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 stea...moreOne 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. (less)
★★★★★ (This is a review of the audiobook.) Man-oh-man! I love this book. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve read it. It is on m...moreTennessee Farm
★★★★★ (This is a review of the audiobook.) Man-oh-man! I love this book. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve read it. It is on my “re-read-for-comfort” shelf, which I desperately needed now. My life is currently too crazy to sit and read, so I popped in my ear buds and tried the audiobook this time, narrated by the wonderful Anna Fields.
I have heard nothing but great things about this reader, so I don’t know why I waited so long to listen to a story she narrates. If a character speaks softly, she delivers the line softly. If they turn sarcastic, she complies. If they gasp, she gasps. Their voice breaks, so does hers. Astonishing as it sounds, not all readers do this! Some dialogue doesn’t have adjective queues; nevertheless, this talented raconteur intuitively knows how to delivery Ms. Phillips’ clever quips or tender moments in context. She definitely kicks this story up a notch. I highly recommend her as narrator.
As far as the storyline, what can I say? I love these characters in the seventh book of the Chicago Stars series and I adore their love story. Ms. Phillips sure knows how to set up a “meet cute,” and this one, taking place on a highway outside of Denver with Blue Bailey walking down a hot dusty road in a beaver costume – plus a killing rage – is perfect. When Dean Robillard, rich superstar quarterback, crosses her path, he is taken by surprise in one humorous situation after another on their road trip to Tennessee. Nevertheless, each scene carries a Real Life believability that lets us get drawn into the deepening depths of their relationship.
Ms. Phillips also knows how to write amazing secondary characters and these are some of her best. There is one scene between an aging rocker and his neglected, vulnerable young daughter that still has the ability to make my throat swell, my eyes tear.
This story can be read as a “standalone”; however, you would probably enjoy it better if you read this series in order. A younger Dean is deviously charming in Match Me If You Can; while in this one he is still deliciously witty, but confronted with those demons in life that make one run or stand and mature.
This is my favorite LK series. Yes, I know, I know. I'm mainly a historical romance reader. Plus, I've never really been thrilled over first-person PO...moreThis is my favorite LK series. Yes, I know, I know. I'm mainly a historical romance reader. Plus, I've never really been thrilled over first-person POV*, but these books sold me. This book leading the series is truly wonderful.
I still remember when I first saw the paperback was finally out in the bookstore and being so disappointed because yet another one of my favorite HR authors was bowing to pressure and going mainstream. I wasn't reading contemporary romances at the time, so I actually hesitated over the purchase of Sugar Daddy. In addition, I really loathed the title. Ugh! I started reading it standing there, eventually grouped blindly for a chair while I kept my eyes glued to the pages, then went running to the cash-register, my heart pumping erratically with adrenaline coursing to unmentionable pulse points for poor Liberty, the pit bulls, and Hardy. Man-oh-man! Don’t you love finding a worthy new book by a great author? I'm having the "Big O" just recalling it.
BTW, at the risk of sharing too much, I was right there with Liberty and the whole 68 thing and started reviewing my past loves. Oh, and the part about the emu? Absolutely killed me I was laughing so hard.
SPOILER added 4/10/11 (view spoiler)[ I liked what Kleypas did with , though it certainly ruffled a few feathers and made people call it "chick-lit" instead of "contemporary-romance". (I think it's a brilliant blend of the two, but maybe I'm repeating myself.) Anywayz...
I think most of us have a first love, or close to first love; one that was bittersweet; an "if only" young love, if you will. In this, we can all empathize with Liberty. I was right there with her, falling hard for young Hardy (gee, why did she name him that?). Kleypas wanted us to!
And "young" is the operative word here. We do things in our youth, and feel things so differently, that the passions of youth can resonate still, years later. (This theme is also accented with Churchill's enduring love of Liberty's mom, Diana Jones.) However, after Liberty’s journey, I was ready to fall for Gage, in all his sophistication and power, and I did totally; he’s perfect for Liberty. Yet, just like my first love, I wanted Hardy to be happy. I think that is a true sign of love, though certainly morphed into something else, when you want someone's happiness.
Kleypas gives that to Hardy – and us too! – in Blue-Eyed Devil, where he struggles with the meaning of mature love and sacrifice too! (hide spoiler)]
*My GR friend, Sans, calls first person POV "a flaming pile of crap in printed format". This expression worked nicely for me until this book.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
Never thought I would like a book about professional fighters, but I loved this one, read it three times in four years, marked it as a favorite, and p...moreNever thought I would like a book about professional fighters, but I loved this one, read it three times in four years, marked it as a favorite, and put it on my keeper shelf. Only bought it because Lori Foster is one of my favorites and she is always an author I can count on. (It was not too melodramatic for me as I had a long lost younger brother who spent his childhood in Foster care – whereas I was adopted into a loving home - and looked me up decades later.) LF did a convincing job of siblings trying to reconnect.
The hero Havoc sucked me into the whole series, though I think this one is the best. He is HOT and tries so hard to be laid-back with the whole family connection and NOT being an older, dependable, protective brother. My roof was leaking at the time I read this book, so there I could relate. LOL. I liked Eve too. When Havoc meets her family was fun and believable. I felt the chemistry between Havoc and Eve was steamy. I could see their affair-turned-to-love happening as the pages turned and knew it was a given when she had her period and he brought ice cream. As a teenager I used to have a boyfriend that worked in an ice cream parlor and brought me rocky road. *Sigh*
The ‘who-done-it?’ kept me guessing; I can usually guess this aspect in romance books, so this was a nice change. The sub-romance plot between Jacki and Gregor was fun and enjoyable too. Not a big fan of tattoos, but the meaning of Havoc’s made me cry. So, yes, everything was firing on all cylinders for me with this one. (less)