To be fair, I figured I was being had while I was having, but I was had nonetheless. I've been had in lots of ways, some mor...moreOh damn me, I've been had.
To be fair, I figured I was being had while I was having, but I was had nonetheless. I've been had in lots of ways, some more pleasant than others, but this way isn't one of my favourites.
I'm talking about re-releasing an old book with a new cover and not telling us that's what you've done. This story was previously in an Avon anthology released in 2004 called Avon Books Presents: To Love and to Honor.
(This is probably why Nora Roberts' work is packaged the way that it is -- with the "NR" seal that guarantees the book you are holding is in print for the first time. And her re-releases are clearly marked as to how they originally appeared. No "dammit, I've already read this!" with her stuff.)
Ahem. Once I got over that, the story itself was one of Stuart's better efforts. She makes no secret of how much she loved Alan Rickman's portrayal of the Sheriff of Nottingham and that this work is based specifically on him.
Yup, I can see that. And from the first line of the book, you will see it too.
Alistair Darcourt, high sheriff of Huntingdon, is a Very Bad Man. An OTT, almost comically Very Bad Man, and the story of his marriage by proxy to Lady Elspeth of Gaveland is an entertaining medieval adventure.
The novella is too short to describe much more and that is almost always my biggest complaint about novellas - there was enough here that it could have easily been a novel. Because of that I felt the ending wrapped itself up a little too quickly.
If you're looking for a trademark Anne Stuart historical you'll certainly find a taste of it here. A taste, mind you, and for $1.99 at Amazon. A better meal might be had at the UBS with Avon Books Presents: To Love and to Honor, where you get helpings of Judith French, Linda Lael Miller and Stella Cameron.
I'd never read this author before, which actually surprises me. She's been around since the mid-seventies and has been pretty prolific t...moreWow. Just wow.
I'd never read this author before, which actually surprises me. She's been around since the mid-seventies and has been pretty prolific throughout. I've been reading HR (and bodice-rippers) since the late 70s but for some reason I never picked one up.
I am so glad I finally did -- and thanks to my GR friend Ruth, for writing a stellar review that had me immediately downloading the book from Amazon.
I haven't read a historical romance with so much actual historical detail in it since the early 80s. Everything is here -- the history, the state of the world, the War of the Roses, their clothing and food, their way of life, their manner of speech, their politics, their society -- all of it given throughout the book with nary an info dump to be found.
Oh my GOD, what a pleasure to read.
The only thing I noticed about this one was that the romance, while satisfying, didn't have quite the level of intimacy (only word I can think of) that I've come to expect from historical romances nowadays. Of course, that's probably because the new books have virtually no historical detail or story other than the relationship between the H/h, but that's what I'm used to and I notice when it's different.
That being said, I liked the Hero very much - he reminded me a bit of Wulfgar of Normandy (The Wolf and the Dove). I didn't find Isobel quite as likeable as Rand (but that's because I'm usually in it only for the men), but I found her frustration at being told who she was to wed very believable. What I also found to be a nice change was the fact that although she was angry at being wed, she had no problems knocking boots with Rand at every opportunity once she discovered how attracted she was to him and how good he was at that part of marriage. ;D Atta girl.
The writing is amazing, the attention to historical detail and background is fantastic. This is a tale of Henry VII's court, the intrigue and deception within it, and the love that grows between a base-born warrior and his lady fair.
I give up. One of my resolutions this year is not to bother finishing a book that (a) is tons of work to read; and/or (b) I don't like. This one is mo...moreI give up. One of my resolutions this year is not to bother finishing a book that (a) is tons of work to read; and/or (b) I don't like. This one is mostly (a).
Kudos to Virginia Henley for all of her historical research but man, this book made my eyes cross. Historical name-dropping and the constant switching of names for titles becomes tiresome when you have to stop and think who it is she is talking about. The author crams historical events like the invasion of France, battles for the return of a hostage and about 10 different intrigues in Edward's court into about 20 pages. Where is the romance?! Oh yeah - buried in all of this high-school history homework.
Trying to keep track of the myriad main characters in this book simply became too much for me. I don't think I'm a stupid person (*holds hand up - no comments from the peanut gallery, please*) but also don't like to have to work this hard to read a romance novel.
My head hurts - I'm off to find a mindless, large-font historical-lite to make it feel better.(less)