Despite having one of the most uninspired titles I've seen lately (that immediately made me think of Snoopy, sitting on top of his doghouse with his tDespite having one of the most uninspired titles I've seen lately (that immediately made me think of Snoopy, sitting on top of his doghouse with his typewriter) this Anne Stuart Harlequin kept me entertained all the way through.
It read like a typical AS kitchen sink category romance - so much going on it was hard to keep track of the tropes: a hurricane, a windswept cliff with a big stone house, a matronly housekeeper so sweet and thoughtful she could only be purely evil, the requisite slow-in-the-head son of the said evil housekeeper, standing 6 1/2 feet tall, with superhuman strength, no brains to speak of and a malevolent streak a mile wide, the mysterious reclusive O'Neal, Irish ghosts, a seal, smugglers, Irish accents, red hair, "I hate you I hate you no wait I think I want you", (from a virginal spinsterish heroine, no less!) lots of bickering and snotty remarks and a cellar full of treasure. And, because it's an Anne Stuart, a treacly sweet epilogue.
A couple of parts were a little bit OTT and the lead up to the Hero's big secret almost made me laugh, but like I said I was pretty well-entertained and was eagerly turning pages all the way to the end.
The back cover said, "No doubt about it, he was really the one."
Ah, yes. The love at first sight Harlequin Romance. And the cover says it hits her likThe back cover said, "No doubt about it, he was really the one."
Ah, yes. The love at first sight Harlequin Romance. And the cover says it hits her like a thunderbolt!
Here is the story in a nutshell: Valerie is a beautiful, independently wealthy reporter who works for her uncle's newspaper. She is fast on her way to a Pulitzer when her uncle sends her off to Kentucky to cover the Egyptian Arabian horse show. She hates horses, so her uncle figures she'll have a different perspective on the whole scene.
Through a series of clunky misunderstandings she meets and falls in love (and remember, it hits her like a thunderbolt!) with the Hero, a reclusive gazillionaire entrepreneur with a big-time hate on for the press. He pretends to be his own employee, she pretends to be the lover of his horse trainer, she gathers material for an expose on him, he gets a dossier on her, they fight, then they f**k. The inevitable big mis happens (including a ridiculous "moment" between Valerie and his horse) lots of tears are shed, everyone acts like they are in high school and then they all live happily ever after.
This book had some great moments -- the Hero smoked (YAY! You never see that anymore) and was a sexist jerk who seemed to think she was a whore the whole time he was falling in love with her. Issues, much, dude?
Anyhow, the bright spots at the beginning got bogged down in some ham-handed plot mechanics and, I'm sorry, but the heroine was a freaking moron. Perhaps after I've read a few more of these I'll get used to no one having any common sense in Harleyland, but for now it's hard to take.
Onwards and upwards, as they say - I'm hoping the next one is better. If not, this could be a really long month.
I hate to admit it, but I really don't know everything. (Whew! That was really hard. I feel like the Fonz trying to say 'sorry'.)
I don't know beans abI hate to admit it, but I really don't know everything. (Whew! That was really hard. I feel like the Fonz trying to say 'sorry'.)
I don't know beans about the wives of Henry VIII, other than the fact that Anne Boleyn begat Elizabeth I then lost her head, Jane Seymour died (only to be reincarnated as that actress from Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman), Catherine of Aragon was the mother of Bloody Mary, and it seems as though all of them were related to or worked for each other. A rather incestuous bunch, it seems to me; Henry mustn't have liked to stray far for his diversions.
Anyway, Six of One is a unique take on the story of these six women, presented in the form of a tongue in cheek time-travel romance. Dolly, a history professor, is about to marry Harry, a man who has six exes. She chokes on a nut at her bachelorette party and wakes up in a castle in Tudor England, with Henry VIII's six wives surrounding her.
What I read of this book was amusing and light-hearted, clever and very clearly a spoof. I very reluctantly stopped reading it for one reason, and one reason only:
I HAD NO FREAKING IDEA WHO ANY OF THE WOMEN WERE!
Some were the main six, some were relatives of theirs, some were relatives of Henry's, some were ladies in waiting, I had no clue. Same with the present day. I didn't know enough about the actual characters to appreciate the cleverness of the puns, the plays on their names or their characters.
DAMN. I feel like I'm missing a good book here, but I'm too tired to learn that much about the Reformation period and Tudor England for the sake of one book. Perhaps if more historical romances were set in this period.....
Rich, titled (a Comte, no less!), urbane, sophisticated, alpha, alpha, alpha. Attracted to very young,Now THIS is an HP the way I remember them!
Rich, titled (a Comte, no less!), urbane, sophisticated, alpha, alpha, alpha. Attracted to very young, sheltered, virginal, CLUELESS, timid orphan with no self-esteem to speak of and a level of gullibility I haven't seen in years.
Poor homeless orphan, on her own since she was a teenager, working and living in hotels. Engaged to the slick hotel manager, she meets (and detests) Philippe immediately.
Heroine catches slick fiance with another hotel guest, Hero fabricates a compromising position so she can marry him instead and dump the hotel manager to save her pride. Conveniently enough, said Hero needs a wife himself - he says because the woman he loves is with another man and he needs to show her he doesn't care. (Savvy readers will recognize immediately that he uses this as an excuse; he really wants to get into her panties.)
So the heroine exchanges one engagement ring for another, and trots off to France with her new husband. She is SHOCKED, APPALLED, and FURIOUS to discover that he's not just a successful businessman, he is a Comte, with a castle and a reticule of servants and assorted family members living there. She is to be a Comtesse - and is convinced she is completely unable to live there.
"You tricked me!" she flung, flushing at his insult. Why weren't you honest about everything? You never mentioned the fact that you lived in a damned great castle..."
"Sarconne is not a castle," he drawled coldly. It is a chateau, a fortified house, if you like." He slapped her suddenly, without violence, a friendly slap. "Stop quarrelling with me on your first day in Sarconne. Get changed and come and look at it with me. It is to be your home, after all."
"You're joking," she said bitterly. "One look from your family and I knew I was an outsider."
Assorted big misunderstandings occur, especially with the Comte's hopelessly sad brother and his bitch of a wife. Sister-in-law, it seems (because it doesn't occur to our clueless heroine to ask!), is the woman Philippe loved and she makes no bones about her displeasure with the new bride.
Heroine spends lots of time navel-gazing and having ridiculously fabulous sex with her husband, but they just can't seem to get past that time-honoured obstacle to an HEA: THE NEED TO SPEAK TO EACH OTHER.
Oh well, this is Harleyland circa 1983, after all, and all the misunderstandings and angst are wrapped up tidily in about 185 pages. I'm starting to understand the appeal these books had for my Grandma, who read 'em by the truckload.
4 stars. I'd actually read this one again without a gun being held to my head. :)
Aw, this was kinda cute. Random thoughts as I was reading:
Haha, these Brits sure talk funny; I love their expressions. This book is pretty good! :)
HeyAw, this was kinda cute. Random thoughts as I was reading:
Haha, these Brits sure talk funny; I love their expressions. This book is pretty good! :)
Hey! There's a pretty hot love scene in it. :P
Oh, friends to lovers, one of my favourite tropes. :D
With a HFN ending - which was ok, 'cause these crazy kids are all of, like, 23 years old. ;D
But the heroine is an insecure, virtually virginal, unaware-of-her-own-beauty wedding cake saleswoman. I'm getting tired of her - she's EVERYWHERE. :|
And why do I keep picturing Robert Pattinson as the Hero? >:\
Why can't I keep their names straight? Christian, Bella,Anastasia, Edward. Damn. Linc and Bailey. :(
TWILIGHT, get the f**k out of my romances!!!
All kidding aside, this wasn't really like Twilight, but the heroine did remind me of that vapid twit, Bella. Or maybe it was the first person narration. Or maybe, that I got burned by the 50 Shades trilogy. The end result is the same - I see Twilight in almost every self-pub contemporary romance I've read in the past little while.
You know when you eat something really super sweet and it makes you want to spit, and spit and spit the yucky taste out of your mouth?
No more Debbie MYou know when you eat something really super sweet and it makes you want to spit, and spit and spit the yucky taste out of your mouth?
No more Debbie Macomber for me.
I can handle fluffy, happy, light or feel-good romances, but when you throw in saccharine sweet, cloying and silly writing, with no character development, a goofy story (where the most believable character is a magic wedding dress) and NO SEX I can't take it. The characters are bland, boring and forgettable, and the novellas were much the same.
I could stand the second story a little better than the first - there was at least a bit of conflict in it, but I could tell from about 5 pages in that this author is simply not for me.