★★★★★ Wow! How does this series just keep getting better and better? I usually listen to the audio, because Susan Ericksen does such an exceptional jo...more★★★★★ Wow! How does this series just keep getting better and better? I usually listen to the audio, because Susan Ericksen does such an exceptional job with the narration, but I found myself “stranded” with only the paperback in hand.
So many memorable scenes with wonderfully developed characters in this one, even the cat, Galahad. (less)
Tuscany [image error][image error] ★★★☆☆ I thought the hero's secret was a little bit of a weird twist. Hmmm... But thinking of the beautiful Tuscan cou...moreTuscany [image error][image error] ★★★☆☆ I thought the hero's secret was a little bit of a weird twist. Hmmm... But thinking of the beautiful Tuscan countryside kicked this one up a notch.
The other thing that didn't work for me was the hero was alright all along...until near the end, when he is an asshat. Sure, he apologizes, but it still was too close to the ending. Maybe I hold on to grudges too long. LOL!(less)
The most popular area for cruising in Greece is in the Aegean Sea, which has over 1,400 islands.
★★★★½ This one got better and better as the story unfo...moreThe most popular area for cruising in Greece is in the Aegean Sea, which has over 1,400 islands.
★★★★½ This one got better and better as the story unfolded. Of course, what is not to like about leaving London to cruise the Mediterranean, stopping at Valencia, Barcelona, Marseille, Nice and eventually arriving at in Greece? Not much.
This was a slow build, between Greek tycoon Nik Niarchou and his personal assistant Kezia Trevellyn; therefore, totally believable. Kezia thinking Nik was out of her league was realistic; so was her hesitancy for not wanting to hope too much; and all the reasons he fell for her were also valid.
I was thinking last night that it ended abruptly, but on reconsideration, I realized I just wanted to know even more about this couple. Plus, there is a really nice epilogue that didn't go for the unrealistic, either. ♥ epilogues like that. And there’s a dog in the story. ☺
★★✰✰✰ This one just wasn’t my cuppa tea. I’m not even sure it could be called ‘erotica’ except that the hero, Drake Stoneham, sleeps around – on purpose and by accident. The main problem with this story is that it was all too disjointed; it is in need of a good – and patient – editor.
One minute the heroine, Cleome Parker, is walking with a basket of flowers, when her grandfather almost drowns himself in a watering trough from overindulging in drink. There are little asterisks to indicate a break; however, as the heroine is again carrying flowers in the next paragraph, is it a break in time or perspective? Alas, it is the next morning and her grandfather is suffering a hangover. It took me bit, and a double check of my reading, to figure that out. Actually, there were several sentences I had to re-read to see if they made sense, let alone maintained continuity.
Drake sets out to keep a deathbed promise to a fellow soldier. He is searching for his comrade’s wife, as he has the marriage certificate that shows Cleome is not illegitimate, but of ‘noble birth’. (Regardless of who her grandmother was, how can this be when her father was a tinsmith?) Cleome’s mother, Ramona, isn’t ‘right in the head’ and since Cleome’s birth, has been suffering from the loss of her true love. Ramona also talks like a country lass, though Cleome doesn’t because she was taught by her grandmother (though none of it rubbed off on Ramona). Of course, once Drake realizes that the little hamlet he has stumbled upon holds the very people he is looking for, does he tell them right away? Nope. Don’t want to rush things; it has only been 18 years. Yeah, that makes a lot of sense to me.
Then there is the whole question of which class everyone falls into? Is Young Samuel, the stable boy who lusts after the heroine, above Cleome’s station or below it? And this is not counting the question of Cleome’s illegitimate birth. Same with the hero, Drake. Though he is up from the streets, he is invited to spend the night with the local gentry, Lord and Lady Easton, mainly because they are aware he is building an elegant gaming establishment in London. (Gentry who do NOT offer him a bath, by the way. So, he is in desperate need of one by the time he makes it to Cleome’s grandfather’s Eagle’s Head Inn. Of course, this doesn’t deter the lady wife from wanting to sleep with him, though. Ugh.) The gentry’s son, Garnett Easton, lusts after Cleome also, and dialogues and private thoughts between these two switch back and forth between acceptable and unacceptable with regards to social standing. Is it appropriate he invite her to the Easton’s Harvest Ball or not? The author doesn’t seem to want to commit as to where her characters sit in the hierarchy of class distention, so she shuffles them around willy-nilly to suit her purposes. Granted, Cleome’s illegitimacy accounts for some of it, but certainly not all.
Then Drake wins Eagle’s Head Inn in a card game, though he really wants Cleome’s horse. WTH? Sure the grandfather was in his cups, but he is going to risk his livelihood and his family’s home instead of breaking his granddaughter’s heart over a horse? And she lets him? Ridiculous. She also has a propensity to feel faint – or outright pass out – at the most plot contrived times (i.e. when there is a bed and the hero nearby).
There are a lot of characters in this book, like the unattractive but wanton serving wench, Fanny, who takes advantage of Drake by giving him a blow job when he is intoxicated. She continues to pursue him, but only pops up now and then, if merely to be the fly in the ointment. There’s the lovely, talented pianist Edwina, the niece of the barrister that changes Cleome’s life. Edwina has a crush on Garnett. And I must not forget Paulo, who is known as a rake because of all the women he satisfies with his talented tongue. He marries Edwina, lusts after her, but can’t consummate the marriage because of a midwife’s careless handling of the knife used to cut the umbilical cord upon his birth. Paulo must meet the requirements of his twisted father’s will and produce an heir by his thirtieth birthday. So, guess who he approaches?
I won't even go into all the political intrigue that happens in Italy along with tons more characters. Oh, and the advent of the railroad. But, there is also another plot line of Drake trying to find his little sister, Mignon, left in a brothel, and the duke who mistreated her abominably. She escapes his clutches, when overdosed by him for his nefarious orgies, and ends up a nun – for a time... (view spoiler)[before, she too, finds true love (hide spoiler)]. Needless to say, Cleome misinterprets Drake and Mignon’s relationship. (view spoiler)[ In desperation, Drake kidnaps Cleome and takes her – literally – on a ship bound for America. Still, she won’t agree to marry him, but her giggles imply that she’ll soon cave. (hide spoiler)]
You know, it was all just too much. It is as if the author was trying to cram too many things into one book, at the expense of in pacing and continuity. There is some real potential here for a better story next time from this author. But for this one, sorry, I’d have to say pass on it.
Special Note:I was given this e-Book free of charge in exchange for a fair and truthful review.
*artwork available at www.capuletart.com["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
Edmond Dantés, AKA: Robert Donat (1934), Richard Chamberlain (1975), Gérard Depardieu (1998), James Caviezel (2002), Emily VanCamp (2011)
★★★★☆ (This is...moreEdmond Dantés, AKA: Robert Donat (1934), Richard Chamberlain (1975), Gérard Depardieu (1998), James Caviezel (2002), Emily VanCamp (2011)
★★★★☆ (This is a review of the audiobook.) Okay, it took me over three months to listen to this classic, that was very well narrated by Englishman Richard Matthews, who speaks French with aplomb. So much so, that his narration kicked it up a notch (from three ★ to four). I could NOT have gotten through it without him. Still, I must admit, I used ever form of media I could find: Kindle freebie from Project Gutenberg, Wikipedia, Cliff Notes, and movies. My favorite was from Pink Monkey's Study Guide of TCOMC.
I think I’ve seen ever movie version ever done of this one, and I can remember my mother reading it to us when we were young. This is the über-revenge classic of all time, made all the more intriguing because of Dumas’ father’s background, leading one to wonder how far to separate fact from fiction. Alas, I was bogged down by this work that was released in serial format back in 1844. This was written back in the day when books were scarce, and let me tell you, this one has some convoluted plotlines. Man-oh-man! Just take a look at this complex interrelationship among the characters.
I read this as a “buddy read” for the Happily Ever After Café GoodReads Group. Why? I don’t know (even though I nominated it); because there certainly is not a HEA for Edmond Dantés and his former fiancée Mercédès’. Nevertheless, I am glad I listened to it, if only to know that every time I read a romance book that describes the hero as having “hair as black as a raven’s wing,” I can smile to myself, knowing from whom it was plagiarized. Plus, I guess you could say there is a HEA for someone: (view spoiler)[>Dantés allows Mercédès’ son, Viscount Albert de Morcerf, to have his. (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
★★★✩✩ Not a lot of depth to these characters, but I liked it enough to continue with the series. (view spoiler)[ It lost a ½ star b/c they killed off...more★★★✩✩ Not a lot of depth to these characters, but I liked it enough to continue with the series. (view spoiler)[ It lost a ½ star b/c they killed off one of the dogs. **sigh** (hide spoiler)] Pretty good narration by Julie Briskman on the audiobook.(less)