This little book started out so promising. I LOVED the title, the Kindle sample hooked me big time (damn you, Amazon) and I bought the book with such...moreThis little book started out so promising. I LOVED the title, the Kindle sample hooked me big time (damn you, Amazon) and I bought the book with such high hopes.
Agatha, the homely spinster, meets Magnus, the scarred monster, at a ball when she defends him to a group of socialites and literally runs into him in the hallway. They are taken with each other and before you know it, Lord Leighton has offered for her hand and Agatha accepts.
All good so far, I think.
But then they get married, and as soon as they say "I do" they seem to lose whatever brains they possess, and for 2/3 of the book the reader is treated to endless misunderstandings based on their insecurities, they constantly second-guess themselves and pussy-foot around each other until I wanted to shake somebody. (view spoiler)[(And yell, "Oh for Crissakes, would you two just FUCK already!!") (hide spoiler)]
There is a mildly entertaining secondary romance involving Magnus' best friend and Agatha's American fertilizer supplier (WTF you say? Yup.) A little bit contrived and convenient for my tastes, I think. I don't mind being spoonfed, but you have to do it well enough that I don't KNOW I'm slurping pablum. The endless machinations of his friend's matchmaking mother was amusing, but in the end couldn't distract me from the frustration I was feeling at both the leads.
There was a bit of mystery thrown in here as well. It introduced me to the most interesting character in the whole book, a misogynistic magistrate who won't look a woman in the face or speak to her directly. He was the most historically authentic dude in the book, imo.
It was a pleasant, mildly entertaining, slightly maddening Regency once all was said and done. Some glimmers of great writing and compelling storytelling that I felt were lost in a Big Mis plot that could have been much better. Unfortunately, I felt the title was a self-fulfilling prophecy for the book itself.
Original comment September 24/11: What an excellent title. The book, meh. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
Well, perhaps not that much fun, but certainly very lively. And, while there aren't usually werewolves on roller-coasters, th...moreHow much fun was THIS?!?!
Well, perhaps not that much fun, but certainly very lively. And, while there aren't usually werewolves on roller-coasters, this book was almost that fast-paced. I've been wanting to read it since it came out a couple of years ago but never got around to it. Lucky for me, I found it on a rack at the library while waiting for my kids the other night.
It was quick, it was naughty, it was light, it was entertaining, and I'm looking forward to reading the next one. I picked it up on Tuesday night and was finished by bedtime Wednesday. I had trouble putting it down, it was so engaging. Of course the downside to reading a book that quickly is that I won't remember a thing about it 3 weeks from now, but the upside is it'll be like a brand new book to me by Christmas.
I had one bad moment, where I was afraid that LD was going to (view spoiler)[cross the species line into bestiality, but THANK GOD she narrowly averted that skeevy disaster. *shudders* (hide spoiler)]
*Goes over to GoodReads to add trilogy to my TBR* Wait, what? This was supposed to be a trilogy. Why are there six books? And a Regency Vampyre series that kicks in and spins off after book 5? Regency England must have been a very strange decade, what with the ton overrun with werewolves, vampyres, Dukes, rakes, on-the-shelf spinsters and that chubby guy, Prinny.
Might have to adjust my hopes for this series.
For now, 3.5 stars. Lots of fun with plenty of steam and a slightly campy feel with engaging characters and a charming dash of the paranormal. I'm finding I enjoy historical PNRs much more than contemporary; I'm tired of all the first person kick-ass tough grrrl heroines. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
One of the problems with reading a very popular romance novel after everyone on the planet has already read it, is trying to find something t...more4.5 stars
One of the problems with reading a very popular romance novel after everyone on the planet has already read it, is trying to find something to say about why you loved it that isn't the same as everyone else. Everyone has already talked about story, the depth, the meaning, the writing, the Beauty and the Beast angle, the main characters, the steamy scenes - what's left?
I loved this everything about this book. It's going on my favourites shelf - where I keep the books that I re-read and love most of all. There is something about it that enables me to lose myself in the story, feel the attraction, feel the tension between them, fall in love with Edward and wish I was Anna. One of my favourite scenes is one where Edward has bet Anna that she can't make his dog answer to a name she has just given it, and the forfeit is a kiss:
Anna began to tremble. He bent his dark head toward hers, and his warm breath caressed her lips. She closed her eyes. And heard the dog clatter into the yard. Anna opened her eyes. Lord Swartingham was frozen. Slowly he turned his head, still only inches from hers, to stare at the canine. The dog grinned back, tongue hanging from his mouth, panting. "Shit," the earl breathed. Quite, Anna thought.
Part of the appeal for me is in the way that Edward and Anna are portrayed. Neither is "stop-traffic" gorgeous. It takes a second look before you appreciate the beauty of Edward's eyes, for example, or the shape of Anna's mouth. There is so much more depth to a person, imo, when their wit and their personality is part of what makes them attractive. This is what attracts me in real life and I suppose it follows me into my reading. Plastic, barbie-doll beauty has never held any appeal for me - either in men or women. (Unless it's Halle Barry. That woman is so beautiful she exists on a whole other plane.)
Anyway. That's what I liked the most about this book. Elizabeth Hoyt forces you to look past the scars and the grumpiness to see the serious hottie hiding behind them. Oh all right, and the lonely man convinced no one will want him because of those scars. (That's the touchy-feely part. I just thought Edward was seriously sexy.)
So no matter which romance trope is your favourite -- Ugly Duckling, widow/spinster, Beauty and the Beast, boss/secretary, this one has a bit of everything. Throw in some hilarious secondary characters (I'm thinking of Edward's valet, Davis), an intriguing fallen woman, and an excellent introduction to The Princes, Leopard and Serpent, and you end up with a book that was, for me, almost perfect.