I'm going to throw in the towel on this one. I have no interest in pushing through to hopefully find something about it that I actually like.
I'm going to throw in the towel on this one. I have no interest in pushing through to hopefully find something about it that I actually like.
I didn't like the heroine and though I didn't blame her at all for changing her life, I thought she was hateful for how she went about it and had no sympathy for her character. Because we were plopped into the middle of this situation with no real connection to the characters previously I can't figure out why the hero cares enough to upend his life for the heroine or why he's so jovial after someone he supposedly loved dumped him harshly twice. She seems like a jerk and he seems pathetic. I think it's supposed to be a cute Rom-Com but it's not working for me on that level at all....more
I have loved many of the books that I’ve read, but it has been a long time since I can remember being as flat out delighted as I was when reading thI have loved many of the books that I’ve read, but it has been a long time since I can remember being as flat out delighted as I was when reading this book. I finished it and just wanted to squeeze it to me and bask in its awesomeness. (Not quite comfortable when it’s an ebook you’re reading) It was so frickin’ adorable!
Ainsworth and Prudence have a…unique start to their relationship. One night, while out enjoying himself on the town, the duke is nabbed and drugged by Prudence’s well-meaning servants in order to bring to life a revenge she’s spent years plotting. Of course, Prudence would have never gone through with the plan on her own, but since her servants/friends already had him there, why not? Is it her fault that the title recently changed hands and they didn’t realize it until it was too late? Surely he won’t be that upset about the tattoo they forced on him. And if he is…well, he was drugged and won’t remember them, right? Right?!?
Of course, they’re not that lucky. Ainsworth does not take it at all well. He can’t exactly go to the police and start a manhunt because then he would have to admit what happened, but he has no plans of letting this go. It drives him nuts that he doesn’t know why someone did this to him, but he will find them no matter how long it takes and he will have his revenge. Luckily for him he remembers some things from that night, despite being drugged, and he has the clue (of sorts) that Prudence couldn’t resist leaving with him out of guilt.
You can see why I was sucked into this story, can’t you? How unique and fun! I absolutely loved the writing style used. The tone is completely matter-of-fact, but it is so matter-of-factly absurd that you can’t help but giggle. Hilarious events are treated as completely rational and each little absurdity adds up to a wonderfully fun romp of a story. This book reminded me so much of the air of fun that I find when reading a Loretta Chase or Kate Noble story. I prize that quality so I’m thankful I’ve found another author that can deliver.
I loved watching Ainsworth and Prudence fall in love. The shenanigans they got up to had me in stitches but the genuine friendship and love that developed is really what invested me in them. There was such genuine care between them, despite being an unlikely pair on the surface. I also loved that the story spanned such a significant time span. I rarely get that in the HR’s of today so that was appreciated. The last story I can remember reading that, like this, had a good chunk of time covered was Wulf’s story, Slightly Dangerous, by Mary Balogh. Why is that so rare nowadays?
A misunderstanding and inability (or refusal) to communicate crops up toward the end of the book, which might irk some, but for me it just added a layer of further fun to an already delightful courtship. Watching Ainsworth bumble around love and having his friends come to investigate the situation made the whole thing that much better. I didn’t quite understand the motivation of Prudence’s brother and his wife, but that was such a small niggle that it barely bothered me. Who cares about her brother and sister-in-law when the rest of the characters fix your attention so firmly their way? I read the sneak peek for the author’s next book with Ainsworth’s friend, Lord Clun, and it looks F-A-B-U-L-O-U-S. I wish it were already out!
The writing was solid (which I greatly appreciate in a debut author), the characters intelligent, and the dialogue witty. Honestly, this book hit all my sweet spots and has me wishing the author had a backlist for me to glom. If you’re on the fence about this one, consider this: it’s only $2.99 for the ebook right now. How can you go wrong? That’s one heck of a deal for a story this delightful.
”Over and over, I’ve bared my soul to her.”
“You told her you loved her?” Percy persisted.
“Not precisely in those words, Percy,” the duke snapped. “Why must you harp on that!”
I've read this series backwards and am surprised by how different this was from the second and third book. It's pretty conventional and sweet, but forI've read this series backwards and am surprised by how different this was from the second and third book. It's pretty conventional and sweet, but forgettable. I liked the friends-to-lovers theme, and enjoyed the dynamic between the two leads, but the history between the two led to too much martyr behavior and weepiness from the heroine. I think I would have enjoyed a longer time period for the romance. Everything felt too quick....more
Wow. That wasn't the type of book I'm drawn to usually, but I've obviously been missing out. Maybe it's because I don't read a lot of books in this stWow. That wasn't the type of book I'm drawn to usually, but I've obviously been missing out. Maybe it's because I don't read a lot of books in this style and have nothing to compare it to, but this one really stood out. It was great!
The style just isn't working for me. It has too much of a young, simple, YA feel to it. If my complaint was anything other than the style of the boDNF
The style just isn't working for me. It has too much of a young, simple, YA feel to it. If my complaint was anything other than the style of the book, I'd continue to push through. But I just don't think I'm going to be any happier with the style no matter how far I read. ...more
This book took forever to read. I didn’t dislike it but I didn’t precisely like it, either. I thought it was perfectly pleasant (until it g*2.5 Stars*
This book took forever to read. I didn’t dislike it but I didn’t precisely like it, either. I thought it was perfectly pleasant (until it got silly at the end) but I felt distant from it. I picked up the book expecting something more than I was given. I read on the back cover that the hero, an artist, was losing his eyesight after his imprisonment in a dungeon in India. That led me to expect some depth and intensity to his storyline. I didn’t precisely want angst, but I wanted more feeling. I mean, the man is losing his eyesight! His career, his passion, is slipping through his fingers, and it’s all because of his imprisonment. How can that not inspire some intensity in the hero? At the very least I expected some torment and bitterness.
I wouldn’t characterize this book as fluffy—well, the end was pretty fluffy, I have to admit—but I would definitely call it light. The characters stayed cheerful and amiable for the most part, and even when they were arguing, or the hero was brooding over his failing eyesight, the story maintained a fairly upbeat, pleasant tone. It made it easy to like the characters in the beginning, but it made it difficult to ever progress beyond that faint liking. It’s hard for me to really connect with a character when all I’m given is a superficial understanding of them. I never felt like I got any meat to them, even Josiah, which is surprising given that their backgrounds gave me the impression that they would have that in spades. I guess it was just not fleshed out enough for me.
I liked that the author stayed out of the nobility and focused on two working class people. Eleanor had fallen on hard times after the death of her father and was forced to work to support herself, but even before that her father wasn’t nobility; he was simply a man in trade. Eleanor even laughed at the thought of ever meeting a lord. She couldn’t imagine a circumstance that would ever lead to that. Josiah is the son of a lord, but he’s a third son and not a favorite of his father’s to boot. He was a struggling artist before he came back from India rich. He’s still an artist, looked down on in some circles, and the only difference now is that he doesn’t have to paint to support himself. I found it a refreshing change. Of course, Eleanor was similar to the typical heroine since she was hung up on all the etiquette lessons that she was taught in the hopes that she would raise her social position with marriage, but she was willing to seize the day and be with Josiah a lot easier than a typical lady would.
This is the fourth book in the Jaded Gentleman series, which features an ongoing subplot where the Jaded try to flush out the Jackal, who apparently wants something they took with them from India. That’s about all I really got about the overall plot. It was not an important part of the story and could have been skipped entirely, in my opinion. It was given so little attention that I’m not even really sure how long the hero was stuck in that prison. The villain pops up at the end of the book in a completely eye rolling scene. Their interaction was over in a blink and I was left praying for patience over the ridiculousness of the whole thing. I’d go into more detail about why it was so ridiculous, but I don’t want anyone screaming SPOILERS!!! at me since it’s the climactic scene.
Eleanor and Josiah fell in love with each other easily, although Josiah’s pride kept them apart far longer than was necessary. I can’t say that I felt any spark between them but they were pleasant together. Given then overall light, pleasant tone to the book and their relationship, I was rather shocked when one of their sex scenes came around. All of a sudden the heroine is having the hero drip hot wax on her and the hero starts to flirt with anal play. Sounds random and out of place, right? It was. It did not match with any of their earlier sex scenes or the tone of the book in general. It felt completely unnatural and like it was shoehorned in just to try to spice things up. I may not blink about that kind of stuff in another book, but it felt extremely weird in this one.
I know I’ve said the word ‘pleasant’ about a billion times in this review, but I can’t think of another way to describe it without being mean and just saying ‘meh’. Is it odd that I’d rather hate a book than feel so ambivalent about it? It’s just so hard to continue on when you’re bored.
"I don't want to ruin you, Eleanor. Not now, not ever. And for you, is my touch not the very definition of ruin?"
"No! Yes...I don't know anymore."
"This is no flirtatious game, Miss Beckett, that ends in chaste kisses." He let go of her hand, hating the taste of defeat. "I know you well enough, Miss Beckett, to know that until you are sure, I have my answer."
This book came to my attention and I bought it for exactly one reason: I was told it was similar to Shelly Laurenston's style. Sold! It did*4.5 Stars*
This book came to my attention and I bought it for exactly one reason: I was told it was similar to Shelly Laurenston's style. Sold! It didn't hurt that it was only a $0.99 investment, either. :) And luckily the recommender was correct. It did read like Shelly Laurenston. Yay! Another author to feed my need for immature humor and outrageous antics. :D
This book was, quite simply, hilarious. The start was a little clunky for me, but it quickly smoothed out and settled into a fast paced, cute read that had me giggling often. The hero, Jason, strongly reminds me of Mitch from Laurenston's Pride series. He's rude, arrogant, fun loving, and quite obsessed with food. He can eat and eat and eat and it always turns into the biggest production. He has good friends who know him for the lovable ass he is and who mock and tease him mercilessly about his delusions toward his relationship with the heroine.
His delusion consists of the fact that he doesn't like-like Haley. When he intimidates or scares off the men interested in her, it's only for her benefit. What else could a wingman do but help her out? When he stares at her ass, it's only natural. It's like having a best friend and a show in one. Nothing personal. The fact that he needs her more than she needs him doesn't even ping on his radar. He's in Jason-land and nothing is rocking that boat.
"I don't know how Haley put up with you for the last few weeks. I would have killed you by now."
"Haley worships me," he said with a snort.
"Yeah, okay," Brad said, laughing. "That's why she dates other men and screws you over just to laugh at you."
Brad looked over at him. "You are a seriously fucked up man, aren't you?"
Of course, Haley is much more self aware than Jason. She comes to realize that they're in an intimate non-relationship, but it eventually drives her nuts that it's not intimate enough. She doesn't want to ruin the friendship that they do have, so she doesn't make a huge issue out of it, but she yearns for a real relationship instead of the weird ass friendship they have going.
I'm not going to go into much more detail than that, but it was great. The author slowly built up a convincing friendship between Haley and Jason and slid them toward a real relationship so smoothly that the reader didn't even blink. It all just fit perfectly.
Toward the end we got into a bit of drama that had the characters doing things that bounced the "victim" tag back and forth between them. It felt like it got a bit away from the author, but it also provided the opportunity for more hilarious scenes like,
"This is kidnapping!" she sputtered in disbelief.
"No, it's not."
"Yes, it is!"
"What the hell would you call it?" she demanded, snatching his soda from him and finishing it off.
"A romantic getaway?"
so it was hard to be too bothered. :) The epilogue was sweet--too sweet for me--but I know some people enjoy that sort of thing. All in all, this was a great read. I can't wait to try something else by this author.
Megan's eyes narrowed on her. "You're really his girlfriend?"
"This isn't just some sick game he's playing?"
"Uh, no...is there something wrong?" She was really starting to feel self-conscious.
"Nothing other than you are the first woman he's ever brought home and you'll have to forgive me if I seem a little surprised. For a moment there I though hell had frozen over."
Thoughts like hers were not appropriate for a lady. Her father had once told her she'd been born wicked, and she suspected he was right. What proper l
Thoughts like hers were not appropriate for a lady. Her father had once told her she'd been born wicked, and she suspected he was right. What proper lady, never married, took a lover, regretted nothing, and dreamed of taking another?
If you enjoy Historical Romances featuring heroines who are not shy, virginal misses, then this book will be right up your alley. The heroine, Lily, is a delightfully self aware heroine. She looks delicate and innocent, like someone you need to protect, but her mind is quite sharp. She flirts and tosses around innuendos without ever losing that innocent mien. I quite enjoyed the hero’s initial uncertainty about her awareness of the undertones to their interactions. She is also cheerful and fun to be around. She easily pulls the hero’s sister (her friend) out of the gloom she had fallen into with the death of her husband, and charms the reluctant Mountjoy.
This is a very character driven romance. There is a bit of a subplot involving the heroine’s fear that a distant relative has arrived to wrest her inheritance away, but it was quite obvious where that was going, and it wasn’t headed toward an actual conflict. The author did manage to surprise me with the development between Lily and the relative toward the end, but I was pleased to see that the situation didn’t become too sticky and that my initial assumption about his interest in their little group was still correct. I know that such an intense focus on the main romance, to the exclusion of all else, is not for everyone, but I quite enjoy it. I am an unrepentant emotional voyeur, and I love the intense focus on a burgeoning romance. ;)
The story setup is very simple, and in the hands of another author it could have easily strayed into boring territory. Lily comes to visit her friend, Eugenia, to pull her out of the gloom she’s been in since her husband died. She meets the hero, Mountjoy, and sparks fly between them both. Mountjoy was a farmer who became a duke through a convoluted line of succession. He is a hard working man who has come to love the lands that he is responsible for. Although he has been the duke for quite a while, he hasn’t bothered to assume some of the more frivolous trappings of the nobility, like new clothes. He doesn’t care about entertaining or impressing anyone, so why would he need new clothes? But I think he also refused to change because he secretly didn’t want anyone to forget who he was or to think that he was putting on airs.
Mountjoy is probably going to marry a girl named Jane. He hasn’t proposed or courted her, but everyone assumes he will, and he doesn’t see a reason why he shouldn’t eventually propose. Eventually being the key word. Lily and Mountjoy are very attracted to each other and neither has a problem with it. The only real concern for Mountjoy is what will happen with his sister’s friendship with Lily when they eventually end their affair. This initially holds him back, but every nighttime encounter between them—Lily has always had insomnia, so she’s always up and about at night, giving her an easy way to spend time with him alone—pulls them tighter and tighter together.
For her part, Lily has no problem starting an affair with Mountjoy, other than a few worries about being disloyal to her feelings for her first love, Greer. We didn’t get a lot of information on Greer, so it was easy for me to brush off this concern. At one point Mountjoy said something to Lily that perfectly summed up my thoughts. I liked this indication that the author was fully aware of how Lily’s concerns were coming off to the reader. It made me have more patience with Lily. He said:
"Don't settle for marriage without at least respect between you. You can't live like that. Not you, Lily. I know you loved Greer, and I believe you'll never love another man the way you loved him. But does it follow that you can never love? Does a parent love only one child? A child only one parent? May we love only one friend? You, Lily, you of all people must have love in her life. Genuine love from a man who understands the wonderful eccentricities of your mind. Accept nothing less."
So if I enjoyed this book so much, why is it only a B instead of an A? It’s because of something I can’t put my finger on. I may have had a few irritants here and there in the book, like never knowing the hero’s name or the way Mountjoy’s connection with Jane became a non issue (it seemed like too easy of a shortcut for such a skilled author), but they were easy to ignore when compared to the charm of Lily and Mountjoy together. But what I can’t get over is the distance I feel toward this book. Just like with the last book I read by this author, Scandal, I enjoyed the story, enjoyed the characters, and can see the author’s skill, but I just don’t feel it the way I should. I don’t click with the story and it drives me batty that I can’t figure out why. So I, unfortunately, can only enjoy the story, not love it.
"What are you thinking?" Mountjoy asked.
She could not remember a time when any man had made her so relentlessly aware that she was a woman. The man made the back of her knees positively weak. "Nothing."
He laughed, and her belly tightened. "Wellstone. The day you are thinking of nothing is the day the world ends."
It felt like we got a more concentrated focus on Eve's feelings and attachments to certain people than we usually do. I liked the change up of Eve alrIt felt like we got a more concentrated focus on Eve's feelings and attachments to certain people than we usually do. I liked the change up of Eve already knowing who the bad guy was. I read this book mostly because I wanted to see the Christmas gift exchanges that we missed in Holiday in Death. I would have liked to see it in the moment, but hearing about it after the fact was better than nothing. I loved the bits with McNab and Peabody and liked that we got to see a lot of Mira. I'm not a huge novella fan, but this was a nice little short. It whet my appetite for the next book. ...more
Over my years of reading Historical Romance I have discovered that there are two kind of light books in the genre: The lighter, make me smile/feel gooOver my years of reading Historical Romance I have discovered that there are two kind of light books in the genre: The lighter, make me smile/feel good ones (like Loretta Chase), and the ones that are so light that they’re lacking in substance. I adore the first kind but I hate the second kind—unless I’m in a very rare mood. But sometimes it’s really hard to distinguish the two when you first pick up a book. That’s what makes reading the lighter/funnier HR’s such a crap shoot for me. Unfortunately, luck was not with me and this book turned out to be of the fluffy, cotton-candy persuasion. Not my type at all.
While reading, members of the Boscastle family kept popping up with mentions about their own past stories. What baffles me is that some of those past story details sound very familiar. Like Chloe and the way her future husband hid out in her room while everyone else thought he was dead. I think I must have read the original Boscastle series at some point, but I honestly don’t remember whether I liked them, what I thought about the stories and the writing style as a whole, or anything, really, other than a few stray details here and there. And that right there tells me that my reaction to this book is not a fluke. I have a very good recall for the stories I read and enjoy, and even some of the ones I loathe, so the fact that I remember nothing about those books is telling.
Charlotte is the headmistress for the Scarfield Academy for Young Ladies. In the beginning we are given the impression Charlotte is a bit uptight and that she disapproves of the hero, but we soon learn that Charlotte is actually titillated by the hero and that she has a whole imaginary life, filled with imaginary interactions between them, recorded in her diary. A rival headmistress hires someone to steal the diary, and through a series of events, the diary ends up being left in the carriage of the very duke Charlotte was writing about. He, of course, knows immediately that Charlotte was writing about him and finds himself intrigued by the passion running beneath her otherwise cool exterior. It’s not every day he finds a book detailing erotic encounters involving him that never actually happened. A harebrained scheme to recover the diary leads to Charlotte and Gideon being discovered in a compromising position and the diary being lost (again).
I really don’t have many positive things to say about the book, other than the fact that I was occasionally amused and that there wasn’t enough substance to it for me to muster the enthusiasm to care enough to hate it—which is what my F reviews are usually reserved for. I found the whole thing rather ridiculous; completely lacking in substance and any real historical feel. There was never any real relationship building. The heroine was always in love with the hero--for some reason that I’m still not sure of--and the hero followed easily in her wake with no real reason given for their feelings.
We didn’t get into the hero’s head very often, and what we did see of his past didn’t impress me much. I didn’t understand why his deadbeat dad ways were included in the story. His neglect of his daughter added nothing to the story, other than to make me dislike him. I could understand if the author was going to use it as a way to build character growth, but she didn’t. All of a sudden we’re just presented with the fact that the hero has a kid that he hasn’t seen for 10 months, and that he doesn’t see her much more than that usually. The heroine is exasperated with him for it, but that’s it. It’s treated in a cheerful manner that made me confused as to why it was even a part of the story.
The lack of relationship building made the romance between Charlotte and Gideon lack any spark. The love scenes were rather awkward and perfunctory, and I really could have used some sexual tension. Gideon and Charlotte felt weird and bland together, and the same is true for the interactions we saw between the side characters. Also, the buildup of the missing diary was resolved in a laughable manner that made me honestly wonder why I expected any better.
All in all, it was a disappointing read, and I doubt I'll pick up anything else by this author.
Unfortunately, I did not like this book anywhere near as well as I liked the first book. I spent almost the whole read clenching my teeth and wishingUnfortunately, I did not like this book anywhere near as well as I liked the first book. I spent almost the whole read clenching my teeth and wishing I could reach through the book and strangle the heroine. I honestly have no clue why Kevin had the slightest interest in her.
Beth completely closed herself off and came off like a jerk--for ten months. She argued about every single thing the hero wanted to help her with, even though he was just trying to do his best by his baby and a woman that he liked (her). Her pride was completely ridiculous. I am all for pride, but it has to make sense. And nothing about this girl did. She felt claustrophobic and blamed the hero for trying to welcome her into his family. That kind of intimacy is just not okay for Beth. Sleeping together is one thing, but expecting her to eat Thanksgiving dinner with his family is quite another. Right...that makes perfect sense.
Beth's mom had quite a few miscarriages before having her, so she was coddled and smothered with love quite a bit when she was a child. Apparently her answer to this issue was to leave and bounce from town to town, never having an actual career or home. She'd rather live in shanty style apartments and get a job where she just barely makes enough to move to the next town. Yes, that makes perfect sense. Because being poor and living in crappy apartments is always preferable to acting like an actual adult and taking control of your life and setting boundaries.
Beth's fear of forming ties with anyone and setting down roots makes her come off like a complete hag the whole book. Every single time Kevin tries to help her or buy something for the baby, she blast him about trying to smother her. She argues about everything and is prideful to the point of stupidity. She closes the relationship door in his face again and again and the poor guy just takes it. Because he thinks she's worth it. I have no clue why, but he was stuck on her. I actually pitied him by the end of the book. He was such a nice guy and he deserved so much better than her.
The secondary romance was my favorite part of the book. I wouldn't have minded if Sam and Paulie would have become the main relationship focus. ;) ...more
I wanted to read for a little bit before I went to bed last night, so I opened this up. I had heard great things about this series from Sophia. She loI wanted to read for a little bit before I went to bed last night, so I opened this up. I had heard great things about this series from Sophia. She loved how the whole family was so important to the series and since I enjoy the same, I was eager to give it a try. well, unfortunately for me, I really got into the book. I say unfortunately because I had to go to work in the morning and I ended up staying up way too late because I wanted to read it all. I may be cursing myself today, but it was worth it. ;)
I loved the family dynamics and the fact that we got a glimpse at each couple. The family provided a comfy sense of fullness to the surroundings and helped me see--without having the author shove it down my throat--how connected the hero is to his family and why it would have been so hard for him to leave them. I also liked seeing the various reactions to Keri coming back into Joe's life. Having someone still resent her made it feel more authentic than if she had been welcomed by all with open arms. Especially after Joe's life crashed so completely after she left.
Speaking of Joe's life crashing, I was surprised to see how badly he took her leaving. I felt that he was a bit too casual about his past problem, but after having Kevin talk about it more seriously and seeing it handled at the end, I came to realize that it was more a symptom of Joe's character than of the author not handling the issue well.
Joe and Keri's reunion was pretty simple. Neither of were resentful or surprised to find themselves so attracted to each other after so long. The only real issue they had was the same one that originally drove them apart. Keri wants to have her life and her career, and Joe still wants to stay near his family. I liked that the issue was so simple--even though it was difficult for them both to compromise on.
This was a simple, fun read, and the only real problem I had with the book was how manufactured I found Keri's reasons for leaving Joe. I find it unrealistic that they wouldn't have even talked about the issue before she decided to dump him for his own good. ...more
I took a break because I wasn't enjoying the book, but now I find that I can't work up the energy to pick it back up. I liked the author's voice,*DNF*
I took a break because I wasn't enjoying the book, but now I find that I can't work up the energy to pick it back up. I liked the author's voice, so I'll probably try her again, but I was not a fan of the characters or storyline. ...more
I am embarrassed to admit that I didn’t initially realize that this was a Historical Romance. The cover screamed contemporary to me and although the bI am embarrassed to admit that I didn’t initially realize that this was a Historical Romance. The cover screamed contemporary to me and although the book summary mentioned that the heroine, Savannah, was a reformer, that didn’t strike me as impossible for a modern woman. Added, to that, the writing and dialogue seemed modern. I somehow completely missed the date on the first page--I must be blind!--and found myself more and more perplexed by the attitudes expressed toward Savannah’s determination to get better wages and working conditions for the women of Pilot Isle. Well, suffice to say I had to backtrack on my Kindle and look for a date. How embarrassing to miss that this was set in 1898! Anyway, enough focus on my lack of observation. On to the book!
I was immediately charmed by the setup between Savannah and Zach. We first meet them as Zach is busting up a protest Savannah started outside the oyster factory. He’s the constable and currently considers Savannah his cross to bear. The woman—or rabble-rouser, as he thinks of her—is constantly stirring up trouble. She has been arrested thirteen times to date, so you can imagine that she isn’t afraid to stir the pot. I found it amusing that Zach and his brother, Caleb, argued about who would have what duty in breaking up the protest: breaking up the crowd or dealing with Savannah. Zach lost and got stuck with her. LOL!
I liked that Zach wasn’t written as too modern. He had a healthy respect for women, but he also had a milder version of the common attitude of men in that day. He felt honest sympathy for her struggle, but he also had to fight her every step of the way because of pressure from the townspeople. They argued left and right, and most people were convinced that they couldn’t stand each other, but that spark of attraction made it more like foreplay to them, especially when they decided to see where their attraction would take them. Zach’s portrayal made his eventual love of Savannah and his tolerance (and help) toward her need to fight for her causes all the sweeter. He was already used to female reformers after spending time with his brother’s wife, Elle, so he had a leg up on the other men, but I’m ignoring that and remaining impressed. ;)
I found it interesting that Zach and Savannah were interested in a relationship (of sorts) with each other, but that both refused to marry. I was impressed that their reasons for refusal felt so authentic, but I would have liked Savannah’s reason, and her past in general, to have been fleshed out a little more. Zach’s reasons were quite compelling and I really felt for him. His yearning and fear were very well written.
Maybe he should have explained to Savannah this morning that he agonized because he knew what it was like for God to place another’s life in your hands. Marriage was a life-long, fundamental commitment. A vow that brought misery and bliss, belonging and loneliness, freedom and imprisonment. So many wonderful things, so many frightening ones.
I felt that their easy disregard of public opinion and the consequences was a little out of place for people who lived in that time period, but I just shrugged and decided to go with it. I also found the language and writing style a little too modern (for the most part), but this time period is not a strong point for me, so it’s very possible that I could be wrong about that. It was just a feeling I had.
I really liked that the relationship was never rushed. This book spanned a nice length of time and it was very easy to believe their slow softening toward each other. I liked that so much time was spent on them simply enjoying each other’s company before sex was brought into it. Their friendship made it easier for me to set aside any niggles I had about their disregard toward the mores of the time. I had the impression from the book summary that this book might revolve around a specific reform, but it didn’t. The romance stayed the focus of the book and that their respective jobs were just a footnote in the overall story. I didn’t feel a lot of intensity to the relationship, although I still enjoyed it, but I think that had a lot to do with the overall slow tone of the book. I enjoy long, leisurely romances, but at times this one got a little too slow.
I really liked how the author slowly revealed the protagonists to be more than what the world saw them to be. Zach was regarded as a saint and had a hard time living up to his image. Savannah was thought to be so independent and set against men that little things, like common courtesies, weren’t given to her because they assumed she wouldn’t want them. They both took the time to look deeper and saw a more complex person inside. Their care for each other made it easier for them to reveal their true selves to the world. I always enjoy romances where the hero and heroine enrich each other’s lives like that.
Although I had a few issues with this book I still enjoyed it a lot. I was honestly impressed by how leisurely the romance felt. The author skipped over time when warranted but always made sure to slow down and focus in on the important details. Plus, the epilogue was too cute for words. ;)
The frantic nature of their joining melted her stiff posture and her cocksure bearing, rolling through her in a languid, glorious wave of sensation and recognition. It was a peculiar time to realize that she had built her sense of self around an erroneous ideal. She was no different than other women.
This series is a guilty pleasure of mine. I accept things from this author that I would harshly ridicule from another. The sex is frequent and over thThis series is a guilty pleasure of mine. I accept things from this author that I would harshly ridicule from another. The sex is frequent and over the top, and the characters are a bit overdramatic. The characters and they way they talk aren’t realistic, and the author can be repetitive. I know this, and I just don’t care. I don’t like this author’s other series, but this one is like crack to me. But, I’ve found that I swing back and forth between enjoying these books and not. I continue to pick them up because when they work, they really work, but I’d be lying if I said I haven’t disliked a fair share of them. Unfortunately, this book is falls into the dislike category.
One of my main complaints about this book is that NOTHING HAPPENS. This is a classic example of a bridge book. The plot doesn’t go anywhere. All it did was setup things for future books. I can understand why the author would need to have a book like this, but that doesn’t change the fact that it was pretty boring. A big deal was made out of Diane’s determination to find a cure for her niece, yet it never goes anywhere. The same goes for the storyline that was introduced with Gideon. I can see that those things will go somewhere in the future, but that doesn’t help my enjoyment in the here and now. The only thing that was actually resolved was getting Diane and Lawe together.
Speaking of Diane and Lawe…I got tired of them. Lawe and Diane spent the whole book arguing and struggling to mesh their personalities enough to work as mates. Due to his past, Lawe is extremely overprotective and wants wrap Diane up and keep her out of the line of fire. Diane can’t accept this because she loves her job and won’t change her personality just to be his mate. The conflict between them was valid, but it went on way too long. I was on Diane’s side, and was pretty ticked off about how many people tried to guilt her into doing things Lawe’s way, but even I got tired of her constant refrain by the end. It stopped feeling worthwhile and just felt whiny. I felt bad for Lawe’s past, but his behavior made it hard for me to like him. At the end he finally came to respect her and her capabilities, but it was too little too late for me.
I liked that the author kept Diane and Law from having sex right away. It gave them more of a chance to talk and try to come to terms with each other before the mating heat clouded their minds. I found their constant back and forth frustrating and a bit boring, but I still appreciate that the sex didn’t push it out of the way. That’s been a complaint of mine in the past with this series. I also liked getting to see what has developed with Amber, Rachel’s daughter. I’m very interested in seeing why David, Callan’s son, growls and can’t stand to be in the same room with her.
I was surprised by how much I ended up disliking Rachel. I can’t say that she’s ever been a favorite of mine, but I almost grew to hate her. Her whiny, emo behavior at the expense of her daughter’s feelings left me extremely unimpressed. I was glad Diane talked some sense into her, but I would have liked it even more if it would have been accompanied by a slap upside the head. I also can’t believe the way Rachel turned on Diane again and again just because she thought she was right. Especially after Diane calls her on it once! They have a make up scene and then she turns right around and does something crappy again. Man, she sucks.
Although the plot didn’t go anywhere, I did like being introduced to Gideon. He was very interesting and kept my attention much better than the main storyline did. I’m eager to see more development with him. Given the way everything was left hanging at the end, I assume we’ll see more of him in the next book. I was also pleased to see a bit of Dog. When are we finally going to get his book? :) We saw quite a bit of Rule here, but he wasn’t as likable as he’s been in the past. I’ve never had a problem with him before, but I was extremely turned off by his desire to swap mates with Lawe. I thought at first he might be trying to pressure Lawe into claiming Diane, but I came to realize he was dead serious. Very crappy of him. I’m pretty sure I remember who Rule’s mate is, but I could be wrong. Whoever it is, I hope she finds out that he wanted to swap her.