This book was a lot of fun for me to read, especially since I recently read Jane Eyre. I found lots of parallels between the two books.
Edward (the her...moreThis book was a lot of fun for me to read, especially since I recently read Jane Eyre. I found lots of parallels between the two books.
Edward (the hero of the book and an Earl) is quite the quirky disagreeable angry sort like Rochester of Jane Eyre. Yet, he is also loving and cares deeply for Anna (the heroine). He first meets Anna when she is walking down the street and he falls off his horse, which he is quick to point out is undoubtedly entirely her fault. He has a dog that seems menacing at first, but is actually quite lovable. And, one of the other closest parallels, Edward discovers that while he was away Anna has taken up a post at his estate working for him unbeknownst to him.
That is pretty much where the similarities between Jane Eyre and The Raven Prince stop. Happily, I did love both books :)
There was lots of humor in this book. One spot that sticks out in mind is where the hero and 2 friends are wearing masks to sneak into a brothel so their identities will be protected. One of the hero's friends suggests that perhaps the dog accompanying them should be wearing a mask as well. hehehe. It just struck me as very funny and had me giggling at the thought. I know, I'm weird ;)
This is my first book by Elizabeth Hoyt, but it won't be my last. She had a nice writing style and some very steamy romantic sex scenes. I look forward to reading her next book :)(less)
3.5/5 stars. I really have a mixed-bag of thoughts about this book, my first read by Kathleen Woodiwiss, so I decided just to do a simple the good vs....more3.5/5 stars. I really have a mixed-bag of thoughts about this book, my first read by Kathleen Woodiwiss, so I decided just to do a simple the good vs. the bad review.
The Good: -- Overall, the text was well written. I was concerned that this book would be crazy flowery, with purple-prose sex scenes (it was written in 1972). Luckily, the intimate scenes were not graphic like today's scenes, but they didn't use silly words, either. -- There was a really endearing and humerous scene when the heroine was ready to give birth to her baby. It was one of my favorite scenes in the book, I think. -- The story did a good job keeping my interest. I was worried I might find it boring, but I didn't have urges to skim any text. Last time I tried to read a romance written in the 1970s, I had to put it down because it was so bad.
The Bad: -- The author had an annoying style where the characters would speak to themselves as if they were doing Shakespearean soliloquies. It was kind of distracting, because the author would put quotes around the thoughts of the character, so you were never sure at first if the person was thinking to themselves or speaking out-loud. Also, some of the thoughts were downright silly. -- The story itself was very unbelievable in terms of the murders and mayhem that were occuring. -- There is rape in this book, and a belligerent male to the end. It is kind of sad when I read this kind of book that I could still like the character, and I'm kind of ashamed of myself for that.
This book will definitely not be everyone's cup-of-tea. I can see how it might even be considered controversial in some people's eyes. However, I take this type of story with a grain of salt and look at the time period it was written for, and the time period it was written. Too many people like to imagine life in the past as all romance and rose-tinted glasses, when in reality -- unless you were the privleged elite, life could downright suck.
4.5/5 stars. Before I begin, I should say that I enjoyed this book immensely. I especially enjoyed the hero’s possessiveness, yet his appreciation for...more4.5/5 stars. Before I begin, I should say that I enjoyed this book immensely. I especially enjoyed the hero’s possessiveness, yet his appreciation for the heroine’s intelligence.
However, I think that Lisa Kleypas was wrong in titling the book SUDDENLY YOU. A more appropriate title would have been THE SOLUTION IS SEX. It seemed that sex was the solution to every problem the hero/heroine had in this book…
-- Dying of spinsterhood? Solution = Sex -- Stuck in a carriage? Solution = Sex -- Had a bad day at work? Solution = Sex -- Feeling jealous of girl dancing with another suitor? Solution = Sex -- Bad malady keeping you bedridden and depressed? Solution = Sex -- Wife not eating? Solution = sex (with berries!)
4.5/5 stars. Have you ever read a book where you hoped for a melancholy ending? Not that I wanted an unhappy story, but something in tune with the res...more4.5/5 stars. Have you ever read a book where you hoped for a melancholy ending? Not that I wanted an unhappy story, but something in tune with the rest of the book. This book started out as a tragic comedy of bad-timing, misunderstandings, and deception. It was a tale of a woman who deceived a man into marriage, only to find him gone for the next 10 years out of anger.
The book was witty and quite good. I loved the author's humor whenever Lord Frederick was compared to the dessert-du-jour. I believe he was thrice compared to pudding and triffle ;)
My only complaint was that the ending seemed like it belonged in another story. It was too happy, and I longed for something a little more in line with the other emotions from the book.(less)
Re-read 7/18/10 -- Man... I think I even liked this audiobook better the second time around. Pirrrrrrrratical fun. ;)
4.5/5 stars. This was my first no...moreRe-read 7/18/10 -- Man... I think I even liked this audiobook better the second time around. Pirrrrrrrratical fun. ;)
4.5/5 stars. This was my first novel by Johanna Lindsey, though I read a short-story of hers in an anthology before reading this book. As I listened to the audiobook, I was trying to determine why I was enjoying the book so much, despite numerous bodice-ripper type of clichés. I made myself a list to justify both my enjoyment and distaste.
Reasons I enjoyed this book?
My love of historical romance stories where the heroine has über-protective brothers who act crazy out of love for their sister. In this book, Georgina has 5 older brothers :) Fisticuffs ensue. Rinse, Lather, Repeat. More fisticuffs. 5-on-1 brother against pirate. Wheee! I’m almost surprised Georgina didn’t leap into the ring herself. I loved the description of sprawled legs and flinging arms. Then post-fight, the blithe retort of James to Georgie in front of her brothers: “I don’t think they like me, George.” Or, how about the silly discourse between the brothers: “Should we really hang him if he marries Georgie? It doesn’t seem right, hanging a brother-in-law.” Resume fisticuffs. :) My secret-obsession with men wearing pirate shirts, tight pants, and an earring. Wheeee! PIRATE! My extreme enjoyment of picturing a “gentleman”-pirate in the spirit of the Pirates of Penzance, not the raping-pillaging sort. I hate to admit, but I love a gender-bender/woman-in-pants pretending to be a guy plotline. The audiobook narrator’s voice when reading the character of James Mallory reminded me of the audiobook narrator who reads the character of Barrons in the Fever series by Karen Marie Moning. The narrator also did a good job with the brogue of Ian. I like it when audiobook narrators can do different voices and accents. References by Americans in the book to London as a “den of iniquity”. People usually romanticize London during books of this time period, so it was fun to see characters hating the idea of England and London. Not that I have anything against the UK myself. :) I like characters in books that can raise their eyebrow at something another character says. James had a very sexy way of raising his eyebrow in the book and not saying anything aloud, but saying everything with his expression. Did I mention I like to picture men with earrings and pirate-shirts? I might just have to dress my husband up next Halloween… Make him swab the deck or walk-the-plank or something. Hmmmm…
So, what were my issues with the book?
Despite Georgie as a spitfire heroine with a supposedly hot temper, she seemed rather wimply at times. The whole nausea thing annoyed me in the book. Dizzyness and urge to faint or something, I could understand. But nausea? Feeling like throwing up on the Pirate? Bah! She was ready to jump his bones, not vomit. Flippant disregard for chance of pregnancy on a ship in the middle of the ocean. Ummmm. Seemed a bit unrealistic to me. Maybe not for the guy in the 1800s harboring a secret female in his cabin, but I would at least think Georgie would at least have a tinge of worry about it. The idea that Georgie could pull off a 12 year old boy when she was a 22 year old female without anyone suspecting. Too young and too unbelievable. And an icky thought. When I pictured Georgie in drag, I saw her as a 17 year old cabin-boy in my head. Not 12. I was reading along, and suddenly it felt like I was reading The Flame and the Flower by Woodiwiss. Except with retired pirates. Yes, I know they are really very different books. But, I still felt like I was blending the stories together in my head. There was no cannon fire at sea when I was expecting it. They saw a pirate ship, but instead of fighting, they ran away. BOOOOO!!!!! I wanted battle and sword fighting/swashbuckling. Lack of sea chanty singing and sea monsters. Where there are pirates there should be sea-chanties and drunken behavior. And large octopi or squids. Maybe I’ve read too much paranormal fiction recently. I doubt that there are many sea monsters in historical romance, other than that recent rewrite of Austen with Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters. I might just have to read that… Parts of the book were so cheesy that I felt like a voyeur watching a bad Cinemax late-night movie. At least they were cheesy fun like flaming hot cheesey goo on pizza fresh out of the oven.
Would I read it again?
*Raises an eyebrow* You question that? Of course I would, though it likely won’t be for a while until I’m in the mood again for a protective – brothers – of – gender – bender – spitfire – heroine – who – has – frisky – behavior – at – sea – with – gentleman – pirate - captain storyline. Somehow, I doubt this is the only historical romance with that plot, but I could be wrong. :) (less)
The heroine in this novel was treated as chattel for the most part, and her supposed-hero even addressed her as chattel at one point in the text. This...moreThe heroine in this novel was treated as chattel for the most part, and her supposed-hero even addressed her as chattel at one point in the text. This was quite literally a bodice-ripper, originally written in 1978. Happily, there wasn't any outright rapes in the novel.
On the positive side, the Russian backdrop was an interesting variation, and the hero did have some redeeming qualities despite his neandertal romance hero outlook on life. However, in the end, I won't rush out to read any further books by this author.(less)
3.5/5 stars. This book left me shaking my head after I finished the last few pages. I really wanted to like the book, but it fell short for me.
I don'...more3.5/5 stars. This book left me shaking my head after I finished the last few pages. I really wanted to like the book, but it fell short for me.
I don't mind dark novels, and this one was certainly darker than a typical romance. I didn't object to the coercion scenes that bordered on rape. The controversy didn't bother me.
However, I didn't feel moved by either Justin or Verity. I didn't feel passion between them, and I know that should have been the cornerstone of the book. I felt like it was a constant tennis match: "I love you" now "I hate you". "Leave me alone" now "Come soothe me". "Don't touch me" now "Save me from falling off this cliff". One minute they feel one way, then it seems the next paragraph they're feeling the exact opposite, but with little explanation for why they changed their minds.
*Sigh* I really wanted to like it. I will likely read another by this author, because the prose seemed well written. I just didn't feel engaged by the characters.(less)
I seldom find that I enjoy every storyin a multi-author anthology, so I was happily surprised to find that I enjoyed all three of these short stories...moreI seldom find that I enjoy every storyin a multi-author anthology, so I was happily surprised to find that I enjoyed all three of these short stories :) (less)
Didn't hate it. Didn't love it. A quintessential wallpaper-historical with some steamy sex scenes, and some laugh-out-loud dialogue that takes place d...moreDidn't hate it. Didn't love it. A quintessential wallpaper-historical with some steamy sex scenes, and some laugh-out-loud dialogue that takes place during the heat of the moment. I had fun reading laughingly funny bits of it out loud to my husband in bed last night. (less)
4.5/5 stars. This novel made me feel like a fly-on-the-wall of a separated couple on the brink of divorce. Technically, that doesn’t sound interesting...more4.5/5 stars. This novel made me feel like a fly-on-the-wall of a separated couple on the brink of divorce. Technically, that doesn’t sound interesting, but the story in this romance was absorbing. It was full of realism (despite the unbelievable situation the characters were in) and had a bittersweet shade to the entire plot. I think the realism was due to raw emotions that occurred between the characters – you couldn’t help but feel their love for each other.
From the cover, it looks like you will need to be a big fan of sports romances to enjoy this book, but that wasn’t true. The football theme was merely a backdrop for the story, albeit an enjoyable one. The author could likely have had an alternate theme and still made believable characters.
Yes, it’s a romance novel, so you can likely figure out who will end up with who within the first few pages, but it did have one or two surprise twists I didn’t see coming. To make the reader fall completely one direction in allegiance, the author had to vilify one character. If she hadn’t done that, I suppose it could have been a very depressing love triangle. Despite the obvious choice for the heroine, even in the last chapter there was still drama. The author had to use the epilogue to resolve some issues for the reader.
One thing I found interesting was the role reversal the author kept throughout the book. At several points, the hero is in pursuit of the heroine, while at others the heroine pursues the hero. It definitely wasn’t a one-sided romance. The emotions were strong on both sides. I also liked how the author had the hero need to take breaks frequently, disappearing for walks alone to think. The idea of a testosterone driven alpha-male having strong feelings and being humanized is always an appealing one to female readers, I think.
The reason I am not giving the book 5 stars in the end was due to some of the dialogue in the book. Even though the story was fascinating to read, there were a few times I felt like the conversation between the characters was awkward. For example: the hero inserted the heroine’s name into a conversation at inappropriate times - they would be in the middle of a heated talk, and he would say her name as if we didn’t already understand they were talking to each other. Think of something along the lines of: ….heroine: John, you’re making me so angry. Get out of here! ….hero: Why do you want me to go, Jane? ….heroine: I don’t know, John. I can’t love you anymore. ….hero: Ah, but Jane… I can’t live without you. No, that passage is not in the book (it is merely a figment of my deranged imagination), but you get the idea with the repetition of character names. It kind of rubbed me the wrong way during the first 100 pages of the book. In the end, though, I stopped noticing because the plot was so interesting. Don’t let my faux dialogue above discourage you from reading the book. It really wasn’t such rampant abuse of characters names, I was merely trying to illustrate a point. Plus, the author’s dialogue is much better than my contrived and silly four-line soap opera. hehehe :)
If you have ever been in a failed relationship and reconnected with someone, you will likely understand the feelings that occur within this book - remembering both the good and bad at a moment’s notice and trying not to look at things with a rose-tinted perspective. You may also appreciate this book more if you’ve ever been in a relationship where you had others try to talk you out of it. I really enjoyed the book and plan to put it on my keeper shelf.(less)
When I had discovered that Susan Elizabeth Phillips had written a historical under a different name, I jumped at the chance to pick up a used copy. It...moreWhen I had discovered that Susan Elizabeth Phillips had written a historical under a different name, I jumped at the chance to pick up a used copy. It was originally written in 1983. I have to admit that I haven't read many romance novels from the era before the late 90s, and this particular historical romance reminded me exactly why that is the case. Even SEP, a favorite author of mine, couldn't save this one.
Though the story was well written, it was a true bodice-ripper with a spitfire heroine who constantly had to be rescued.
Some spoilerish stats from the novel: (view spoiler)[ Number of times heroine's bodice was ripped: too many to count Number of times heroine was raped by the hero: at least 3, one of which took place in the last 20 pages Number of times heroine was kidnapped: two Number of times heroine's breasts were exposed to slimy guys: two Number of times heroine forgave rapist husband enough to sucumb to his passion: too many to count (hide spoiler)]
Not even my beloved author could make me like this hero and heroine as a couple :(["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
If I had to make a complaint about this book, it would be the number of characters introduced for a Christmas weeklong gathering at the Earl's. I have...moreIf I had to make a complaint about this book, it would be the number of characters introduced for a Christmas weeklong gathering at the Earl's. I have enough trouble with characters' names as is, but 25 was a bit much ;)(less)
Definitely my kind of story, though I admit that this will not be most of my goodreads' friends cup o' tea. :)
The sexual tension was fabulous. The pl...moreDefinitely my kind of story, though I admit that this will not be most of my goodreads' friends cup o' tea. :)
The sexual tension was fabulous. The plot was contrived, but such a fun concept. I loved the vulnerability of the character Valenti in this one. ANd, I loved how the other hero, Sean, was so flirty and fun.
For some reason, I kept picturing Sean as the actor who plays the husband of Miranda from the show Sex and the City. The boston accent. The flirty-fun bits. I don't know. Weird, eh?(less)