I thought Slow Hand was great, but Rough Rider is even better! Victoria Vane makes her characters real and relatable. In the early chapters, I was capI thought Slow Hand was great, but Rough Rider is even better! Victoria Vane makes her characters real and relatable. In the early chapters, I was captivated by her movingly descriptive scenes of the rodeo--the book really comes to life with her descriptions of the preparations of the bull riders, the sights, sounds, fears, chills of that 8 seconds--and the danger.
But Rough Rider is Dirk's story all the way. And we've all known men like Dirk, who have a chip on their shoulder, who run away when things aren't right, who are stubborn and stand their ground without compromise. And there's Janice, a heroine we can all relate to--who's carried a torch for Dirk for many years, but has resigned herself to the life that's come her way. The reader can definitely relate to this relationship--and how circumstances can play a part in how the romance unfolds.
I don't usually read contemporary romance, but as a fan of Victoria Vane's DeVere series, I had to see if she could bring the excitement and passion iI don't usually read contemporary romance, but as a fan of Victoria Vane's DeVere series, I had to see if she could bring the excitement and passion in her historical writing to 21st century Montana. I wasn't disappointed! Nikki and Wade are constantly finding their paths crossing as he becomes her rescuer more than once. But she's an independent woman who has sworn off smooth-talking cowboys...until the sparks fly! Lots of snappy, spicy dialogue, and the steamy sex scenes are tastefully written. I appreciated that Nikki did some soul searching at the beginning of the relationship, thinking about her family and job and how this romance would affect her life. This was a realistic moment in the book for me. Another winner from Victoria Vane!!...more
While not quite a retelling of A Midsummer Night's Dream, this does begin with a similar plot: a young woman forced to marry the man not of her dreamsWhile not quite a retelling of A Midsummer Night's Dream, this does begin with a similar plot: a young woman forced to marry the man not of her dreams. Unlike Hermia in Shakespeare's comedy, Arabella in LOAMN does abide by her father's wishes and weds an older wealthier duke, who passes away ten years later. When the duke's nephew threatens her life, Arabella runs away, seeking protection by the man she loves, the Earl of Pembroke. But Pembroke doesn't trust her, and a large part of the story deals with Arabella trying to make him understand what she endured all her life, at the hands of her abusive father and husband. This part of the story was heartbreaking, but the romance was sublime. I would have given this five stars, except that I found the last 6 chapters somewhat draggy. However, while I understand that these ending chapters set up the next book in the series, I felt that it took too much attention away from the main characters. But still, very well done and in the style of old-fashioned regencies....more
I'm not sure if the author is trying to be comprehensive in the coverage of Christmas topics or is just hitting the high points. This is the 3rd editiI'm not sure if the author is trying to be comprehensive in the coverage of Christmas topics or is just hitting the high points. This is the 3rd edition of The Christmas Encyclopedia originally published in 2001, adding 281 new entries. What TCE does very well is in its coverage of historical and cultural customs. Black and white illustrations appear throughout . The problems: I found many misspelled words. And the coverage of popular culture was hit and miss. Really obscure TV movies were mentioned as well as yearly Christmas specials by Andy Williams, Bing Crosby, and Bob Hope. But no mention at all of Perry Como and Dean Martin, who also had yearly shows. Christmas episodes of weekly tv series such as Bewitched and Gunsmoke were mentioned, but not the yearly Christmas productions by The King Family or Lawrence Welk. A good effort, but far from comprehensive. ...more
Really excellent second volume in The Boleyn Trilogy by Laura Andersen. It's an alternate universe--what if Anne Boleyn had given birth to a son, whoReally excellent second volume in The Boleyn Trilogy by Laura Andersen. It's an alternate universe--what if Anne Boleyn had given birth to a son, who grew up to survive Henry VIII and become his heir? William to his friends, Henry IX to the rest of the world, comes into his own in this second part, which takes place 2 years after The Boleyn King. William begins to assert himself, much to the dislike of his controlling uncle, Lord Rochford. Although a diplomatic marriage is arranged between William and the young French princess Elizabeth, William makes plans of his own to defeat the French in both diplomacy and on the battlefield and instead wed his childhood friend Minuette Wyatt. But wait, Minuette is in love with William's best friend Dominic! Walking on eggshells ensues. In the meantime, William's sister Elizabeth, who is his heir, becomes more and more disillusioned with the man she loves, Robert Dudley.
Andersen stays true to the history she's created, given a basis in historical fact. At times I found myself saying, "wait a minute, that didn't happen!" only to realize, "not in this world, it didn't!" I found the pacing and plotting to be much tighter than in the first volume. Can't wait for the third, to be released in July....more
Pure sexy escapism! The original The Sheik, published in 1919 by E.M. Hull, was wildly popular in its day, and the 1921 film made a star of Rudolph VaPure sexy escapism! The original The Sheik, published in 1919 by E.M. Hull, was wildly popular in its day, and the 1921 film made a star of Rudolph Valentino. But the story needed updating for 21st century audiences and Victoria Vane stepped up to the challenge. Vane is one of my favorite romance authors. Her sex scenes are classy, not trashy, and character development is always strong in her novels. In The Sheik Retold, rich Englishwoman Diana Mayo embarks on an ill-advised expedition of the Algerian desert, where she is immediately kidnapped by Sheik Ahmed Ben Assan, who wants her for his own! (lots of sighs here!) Quote: "I told myself I was only too weary to fight him, but the truth was that his all-out sensual assault had made me a victim of my own senses - of my own suppressed nature. And now awakened, I was starving for more." But The Sheik Retold is much more--there's warring factions, adventure, manipulative plots, beautiful descriptions of the desert landscape, 1920s era clothes, drink, and tobacco! I am willing to overlook the somewhat abrupt ending to revel in the lushness of the rest of the story....more
I tried, I really did, to get into this book. But after 100 pages, I've given up. I rarely give up on books, but I have two others to review and I jusI tried, I really did, to get into this book. But after 100 pages, I've given up. I rarely give up on books, but I have two others to review and I just can't spend any more time with this one. All I got out of the 100 pages I read was a Tudor history lesson. Bess Hardwicke goes to court and witnesses Henry VIII wed wives 4 and 5. I'm told the story picks up and I may try again later. But writers of historical fiction should assume that readers kind of know their history and don't need to be hit over the head with it....more