It's not often that the last book in a series is equal to or better than the earlier installments, but that's certainly the case with...more*contented sigh*
It's not often that the last book in a series is equal to or better than the earlier installments, but that's certainly the case with the fifth book in the Hathaway series.
I admit, I was never too interested in Beatrix as a character. Her kleptomania and odd affinity towards animals really didn't appeal to me all throughout the earlier novels in the series. However, the idea of accidentally falling in love through letters penned under another's name, now THAT caught my attention.
The idea of falling in love with a deployed soldier (and subsequently having the soldier fall in love with you) through letters is supremely romantic. The tenderness and compassion that Beatrix has always shown with her animals is expressed tenfold when confronted with the grim realities of war as illustrated through Christopher's letters from the front lines. I love how Beatrix was compassionate without being pitying; even in instances where others might have been frightened or uncomfortable when confronted with the same scenario, Beatrix remained patient and kind, without succumbing to the dreaded "Mary Sue Effect" that many a romance heroine has been afflicted with.
I absolutely adored reading the letters back and forth, and was just as anxious as Beatrix when he finally returned home. How would he react to the discovery that the letters by which he'd fallen so deeply in love weren't penned by the woman he'd been led to believe?
I won't say any more, because I don't want to spoil it for anyone (can you believe it? A spoiler-free review from me! lol), but suffice it to say that while there was definite angst and a lot of breath-holding, the resolution is absolutely beautiful, and I'm terribly saddened to see this wonderful series come to an end.
Really enjoyed it, but I really don't like it when the hero still bangs other women after he's started a relationship with the heroine. Let me be clea...moreReally enjoyed it, but I really don't like it when the hero still bangs other women after he's started a relationship with the heroine. Let me be clear, he's "courting" her (well, kinda), not like he's vowed his love or proposed or even promised exclusivity, but still. I'm one of those sappy gals who thinks that once the hero meets the heroine, no other gal will do it for him (usually much to his dismay lol)
This book is like hot macaroni and cheese. It's like meatloaf and mashed potatoes. It's like an ice cream sundae with extra fudge and whipped cream. In other words, this book is literary comfort food. *contented sigh*
This book has so many of the things I love in a romance novel. There's a tom-boy, downtrodden heroine, a forced marriage, a love triangle, hard decisions, and a love that builds so slowly that by the end you can't help but want to give the book a hug.
Overall, this is one of my favorite historical Westerns of all time. Both Max and Louise rank at the top of my "favorite hero/heroine list", and even further, I've read this book at least four times, and each time I love it just as much as the first. A very solid 5 Stars.
I'm such a sucker for stories (especially historicals) about tomboy females who finally get a chance at love.
I'll be the first to admit, I don't like...moreI'm such a sucker for stories (especially historicals) about tomboy females who finally get a chance at love.
I'll be the first to admit, I don't like children in romance. They're either vomit-inducingly cute and perfect, or way too mature for their ages. That said, I adored Graciela. She was spoiled, annoying, smart-mouthed and manipulative. In other words, she was six lol It was nice seeing her mature throughout the story, and I loved her interactions with Jenny (especially since Jenny hated children)
The romance was fun, with tons of UST.. Who knew just kissing could be that hot?? *fans self*
It was also funny at times, and I admit I snickered at the fact they kept referring to their attraction as "having a hankering" lol
The ending was a bit predictable (but no less fun), and the epilogue was simply beautiful.
**spoiler alert** So after a long long time of having people tell me I HAD to read this book, I saw it was on sale on the Kindle and so I snagged it.
W...more**spoiler alert** So after a long long time of having people tell me I HAD to read this book, I saw it was on sale on the Kindle and so I snagged it.
What worked for me * Tortured hero with lots of scars, a physical disability (that I won't expound on because it's a part of the "twist"), and a really nasty attitude.
*A clumsy, outcast heroine. I loved that she was constantly running into stuff and tripping and falling on her bum :)
*Unrequited love and the angst that goes along with it *dreamy sigh*
*The "twist" about Rodrick's injury, as well as the twist about Leo.
What didn't work for me *The paranormal aspect. Seriously, that was awful. Either make it a "paranormal romance" and have the majority of the plot center around the paranormal aspects, or leave it off. Don't just have a couple things in the story vaguely refer to it and then have the entire resolution revolve around it. I'm not kidding when I say they could've left the Wild Hunt completely out of this story and you wouldn't have missed a danged thing. Blah.
*On the same note as the above point, the boot at the end. Dude never took it off? All I could think was "OMG that's got to be nasty to bathe with" or "does this mean the man never takes a bath??"
*Leo's speech was annoying. Yes, he was three, but the phonetic spelling of his lisp or whatever you want to call it annoyed the pie out of me.
*Harliss. She was so over-the-top that I almost expected her to tie someone up and leave them on a railroad track (despite the fact that the story is set before trains lol). And to top it off, knowing how awful she is, they sent her somewhere they knew there was not only a child but one that our heroine loved as a daughter?! Are you kidding me?!
*Michaela and Julianna become friends in the end?? REALLY?! I just don't see that happening.. She's a total c u next tuesday to Michaela for the whole book, steals the man Michaela is in love with, and then all of a sudden they are buddy buddy? No thank you.
But, even with all that, I say the pros definitely outweighed the cons, and I'm gonna go with a solid 4 Stars :)(less)
**spoiler alert** See, I'm supposed to be painting, and yet, here I am reviewing this book instead lol
Alrighty lemme just jump right in:
What worked fo...more**spoiler alert** See, I'm supposed to be painting, and yet, here I am reviewing this book instead lol
Alrighty lemme just jump right in:
What worked for me: *Unrequited love plus a revenge plot = epic win in my book
*It was set in the states, and on the east coast, which is a refreshing change for a historical novel
*It. was. angsty. as. faaak. *falls over*
*The writing itself is beautifully done. Rich without being flowery, deep without being dragging. Even when I didn't necessarily agree with where the plotline was going, I was glued to this book.
*The push and pull between our hero and heroine, who desperately didn't want to fall in love with each other but couldn't help but do so. The fact that they both felt guilty about what they'd done/were doing to the other, and the fact that they HAD developed a friendship before they got married in the beginning was lovely.
What didn't work for me: *Plus size heroine loses all the weight and becomes incredibly hot before she gets her man. Bah. Once, JUST ONCE, I'd like to read a book where the hero is initially turned off by the fat chick only to fall in love with her despite her physical appearance not being what he's normally attracted to. Anybody know of a book like that? Bueller? Bueller? Anybody? Bueller?
*The twist with the grandfather -- I really think that WHOLE subplot could've been left out without hurting the story, and it would've shortened it quite a bit.
*I admit, I'm stuck on the divorce. Especially since in those days, divorcing a woman was as good as proclaiming her a harlot and stitching a big fat A on her bodice -- there is no way that he didn't know that divorcing her would hurt her worse than a marriage of convenience. Srsly, this book makes me wish I wrote fanfiction so that I could change the plot so that they never divorced, but that he merely abandoned her or disillusioned her or hell, fell for her chubby arse shortly after marrying her. Or something lol
And yet, despite those things, it was a really fanfrickintastic book. There was just enough comedy to keep things from getting too heavy, and just enough immaturity and angst amongst the main characters to keep me reading.
I'm gonna say 4 1/2 Stars (it'd be five, but dangit just once I want the fat chick to get her man while she's still fat lol) (less)
Expected Release Date: July 26, 2011 Publisher: Harlequin Imprint: Harlequ...moreThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: July 26, 2011 Publisher: Harlequin Imprint: Harlequin Historical Author’s Website: http://www.michellewillingham.com/ My Source for This Book: Netgalley Part of a Series: Yes, Book 2, The MacKinloch Clan Series Best Read In Order: Worked Well As A Standalone Steam Level: Steamy
Alex and Laren have never quite had the approval of their clan as a couple. Laren is the daughter of a beggar, and as such her family was barely tolerated by the clan. Alex was in line for the position of chief, and refused to enter into a political marriage and instead wed the love of his life, Laren.
Shortly after the death of their infant son, however, both retreated from the other in their grief, and somewhere along the way they’ve lost the partnership they once shared. Alex, having to maintain a strong appearance for the sake of his clan, has never grieved openly for the death of his son, and instead pours his efforts into protecting and shaping the clan. Laren, being shy and having never found true acceptance within the clan, turned to the local priest, who secretly taught her the art of glassmaking. Keeping her skills from both her husband and the rest of the clan, she has begun to perfect her art, creating gorgeous stained-glass windows in secret.
When an attack on the clan turns everyone on their head, and at the encouragement of one of the few people who know of her work, decides to sell some of her work as a commission to the Church, knowing that if she can bring money into the clan with her own skills, that she will finally have earned the respect of her clan, and hopefully, of her husband.
When Alex appears to still want Laren to change into someone she isn’t — a woman who can help him to lead the clan — she’s heartbroken. Refusing to give up her craft, she slowly begins to regain the attention and affection of her husband.
However, when their young daughter is kidnapped by their enemies, will their newly rediscovered love be enough?
Overall, I found this one a lot more enjoyable than I’d anticipated. I’m not overly fond of “estrangement” stories as a rule, but the gulf between Alex and Laren wasn’t the result of callousness or insensitivity, but rather the result of a deep grief that neither knew how to properly express. Laren’s skill with stained glass was very interesting to read about, as was her journey to both rediscover her love for her husband and to become the leader that her clan needed her to be.
While this is the second book in the series, I do feel that it worked well as a standalone, which was also a plus.
Recommended for fans of a marriage stretched to its breaking point by fear and grief, of two lovers finding each other again despite their differences, and of breathing life into glass to create something of both beauty and value, and all smothered with a healthy dose of Highland Plaid ;)
Expected Release Date: January 21, 2013 Publisher: Entangled Publishing Im...moreThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: January 21, 2013 Publisher: Entangled Publishing Imprint: Scandalous Author’s Website: http://www.authormichellemclean.com/ My Source for This Book: Netgalley Part of a Series: No Series Best Read In Order: N/A Steam Level: Chaste Pet Peeves: Too Stupid To Live Moment(s), Love Triangle Favorite Tropes: Clumsy Heroine, Physically Imperfect or Scarred, Serious Illness or Injury
Though I can’t deny that the book was highly entertaining overall, my final rating would have been higher had it not been for an incredibly too stupid to live moment on the heroine’s part that resulted in a majorly tragic disaster towards the end.
That said, even with the fact that a major event in the end left a sour taste in my mouth, this book was, quite simply, fun. I think partly due to the fact that this was a “sweet” romance, with nothing more than a few kisses and a bit of wandering hands, the main focus was on the escapades of Min and Bryant as they planned and plotted both with and against each other in search for the necklace. It was quite an adventure, when all was said and done, and despite having several of my pet peeves, I still enjoyed it.
Recommended for fans of clumsy heroines whose plans often outshine their abilities, of heroes with tarnished pasts yet golden hearts, and of tons of mischievous adventure, sprinkled with a good dose of chemistry and seasoned with a dash of good old-fashioned romance.
Expected Release Date: May 13, 2013 Publisher: Entangled Publishing Imprin...moreThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: May 13, 2013 Publisher: Entangled Publishing Imprint: Entangled Select Author’s Website: http://robyngrady.com/ My Source for This Book: Gift from the publisher Part of a Series: Yes, Book 1, Idol Series Series Best Read In Order: N/A Steam Level: Steamy Pet Peeves: Obnoxiously Clumsy Heroine Favorite Tropes: Class Barrier
Full of action and steam, the plot was a bit overly dramatic at times, but that’s exactly the sort of thing that I was seeking out when I picked this one up.
While I did find myself flabbergasted at Helene’s extraordinary clumsiness, and the plot progressed along a very obvious path, I still enjoyed Helene and Darius’ unconventional courtship, especially the lovely chemistry and the seeming impossibility of their relationship going any further than the island due to Darius’ princely status.
Overall, this was a very light, easy read, and perfect for summertime.