I really, really wanted to love this book. A historical hero seeking a new wife for himself, finds an accident prone young lady with a free spirit-unbI really, really wanted to love this book. A historical hero seeking a new wife for himself, finds an accident prone young lady with a free spirit-unbeknownst to him, of course. See how easy it sounds to like this book? I thought so. Unfortunately, in the end, I found myself not being able to fully enjoy it.
Noble, for starters, wasn't the kind of hero that left an impression on me, either good or bad. And that's bad, because no matter what it is I feel, I'd rather feel something for the characters than being indifferent towards them. Even if I hate them, it's still a reason to come back to read, but when I don't feel anything for a character, there's really nothing to tie me to the book. And unfortunately, Noble was such a character. I couldn't sense his sexiness, his thoughtfulness, or his love throughout my reading, which meant that already half of the pair who should've attracted me failed to impress me.
And Gillian..Gone, the other half. I'm afraid I can't say anything better for her. Same as Noble, she didn't rouse my interest from its fitful sleep. For a while, I expected her clumsy and lively character giving birth to a still clumsy and lively yet strong and smart woman, but I gave up that hope by the middle of the book. There wasn't anything that set her apart from any other society lady, nothing that usually endears a historical heroine to me, and that was my biggest turn off about her. If I had to describe Gillian in only one word, I think it'd be 'silly'. Sure, she was funny at times, as was Noble, and their interactions involved a great deal of comical misunderstandings, and the glue that holds it all together, clumsiness, but I realized humorous situations aren't enough to hook me in a historical romance. And I can't help but say, some of the scenes that were undoubtedly funny would've fit much better in a modern comedy rather than a historical romance. They just didn't go with the way I enjoy my historicals, and that was probably my main problem with this book. I couldn't connect with any of the characters, and that I believe was because the humor in their story overrode the romance. Even the mystery was only slightly interesting. Not to mention the detail of Noble's son, who was also related to the mystery and should've been a big part of Gillian and Noble's romance, was told so casually it became frustrating for me.
If you don't want your historical romances in much serious tones, or none at all, and you don't mind the characters being a little silly, or more, and you're okay with not being able to connect with them, then this book is for you. For me, I experienced all of the above, and though I did enjoy some of the misunderstandings and shenanigans, they weren't enough to interest me to come back for more. ...more
I don't know why or how I never had the honor of reading-yes,I did this- a Julia London book before. Oh well, you know what they say, everything has aI don't know why or how I never had the honor of reading-yes,I did this- a Julia London book before. Oh well, you know what they say, everything has a first, and this book was mine regarding this author whose work I'll definitely follow.
Although I loved the book as a whole, with its fun sounding-if not a bit clichéd- plot and the witty banter between the hero and the heroine, I've had a tiny bit of hard time warming up to Honor's character. I loved her independent and somewhat shallow view of the world in the beginning, but what really got me to like her was her turn for the better as the story progressed. What started out as a slightly spoiled, heavily fun and games oriented lifestyle, quickly turned into one of inspiration born out of desperation and fear for her future and that of her family's. The transformation was subtle and yet present all the same, hidden in her serious moments when her facade had slipped. And that transformation was what made me put myself in her shoes and understand and ultimately like her.
George Eston, on the other hand, was a case of instant liking. He had all the characteristics of an historical hero, and yet in his continuous fear for his self made fortune, and his inability of resisting Honor's charm and their witty banter inbetween, Julia London has managed to make him unique. There's nothing more than reading the same character over and over again, so I was very glad for that.
The story itself was unusual, if I may say so. Actually, let me correct that. The story started out as usual for this genre, with the self made-and so hardly ever accepted by society- hero meeting the heroine who had an affinity for pretty gowns and a knack for making people uncomfortable with her forward attitude, and them falling in love. Everything is somewhat familiar so far and yet it all takes an unusual turn after that. I didn't know where the story was going. I knew that the couple were eventually going to work things out and end up together, but the how? It completely eluded me until it was time for it to sneak up on me. And I most definitely loved it when it did.
A lovely story of a courageous young woman who's just a little too forward for the likes of her society, and a gambling man who likes taking risks whenever he can, Honor and George's adventure was fun to read and I recommend it to those who like this genre. I can't help but add, that we already had a glimpse of what awaits Honor's sister Grace in the next book, and I, for one, cannot wait for that one also....more
The Rake's Redemption is a story about finding love for the second time, it is about facing your past and moving on to your future. I could say all thThe Rake's Redemption is a story about finding love for the second time, it is about facing your past and moving on to your future. I could say all this because it is about all those things, unfortunately though, it falls short in making me feel them. Those are just the conclusions I drew in the end of the story, like when I was in high school and we were required to read a book and give a brief summary about what it was talking about. I'd read the book, but then I wouldn't exactly connect with it further than was necessary for my homework. It's a shame though, because the storyline was promising and a particular subplot was most interesting.
Juliana Grenville is a widow, albeit a young one of twenty three. She's met her husband when she was young and they enjoyed a very short marriage of one month before he perished at war six years ago. Now she passes her time taking care of her home and her brother, but in order to relieve her brother of the responsibility of caring for a young widowed sister, she wishes to marry another widower like herself, preferably with kids. So she plots to travel to London with her aunt. There she meets Dominic, Marquis of Aubrey, who's a rake, but also somewhat of a mystery. He's most definitely what she is not looking for in a husband, and yet the heart wants what it wants, and before they-and us- know it, they find themselves falling in love and facing their unique obstacles in order to end up happy together.
Let me emphasize that I actually liked this plot. It was engaging enough to make me start reading the book, and the rest of the plot that revealed itself towards the middle was good also, the only problem was the execution. I felt as if I was only told of the beginning, the middle and the end of the story, and the rest was just a few scattered dots that I had to connect whilst reading. Now I know this was a novella, but it was still one hundred something pages and it could've told more, given me more detail instead of jumping from one situation to the next without giving me the complete picture.
The dialogue style, I must say, was not one I'm used to reading in historicals. I never witnessed how they speak in those times naturally-hopefully I'll remedy that once they invent the time machine- but it didn't seem to me like it flowed naturally. It felt more like I was watching a play instead of reading a novella. And since we're speaking of dialogue, the jump between points of view of the characters could've been made clearer, perhaps, with a new paragraph. In more than one occasion I had to go back and make sure whose point of view I was reading from, and that took from the flow of the story.
Dominic and Juliana were likable enough, but not, to engage me fully into their adventure. And that may be because I never got the chance to fully know them. Don't get me wrong, we were given every information about them that was needed to know who Dominic and Juliana are, but they were bits scattered all over, and I had a devil of a time of picking them up.
Their love was, sadly, the same for me. When we're being told from the point of view of the hero, the heroine is some sort of an angel because that's what he's told from the numerous beautiful and heartfelt stories of his friend and comrade, Juliana's dead husband. Too bad we never had a chance to hear those stories ourselves through the magic of flashbacks, because then maybe I would've been able to believe them myself. This vision Dominic had of Juliana, her being an anchor, a wonderful lively human being seemed unconvincing from where I stood. A short dialogue, an italic flashback that I'd bravely take on, would've gone a much longer way in convincing me that it was thoughts of Juliana, this lovely woman described and so adored by another man, that got him through the ugliness and desperation of war.
And I'm sorry, but I didn't get Dominic's whole 'I can never get her', 'She's most definitely off limits' attitude. Why was that so? Was she loved by a close relative, the most dramatic choice being a brother? No. Or perhaps by a best friend whom Dominic was duty bound to not touch his beloved? Again, no. Well, we know Dominic served with Juliana's dead husband at some point, and apparently they spent enough time for this man to share tales of Juliana with him, but there was no concrete proof in the story that said this man was his best friend, or someone to evoke such a devotion that Dominic would feel so guilty over loving his widow. I just couldn't buy his reasoning regarding this.
One final thought is that the grand secret, another wall that stood between Juliana and Dominic, came down in such an anticlimactic way, and dealt with so easily, that it disappointed me greatly. I won't spoil it, but it was a a matter that could've tipped the scales for the story, it needed more on page time, and much more consideration than that was given to it for the characters to get over. It was finally something in the book that interested me, and it was over before it even began, so to speak. This, with the lack of the one character that succeeded in piquing my curiosity, has led to a dull ending.
Now, a part of me does wonder about that one character, and since I don't believe in abandoning an author after just one book, I think I might go hunting in the future in the hopes that his story will be more satisfactory. In the meantime, Dominic and Juliana's story didn't exactly catch my interest, but I'm sure it can still be enjoyed by die hard historical romance fans. ...more
This was a sweet novella. As the term suggests, it was short and yet to the point. Laird Campbell is trying to marry off his sisters one by one, and tThis was a sweet novella. As the term suggests, it was short and yet to the point. Laird Campbell is trying to marry off his sisters one by one, and the first one to go is Elyne Campbell, the practical sister. She's happy to do her duty and marry the man her brother chooses for her, and yet when the groom's party arrives, she realizes she's more attracted to her intended's cousin, Tavish Grant, than the groom himself. Somewhere along the story, the two get stranded in an abandoned cottage, and that seems to be the cherry on top in their complicated situation.
Despite this story being short, I easily bought into the romance of the hero and the heroine. Perhaps the setting of the cottage and the fact that they couldn't leave the place for a while and had to spend the night with each other has affected my judgment, but with limited on page time, a confined space and a short time, the author still managed to convince me of their feelings. Elyne and Tavish were both likable characters, I especially liked Tavish taking life a little on the lighter side. He was funny, and even though Elyne was instantly smitten, it seemed to me like it took him a tiny bit more to realize she was a woman, and not his cousin's intended. I liked that.
Since this was a novella, and a somewhat introduction to the author's Regency series, there wasn't much plot to go on with, except for the period's required battle between the English and the Highlanders. A fact, I admit, -the lack of plot that is- that didn't bother me in the least, with the funny dialogue and the easy banter between the characters.
A sweet romance that's a nice start to a series of novellas about three sisters. I'm now curious as to how the remaining sisters will do, and how their descendants will fare in their Regency stories. ...more
So, as much as I love the dark and brooding, as evident from this book, the sweet and gentle can also be sexy. The third and final book in Lori BrightSo, as much as I love the dark and brooding, as evident from this book, the sweet and gentle can also be sexy. The third and final book in Lori Brighton's Seduction series tells the story of James, the always loyal member of Lady Lavender's brothel for women, and Eleanor, the unfortunate wife looking for passion.
From the very first of these books I knew I loved all three of these men. They were all very different from another yet I was able to find at least one trait about each that enamored me to them. Alex was the rebellious gentleman who spoke to the romantic in me, Gideon was the silent dangerous one who spoke to the naughty in me, and finally James was the sweet caring one who spoke to the good girl in me. I think of all the three of them Gideon might still be my favorite for obvious reasons, but James and Alex also wormed their way up to that land of love of mine for fictional characters.
I felt for James, angry at the way he'd been treated by Lady Lavender even though he seemed to be her favorite, and maybe that was the worst. I felt compassion for him because he was so loyal and unquestioning towards his captor, Lady Lavender, a true optimist if there ever was one in that place. He was childish somewhat in his view of the world he lived in, in the way he saw his employment at the brothel, and I could understand Alex and Gideon's frustration at his naiveté. It took a while for James to question why and how he was at Lady Lavender's, most likely thanks to a woman who was trying to escape her own demons. There are no words to explain just how protective I felt towards James because he was the most vulnerable among the three simply because he was the one who wanted to believe the good in Lady Lavender the most. And poor Eleanor, or Ellie as James liked to refer to her. She was one the most unfortunate heroines I came across in a historical romance and I couldn't be happier for her to find her happiness, and to think she found it in the arms of sweet dear James who deserved love and caring just as much as she did, made it all the better. She was a truly strong woman, a wonderful match for James' kind heart.
As the books progressed, we got piece after piece about who Lady Lavender was, and how she came to be who she was and why, and the final pieces came in James' book to complete the picture. Up until now we've discovered certain things, but along with this book, the book of her favorite pet, we were able to see her point of view a little, for until now we've only read her through the eyes of others. There wasn't a huge revelation befitting a final book, or at least as much as I might've expected, but the things we learnt so far were more than enough. Besides, I think the biggest leap of all was James' loyalty crumbling, him finally starting to question the woman he felt compelled to respect for all these years.
I loved how all the characters, Alex and Gideon and their families, coming together once more to say goodbye to the reader, a wonderful family reunion hinting to many more to come off the pages. I loved each and every one of them, loved to see them finally finding the happiness they deserved, and although I could've certainly done with a more detailed epilogue, I liked the way things ended. There were a few side characters that I was hoping would make a more romantic reappearance but oh well, I have to be content with what I was given.
A sweet series that I'm very much glad to have discovered and that I recommend to all those who like historical romances as much as I do. ...more
As much as I've set myself up for a tough challenge and a tight schedule in order to read this series from the first book, oh how glad I am I made myAs much as I've set myself up for a tough challenge and a tight schedule in order to read this series from the first book, oh how glad I am I made my decision this way. Having read the two so far and with only the last one remaining, this was surely the right move, because the general plot is thickening and the puzzle pieces are coming together. The second book of this rare gem of a series is about Gideon, the silent, strong, dominant mountain of a man who works at Lady Lavender's, the pleasure house for women, and he's hired out for two weeks to Elizabeth, the mysterious young widow who miraculously convinces Lady Lavender to this deed.
What I love about these books is not that they're only about two people coming together to find their happy ever after, nor is it about the sexual fit the hero and heroine form, but it's the emotions the men possess, the psychology resulting from their time in Lady Lavender's employ. With each book and each hero, I'm looking forward to what I'll discover about their personalities and how they'll come to love their partners. And could it possibly be too predictable of me to have looked forward to Gideon's story the most? The tall, dark and dangerous? I say not. There's something just a little too exciting, a bit too toe curling about a man such as him. The man is not charming, certainly not gentle-he likes it a tad on the rougher side in bed, he likes to dominate his women- a clear way, perhaps, to understand his character better since he has no control over anything else in his life.
Is it a surprise I loved Gideon? I think not. He was one of those fictional men who's a rock on the outside but on the inside, well, still a rock but a rock that cares and loves and protects. Gideon, oh Gideon. As a man who has left all human emotion behind him over the years, Gideon was hell bent on escaping the clutches of Lady Lavender the Great Bitch-okay, maybe I added that last part. So when opportunity knocks in the guise of Elizabeth who wants him out of Lady Lavender's for two weeks, a plan forms in his head; seduce the woman, grab some of her money and run. But things hardly ever go as planned in these romances as we've all realized that by now and Elizabeth turns out not just as the opportunity for his escape but as the savior of his soul. A bit too dramatic and romantic even for me, I know, but I couldn't help it. Elizabeth was such a good match for the hardness that was Gideon. She was hope and light personified, she was naive in a way, and yet she was strong. She was also a woman with her own secrets but it looks like she had such a great heart and a clear conscience that she was able to keep up with everyone's everything. Oh, and she has two sweet little children who took an instant liking to Gideon which has led yours truly to love the man even more, because you know how a man with children is just too irresistible.
As per the way with these books, I believe, we found out individual secrets about Gideon but also picked up a few more breadcrumbs as to who Lady Lavender is, who happens to be the grander plot. It will hopefully all be completely revealed in the last book, and I personally can't wait to see the whole picture.
A wonderful addition to the series that was worth my time as a hermit. Now, on to the next and the last one. Sweet James, I don't know if you can ever top my love for Gideon, but your place is already reserved on my favorites shelf along with Alex. ...more
While book hunting, there have been occasions where I came across a theme or a character, or even a small scene-a quote perhaps- that tugged at somethWhile book hunting, there have been occasions where I came across a theme or a character, or even a small scene-a quote perhaps- that tugged at something inside me, I don't know what. I got obsessed with whatever that got my attention and I could never concentrate on anything else unless I read that one book or books in particular. Seduction series by Lori Brighton can definitely be counted as such an occasion. I got my hands on the last book of this series-oh the play of fate!- and upon reading the first chapter of book three, I decided to go way back and read the whole thing from the beginning. Why? Because when the series is about three male prostitutes who work for a woman nicknamed Lady Lavender, what is a gal to do? Especially when she discovers that not only each book has a story of its own, but there might also be a bigger, more general plot that revolves around these three men? Naturally I got curious and, risking being quite antisocial for the next couple of days, got my hands on a copy of the first two books.
This book is the introduction of this new world, and tells the story of Alex, the more gentlemanly member of the trio who works at Lady Lavender's. I found Alex to be a good character to start the story off. As the most skeptic of his so called savior from poverty and life's cruelty, Lady Lavender, Alex introduced me to a world where men were paid to pleasure women and didn't necessarily enjoy it. He's forced into this business from a young age and over years, he came to despise what he once considered as exciting in his adolescent mind. Things are different now, he's a grown man and he knows what he does, or is forced to do, and he wants out. Enter, Grace, an almost on the shelf young lady who takes care of her little sister and sick mother on top of dealing with a step brother who's intent on gambling away what little inheritance they have. The turbulence that goes on in Alex's mind is predictable. Although for some people I think this book could be considered long, I, for one, liked its pace. It's already not easy to come to terms with one's emotions in general, but add to that what Alex did for a living, I think it's quite understandable the guy needed time to sort out his issues. He had a pessimistic personality but this was well balanced with Grace's hopeful and lively demeanor. She was the opposite of Alex in how she viewed life, but it also helped them click in some way because where Alex saw despair and dead end, Grace was able to see happiness and light ahead.
The plot was very intriguing for a historical romance, what with it being about male prostitutes. I think the work they did was what got me curious about this series in the first place, but reading this first book and getting to know the characters, I'm not the least bit sorry to wonder about the words 'male' and 'prostitute' together. It was nice to read a story, a historical one at that, that revolved around men who're not titled or wealthy or anything else they always are in historical romances. Don't get me wrong, I love those men because no matter what, they're always honorable and likable, but the circumstances these men faced just stuck with me. I had to know their stories.
As much as I loved the book and the characters, and even though I said the pace of Alex's struggles was the right one, even I can admit that this book could've been a tad shorter. It's still good as it is, but it wouldn't hurt if it was perhaps a few chapters shorter, you know? But apart from all this, I say this was a great experience as a series first. It intrigued me enough to want to jump to the second book immediately, again, risking the life of a hermit, but I have a feeling it'll be quite worth it. ...more
Usually people, and when I say 'people' I mean my mom and my sister, criticize me over my ability to determine who looks like who. According to them,Usually people, and when I say 'people' I mean my mom and my sister, criticize me over my ability to determine who looks like who. According to them, the two people I often think look alike are very obviously different, and yet the similarity is clear as a sunny day to me. The point of this three lined introduction is that I thought the cover guy of this book looked pretty similar to the famous-and very nice- tennis player Roger Federer. Can anyone else see the similarity? Or is it just me, and my mom and sister are right? Anyway, that was why this book struck me while I was looking for my next read.
Who doesn't love a story about Highlanders? Not me. The idea of men in kilts and the possibility of wink wink at the quick lift of said kilt is pretty attractive to me. I mean, think of all the naughty! And so I try not to ever say 'no' to any Highlander stories. Enter, the story of our hero and heroine, Gahan and Moira.
Moira is the poor good natured young woman who's forced to marry a man twice-or perhaps even thrice- her age just so her evil half brother can unite with the groom's army to defeat his enemy who happens to be our hero's father. Moira was hell bent on doing her duty to her people, and reading her parts, her desperation on the face of her marriage was a challenge. It made me so angry that she faced such a situation, and I expected some kind of reaction from her also. I may be a die hard romantic, but for the sake of the story, I could well do with some realistic situations. I did, however, expect more from Moira. As a reader, I had the privilege of being inside her head, peeking into her innermost thoughts and emotions, but what did I find there? Not much. Apart from her fear of marrying a man old enough to be her grandfather, her fear of her psychotic brother, and her sense of what I can only call an automatic responsibility towards her people were the only things in there.
The villains had more personality reflected than the hero and the heroine. In fact, all the characters except for the two, I'm sad to say, had more personality shining through the book. I loved to hate the slightly insane evil Bari and his equally evil sister Sandra, yet failed to love Moira and Gahan with the same intensity. And their love felt more like love at first fuck-pardon my French. It seemed like all they did was sneak around to find an opportunity for a tumble in the sheets, and how they found a way and the time to fall in love? Beats me. Actually, would anyone judge me if I said, for all their villainous ways and insanity, I liked the evil brother sister duo better? At least they stood their ground, and their intentions and reasoning for whatever they did was definitely much clearer.
Other than the bad gang, I liked the supporting good guys. I haven't read any other books from this series but I liked some of Gahan's half brothers, and I can say I'm actually looking forward to reading stories for a few of them. I think after I finished writing this, I might go see who's already got a book and who has not.
Since we're still somewhat on the subject of couples, I can't say I appreciated the way Gahan and Moira's relationship began. I know I said I didn't much like the way it went on but the start wasn't complementary towards Moira either. Call me a cliche lover-or I might lack the knowledge of the ways of the Highlanders- but I do like my romance a little on the side of the usual. I don't necessarily mean they see each other, they fall in love, get married and live happily ever after, they don't even have to be each other's first love or marriage, no, but in a time where a couple show the soiled sheet on their first night as husband and wife, I don't particularly appreciate the son of a laird taking the wife of another man-albeit the marriage being unconsummated.
In the end, I can't really say Moira handled her Highlander that well, and all of this seems to have pointed me towards a low rating, however, I have come across series or authors whose different works I've enjoyed on different levels. So, I'll be on the lookout for the rest. Every book tells another story, and every other story is of another couple. Who knows, maybe these guys didn't do it for me, but perhaps a love story between, say, a member of a different clan *cough*MacLeod*cough* and a headstrong woman might interest me more.
I didn't think I could encounter a novelty when it came to historical romances, however, I see that I was wrong. True Spies tells the story of a husbaI didn't think I could encounter a novelty when it came to historical romances, however, I see that I was wrong. True Spies tells the story of a husband and wife duo who work as spies in the Regency era. When I first heard of this plot, I thought I'd get a fast paced historical with a bit of romance in it. I didn't expect a married couple of fourteen years with two kids discovering their passion. I say discovering because although the heroine, Elinor, is already in love with her husband, our hero Winn, looks at their marriage as a cover for his hidden life of espionage. What starts off as a marriage of convenience turns into passion in the action filled life of our spies.
I liked both characters. Elinor is the kind of woman the society expects all women to be like, a mother and caretaker. She has been married for fourteen years and gave birth to two daughters and she doesn't have much to expect from her life, perhaps other than a response to her feelings from her husband. It's always nice to see a heroine in a historical romance who defies the rules of society, and Elinor certainly fits the bill. Although she wasn't familiar with the kind of life a spy leads, she was more than ready to learn and help. She knew her weaknesses, but she was ready to better herself despite her fears. I was glad to see there was a balance between what came to her naturally and what she was able to improvise or not, because this is a woman in the Regency era, one who wasn't trained for such a life, you can't expect her to suddenly start jumping off rooftops or fight back against men with knives or guns. As much as Elinor was a nice heroine, Winn was a good hero. All through the book, the biggest change happened in Winn's personality. He turned from the indifferent husband to a caring man who slowly-and finally- fell in love with his wife. I have to say, it was fun to read the story almost backwards, usually what we get is the couple meeting, falling in love and then forming a family and we'd get our happily ever after, but in this story, the couple was already married with children and only after years of marriage they finally managed to get to know each other and fall in love.
Since this was a book revolving around spies, there was quite a lot of action involved, which I very much enjoyed. It was fact paced, and although it seems like it took me a while to finish it, it was easy to read. Many of the secondary characters were nice and funny, and they more than intrigued me to hunt down any other books in the series. A funny, fast paced historical espionage/romance story that I'm sure would appeal to those who like the genre, and those who look for something light and fun to read.