was at a cocktail party and they asked the trivia question "What was the first line of GWtW?" I knew the answer. My husband asked, "How did you know that?" (He'd lived with me how many decades?) I told him about my mom's restriction and how, when I finally opened the book, I was stunned by the first sentence. I had seen the movie and Scarlett was beautiful, if a bitch. I also remember it because everyone always talked about how hard it was to cast the role for the movie and how beautiful I thought Vivian Leigh was. In the book Scarlett is not so much a "supreme bitch of the universe" as a survivor and she drags her family along (kicking and screaming) with her. She is presented slightly different and more complex in the book. The whole incident with Scarlett stealing her sister's beau? In the book you just knew that her sister would only use Hamilton’s money for herself where Scarlett wanted it to save Tara because Tara means 'dirt/land/earth' in Ireland. If you had land, you were rich and self-sufficient. I wouldn't have minded being on a deserted island with her if I was part of her family...Or even in the middle of a civil war. LOL. (In the movie they also left out a couple of marriages and kids which gave her more depth.)
We all know this war torn families apart. Years ago I had a cousin who traced our family tree. I had a great-great-great-grandfather who lived in the South and went to fight for the North. I also had another who lived in the North and went to fight for the South. No wonder I always want to play ‘devil’s advocate.’ It’s in my DNA.
I could go off on a whole tangent about the characters in GWTW and what each of them represented with regard to the South. If Scarlett represented a segment of the South the way it was when the Civil War started, it was as a progressive segment that knew where it was headed: strong, determined, attractive, young, rich, bored (complacent), spoiled, unable to love those who truly understood her and loved her anyway (i.e. the North not wanting the South to leave, the South not loving the Union), doing anything to get her way or survive (even enslave a people or take advantage of chained-gang prison-workers)…ever so slowly changing, showing bravery, but learning too late how to change in time…Well then, the first sentence takes on a whole new meaning. (view spoiler)[”Scarlett O’Hara was not beautiful, but men seldom realized it when caught by her charm as the Tarleton twins were.” (hide spoiler)] Slavery is not beautiful, it’s ugly.
But the wealth it provided? Well, as I learned in my economics class in college, if the war had been fought five years later the South would have won. It was that wealthy. It was also this book that told me that the North was not blameless in the whole thing as many of the slave sellers/capturers and slave ship owners were from the North. They never told me THAT in high school. And Scarlett? Like our forfathers chose to do while writing the constitution, she was going to think about all of it (slavery) tomorrow. Scarlett is, in this story, the eyes of the progressive South at that time and she fails to see the world around her in time. Maybe because she’s too busy batting her lashes to get her way. And yet we feel for her when she pulls that carrot out of the ground, eats it and throws up. We grieve so for her heartbreak at the end of the book. How did Mitchell pull that off? We are right there with her when she’s lost in the fog and can’t see before she goes home to Tara.
Rhett is the New South, charming, lustful, innovative, an investor. Cynicism (a trait he shares with Scarlett) hides his compassion (a trait he shares with Melanie), and he won’t fight or take a side in the war until he must. But Mitchell makes him and all her characters extremely complex, for she gives him a sense of honor for honor’s sake. (Is he then a gentleman like Ashley?) Rhett’s almost downfall? His deep and abiding love for Scarlett (he - like Melanie - sees her for who and what she is, the good as well as the bad); nevertheless, he eventually leaves her ideology behind in disgust. He has the work-ethic and is the muscle, but only flexes it when his devastating charm won’t work. In the end he walks out.
Ashley and Melanie? Two different, complex aspects of the Old South - one lost without the other - and their antiquated way of life. Remember, Ashley doesn’t love Scarlett and he detests slavery. But he didn’t know how to survive without it. He’s painted himself into a corner. Ashley wants to marry Melanie because he believes he has more in common with her than Scarlett. He’s wrong. He’s the intellect of the Old South, struggling to hang on to his gentlemanly behavior and failing totally. As Annalisa says in her Goodreads review: “(Scarlett) sees Ashley not as the strong, honorable character she had always esteemed but the weakest and least honorable character in the book. Anyone who would tease another woman with confessions of love just so he could keep her heart and devotion at arm's length is not truly honoring his marriage vows.” There’s a reason he is in a prison during the war. He doesn’t want to/can’t change some aspects of his life/nature, and in the end can’t conceive of a life without his heart, for that is where courage lives. For all our deep philosophical ideals do not reside in the brain but in our heart.
The heart? That would be Melanie, a gentle southern belle, a ‘great lady’ and one of the few true ‘purely good’ people in Mitchell’s epic. She was sickly due to so many generations of inbreeding within an educated, affluent family. She is the heart and courage of the Old South, not its eyes. She refuses to believe the ‘ugliness’ of Scarlett when she witnesses her in Ashley’s arms (and for once Scarlett is innocent). Melanie is the only one who sees Rhett cry and soon after she dies.
Mammy? She has it all and sees all. The all-knowing mother with eyes in the back of her head. The work-ethic. The conscience. An inner strength, and a loving, forgiving nature.
I told you I was sixteen when I read this. In my naiveté I asked my mother if Rhett and Scarlett got back together and she told me, “It’s like a beautiful tea cup. Once it’s broken, you can glue it back together, but it is never as beautiful to the eyes as it once was.” Scarlett really represents a “might have been.” What might have been if slavery had been abolished in 1776? Or even anytime before 1862? Was she truly blind, wearing rose-tinted glasses, or did she let pride and hubris get in her way?
You do remember your history lessons? Don’t expect a happy ending. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more