Okay, now I'm upset. I was honestly heartbroken that I didn't like the first book in this new LK historical romance series for so many reasons but espOkay, now I'm upset. I was honestly heartbroken that I didn't like the first book in this new LK historical romance series for so many reasons but especially because I disliked the main couple immensely. Turns out that the secondary romance and couple---Rhys and Helen---ended up saving the read for me, which meant that I had high hopes for their book and to finally start loving the series, and well, behold: took me 3 weeks to read and I can't give it more than 2 lousy stars. The lowest rating I've ever gave to a LK book and I'm upset. (-_-)
My main complaints:
-I didn't like the way the relationship/romance progressed: it was lovely in the first book, how they met, how Helen took care of him when he was bedridden and blind, how she was the only one that could tame him with ease, and I also loved the idea of the quick, awkward engagement, I like the trope of the couple that gets married first and then slowly falls in love to the point where they're crazy for each other, and well, that's what I thought this book was going to give me, I mean the title is Marrying Winterborne. Turns out they don't get married right away (actually they only get married at the end), and although I loved how Helen took control of her life and right at the beginning decided to go undo the damage Kathleen had done in the first book, that was pretty much the only time I sort of enjoyed to read about Helen and Rhys interacting---and even that scene was a bit too much for me, nevertheless, it was okay. After that I just kind of lost interest in them. Rhys became so obsessed with Helen and so fast that it was almost exhausting to read his POVs.
-Waaaaay too many sex scenes (this also relates to my previous complaint): pretty much every time they're together, Helen and Rhys find a way to have sex, to the point that it feels like it's the only thing they ever do. I don't usually whine about this matter, I mean, I enjoy steamy scenes as much as the next HR fan, especially when it's LK, but somehow Helen and Rhys managed to bore me with their numerous encounters.
-No tenderness and no fun at all: I’m used to LK’s books having a heavy dose of drama but I’m also used to the main couple providing me with a few good laughs, lots of smiles, plus the warm fuzzies, and this was so NOT the case with Marrying Winterborne. I just felt disconnected with everything and especially with Helen and Rhys.
Pandora and Cassandra are the exception though, they are still the best thing about this series and I’m now kind of dreading reading their books because I don’t want to stop loving them. Fingers crossed for the best. ...more
Lord Fenton's Folly tells the story of Alice, an unmarried young woman from a poor noble family who never felt needed or wanted, and of Charles, LordLord Fenton's Folly tells the story of Alice, an unmarried young woman from a poor noble family who never felt needed or wanted, and of Charles, Lord Fenton himself, a young man, also single, who will one day inherit a title plus a rich and vast patrimony. They met when Alice was only 10 and Fenton 16, and he helped her get a garden just for herself, since then Fenton has been Alice's knight in shining armor, her love, the man she wishes she could marry, but of course she has no hope that could ever happen. Besides, they haven't even seen each other since they were kids, apart from all their differences regarding status and money, Alice grew up in the country surrounded by her beloved plants and flowers, living the simple life, meanwhile Fenton turned into this city dandy who wastes time and money in all kinds of futile, eccentric, over the top activities, clothes, carriages and the likes.
So that's the set up for this story, a kind of classic Cinderella + unrequited love plot, though it's hard for me to call it 'love' since Alice and Fenton haven't seen each other for years and then when they do they bicker for like 90% of the time. But, yeah 'love' is the idea.
For me this book was just mediocre, mostly because I could never really connect with Alice or care about her, and then there's Lord Fenton who is just too ridiculous for my taste in leading men. I won't deny, his behaviour is amusing at first, but it quickly gets tiresome because it's too much and he doesn't stop.
One more thing about Alice, at some point she meets a man with a mental disability who smiles and says 'hello' to her and her immediate response is to assume he's going to harm her and quickly gets away from him. When she later finds out he lives and works at the house and that her mother-in-law allows it, she's appalled. She *really* dropped in my consideration after that.
The romance didn't give me the warm fuzzies, on the contrary, it gets pretty annoying after a while. The thing is, Alice and Fenton annoy each other all the time on purpose and they're both aware of what the other one is doing. It's almost a competition for them. But for me it was very tiresome and at some point I just wanted to skip their scenes together because every interaction was more of the same silly, immature bickering. (I didn't, though.) I kind of understand Alice and her need to fight Fenton along the way though, because, seriously, who wouldn't? He's ridiculous, BUT she knew what she was getting herself into, so it's not like she's a victim. Also, this is clean historical romance, and, well, there's nothing going on between them at all throughout the story.
For me, the last chapters focused too much on Fenton's family secrets and his mother, when he and Alice needed that time to make things right with each other. This also means I feel like the way they get together in the end was too rushed.
Can't recommend this one.
(I received a copy of this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.) ...more
DNF. I hate it when the hero gets involved with someone else after meeting the heroine. It's a pet peeve of mine, especially when it comes to historicaDNF. I hate it when the hero gets involved with someone else after meeting the heroine. It's a pet peeve of mine, especially when it comes to historical romance, and the author decides to give me way too much information. Like:
hero: *cute scene with heroine* hero: okay let me go bang my mistress *cue a rather detailed and rough sex scene*
I'm just going to forget I read this book. I refuse to let a silly insta-love, horrible just horrible jerk of a hero, or a extremely annoying and repeI'm just going to forget I read this book. I refuse to let a silly insta-love, horrible just horrible jerk of a hero, or a extremely annoying and repetitive story taint my love for JQ....more
Utterly heartbroken to say this but: I DIDN’T LIKE A LISA KLEYPAS COUPLE. They just didn’t do it for me in any way, hence the rating, which only getsUtterly heartbroken to say this but: I DIDN’T LIKE A LISA KLEYPAS COUPLE. They just didn’t do it for me in any way, hence the rating, which only gets to be positive because of everything else going on in this book, mainly the other characters, the Ravenel sisters are awfully adorable and amusing, and West grew so, so much I was constantly surprised and so proud of him, plus the sheer cuteness of the dogs and the pet pig!
Back to the couple, Kathleen looked to be a promising character in her first appearance but *cue Devon* and she immediately became a submissive, annoying, hypocrite damsel in distress. It infuriated me to no end how Devon would order her about and she’d act all offended but ended up obeying anyway. Like, excuse me?? And the way she lectures everyone all the time on propriety but *cue Devon* and yiiss, let’s have wild hardcore sex on the floor of the dining room at breakfast hour. ???? Other thing I disliked immensely: all the talk about Devon's past affairs and how he would deliberately mention them to Kathleen, Gods, at some point he even tells her could get her references of his performance from past lovers. I mean, I already hate when in romance novels guys even remember past lovers/affairs, but to actually have one launch whole dialogues about it with the heroine makes me exceptionally nauseous. Honestly, Devon is downright obnoxious. And rude. And domineering. A jackass through and through.
And don't even get me started on the constant offensive bickering, they pretty much do it after kissing or banging or just after trying to have a normal conversation. Exhausting.
Now that I got that off my chest, I can say that I really enjoyed the story that was going around the main romance, the whole thing reminded me a lot of The Hathways, as in, The Ravenels also live in a problematic house in the country and the sisters are all a bunch of lovely misfits who don't really know how to play by the rules of society. The family ties were my absolute favorite thing about this book, with the twins Cassandra and Pandora winning the cake. I also loved how West quickly became to adore them all, these cousins he had never even seen before. Fraternal love is without a doubt one of LK’s strengths.
And just like in The Hathaways, there’s a secondary romance blossoming in this first book of the series, and just like in The Hathaways, I was WAY more invested in it. Despite Winterborne’s actions in the end, I have high hopes for his story with Helen. Why you ask? Well, (Reason #0.5. His first name is Rhys. Rhys Winterborne. I love that. Rhys.)
Reason #1. The fact that they met under those specific circumstances. Excuse me but I’m a total sucker for the sick/bedridden/physically-challenged hero trope. LOVE LOVE LOVE.
Reason #2. Savage but I’m also a total sucker for arranged-marriages. The most awkward the better.
Reason #3. Even though Rhys behaved dreadfully towards both Helen and Kathleen in the end, he reminded me an awful lot of: Harry Rutledge from Tempt Me At Twilight, Simon Hunt from Secrets of a Summer Night and Sebastian St.Vincent, The Devil in Winter himself, circa It Happened One Autumn. Seriously, Rhys seems to be the personification of these three when they were still behaving like assholes 24/7. That said, and being that I ended up loving the three aforementioned idiots by the end of their respective books (Sebastian is still my number one *hearteyes*), I can’t help but rooting for Rhys. I mean, yes, at the moment I want to strangle him, but I also want to see him grow and make amends and be the man dear Helen deserves to have by her side.
Reason #4. He took such good care of the orchid!! I was dying of laughter when Helen was listing all the things he had to do so it wouldn’t die and I couldn’t wait to see how the hell he was going to remember all that or if he was going to do it. And yay! It lives! Blue Vanda happy!
Okay, that’s enough, I’ve said too much already. So yeah, even though the romance didn’t do it for me on this occasion, this book is still necessary because it’s the introduction to a hopefully fantastic HR series, and just because it's Lisa Kleypas. I already love all the other characters and seriously cannot wait to read their stories. ...more
Penelope tells the story of this extremely likable heroine to whom is given the opportunity to travel to London and join the Season---all this sponsorPenelope tells the story of this extremely likable heroine to whom is given the opportunity to travel to London and join the Season---all this sponsored by a wealthy dowager who used to be a friend of her deceased mother, being that Penelope’s family could never afford it. The thing is, Penny is pretty much the human version of a small tornado, and people usually stay away from her so they won’t end up involved in her mishaps. She’s also not allowed to go back home (without a husband), or her vile stepmother will make her marry a gross old man.
I truly loved Penny since the beginning, especially because she never feels sorry for herself or plays the victim---yes, she breaks down and cries a few times (making me cry as well!), after all her life is a tad complicated at the moment, but still she manages to keep going, to smile, to have fun, to plot against the Duke, to enjoy life in general. So much respect for this girl, honestly.
"Enemies to lovers" is probably my favorite type of relationship, which means I was bound to enjoy every minute of the situation Penny and the Duke together in the same room, boy, oh boy---this guy can be a total arse, a jerk, a bully, and a couple of scenes broke my heart just a little bit, but Penny never let me down with her comebacks and, like I said before, I enjoyed it all.
The less positive: there are a couple of important scenes that the reader only knows happened because Penny tells someone about them much later, and I found this a little confusing, but overall I was pleasantly surprised with the writing, the events, and the pacing of the story---there’s always something happening or about to---no boredom is allowed, no sir.
So yes, I can definitely recommend this book for fans of historical romance, and romance in general. You guys are in for a treat. ;)
And please keep in mind that Penelope has a pet goat.
Lisa Kleypas is in my top 2 favorite romance authors of all time, I honestly love her with a passion and I will never ever ever get enough of her, orLisa Kleypas is in my top 2 favorite romance authors of all time, I honestly love her with a passion and I will never ever ever get enough of her, or of her swoon-worthy heros and couples.
Then Came You was very intense; I liked the heroine, Lily, a lot, even though I could not see myself in her that much---she’s utterly wild, shameless, and everywhere she goes people immediately know she’s there, because she’ll make herself noticed, she's a rebel, really. Upon closer look there’s this sadness about her that’s heartbreaking and I felt her pain.
The hero is the total opposite; Alex is a Darcy-ish character, quite reserved and unyielding, a man who plans to live his life according to a plan and without surprises coming his way---until he meets Lily.
Above all else, I enjoyed the couple’s nonstop bickering, and how in the end Alex doesn’t even blink and gets Lily what she most desires in life. WHAT A MAN.
I can certainly recommend this one for romance fans, LK never fails. ...more
Ah man, I wish Julia had written this whole book, and to be honest the 4 stars rating is for her part of the story only, because the**some spoilers**
Ah man, I wish Julia had written this whole book, and to be honest the 4 stars rating is for her part of the story only, because the other two were rather disappointing.
One of the things that worried me the most about the idea of a novel in 3 parts, written by 3 authors, were the differences in the voices that, no doubt, the same characters were going to have when written by different people. Turns out this only bothered me in one part of the story, one part of the story written by the same author. I'm so sorry Eloisa James, but it was yours, madam. Oakley was just the most confusing and contradictory character.
For example, at some point Marilla kisses him when he wasn't expecting and he pushes her away as a reflex, she actually falls to the floor; the next day he's talking to himself, considering Marilla as a bride, even with all her flaws he thinks she would make a fine wife and he's determined to pursue her; and then, just a couple of hours later, he's running away from her, hiding behind doors, telling her sister over and over that she's not what he wants in a bride, AT ALL. Duuuude, do you suffer from a multiple personality disorder or something? I was seriously confused by this behavior.
Plus, the way he started flirting with Fiona was, again, so confusing and out of character. I understand that each author had little time to get the characters together, so all 3 stories are pretty much insta-love, but still, Oakley and Fiona were the weakest links for me. It didn't help that they spent waaay too much time talking about Marilla, and that their scene in the stables turned out awkward instead of steamy. Did nothing for my lady parts, really, and I resent that.
Connie Brockway's story was also meh for me. I liked a few things, like Cecily dressing up as a boy, the snow fight, and the game in the end, but overall the story felt too flat and rushed. I didn't understand how, why, or when the couple fell in love.
Now, Julia's story was just lovely and delicious and extremely funny! I laughed like a madwoman because of crazy old Taran and his equally crazy group of friends, who on one fine & cold Scottish night decided to go out and kidnap some ladies for Taran's nephews to choose from and marry. Julia's part of the story is about Catriona, the poor girl who gets kidnapped by mistake, because she's no heiress, and it broke my heart when they didn't even have a room for her and put her to sleep in a chilly servant's room--bastards. She didn't complain, but it still broke my heart.
I loved how Julia actually made it look possible for Catriona and the Duke to fall in love in such a short period of time, seriously, just the way they interact from the first moment, aaaaah! :3 Like, how she felt intimidated by his title but still managed to be herself around him, how they made each other laugh all the time, and how their instant connection seemed so natural and meant to be. The caber toss scene was hilarious, and I swooned when he picked her up, oh my God, John!
Gaaah, I wish the whole book was about Catriona and the duke.
Recommended to Julia Quinn fans---just because of her story....more
Há tanto tempo que já não lia em português *hides in shame*, e ainda por cima algo de um autor, neste caso, autora portuguesa, e woohoo! que bem que cHá tanto tempo que já não lia em português *hides in shame*, e ainda por cima algo de um autor, neste caso, autora portuguesa, e woohoo! que bem que correu. É mesmo caso para inserir ali um woohoo, já que os preços dos livros na língua de Camões estão pela hora da morte e é tal e qual como levar um estalo na cara quando se investe num, ele nos desilude, e depois ainda temos de o ler com muito ódio, rancor, e o desejo de querer o dinheiro de volta. Contudo esse não foi de todo o caso com o Alma Rebelde, fiquei muito feliz por me ter apropriado de uma cópia quando fui à Feira do Livro há umas semanas atrás e ainda bem que não o deixei muito tempo na estante à espera.
A história passa-se em meados do século dezanove e gira à volta de uma jovem mulher, Joana, que é obrigada a casar-se com um moço de boas famílias e que ela não conhece de lado algum ou viu antes na vida, por isso ela imagina que lhe vai sair na rifa um marido velho, mau, que a há-de maltratar e fazer-lhe a vida num inferno, ainda por cima foi exactamente isso que aconteceu à prima Ester com quem ela se corresponde regularmente e que a põe a par de todos os horrores dos casamentos por conveniência.
Isto não vai soar muito bem mas gostei imenso de acompanhar todo o terror psicológico pelo qual a Joaninha passa ao longo do livro, deve ser desesperante não ter opções na vida e aqueles primeiros capítulos deixaram-me de coração apertadinho; mais para adiante quando ela finalmente põe os olhos no jeitoso e divertido do noivo, Santiago, e até passa uns dias com ele, é que comecei a querer abaná-la a ver se lhe sacudia as dúvidas infundadas, Pára com isso, saiu-te a lotaria dos noivos! Ele é bom, em todos os sentidos, e devias estar toda feliz e contente! *abana-abana-abana* Mas pronto, por mais charmoso que o Santiago fosse eu tentava analisar a situação do ponto de vista dela e percebia que provavelmente reagiria da mesma maneira.
Gostei bastante da escrita, e francamente isso surpreendeu-me, não me leve a mal autora, mas por vezes esqueço-me que é totalmente diferente ler um livro que foi escrito em português, em relação a um que foi traduzido — estes últimos por vezes têm ali uns momentos em que o texto parece que não faz muito sentido porque a tradução não é das melhores, e é triste mas estranhei a ausência de estranheza. A parte histórica também é bem interessante e assustadora, Lisboa está afogada na Febre Amarela e dava-me a miúfa pensar que de repente um dos protagonistas podia apanhá-la. D: !!
Coisas que me chatearam: que vários momentos importantes sejam omitidos e narrados por alguém depois de terem acontecido — porque eu queria “assisti-los em directo”, que momentos? Por exemplo, o confronto com a b*tch (!), o casamento (please…), e a noite de núpcias (porque esta dirty mind precisa de ser alimentada com frequência, or it gets cranky); e depois o mistério que se proloooonga na parte final — oh meu Deus, alguém me diga o que é que aconteceu à Joana e ao Santiago, JÁ! Quando pensava que era desta, era desta que ia saber, BAM, mais uma carta da Ester, Argh, não quero saber da tua vida mulher! O que tem alguma graça porque no início estava super preocupada com esta personagem e até queria saber o que é que o futuro lhe reservava, mas depois no fim já não queria, porque ao lado do mistério “O que é que aconteceu à Joana e ao Santiago??” não era importante.
E pronto, acho que é tudo, parabéns à Carla pelo excelente debut, e claro que recomendo. :D