I know someone/something recommended this to me but I can't remember who or why. The format was interesting but I would have been more enthusiastic ab...moreI know someone/something recommended this to me but I can't remember who or why. The format was interesting but I would have been more enthusiastic about this meet-cute romance a few months ago, before #yesallwomen got me ruminating on the pervasiveness of misogyny in modern culture. I think some aspects probably lost a bit in translation, too, but the snapshot of Japanese culture a decade ago (when my husband and I were dating and roughly the same age as the protagonist, so I had a useful comparison point) was my favorite part.
I see that it was made into a movie, and I suspect this might be one of the rare instances where I prefer the film (based on RottenTomatoes).(less)
I wanted to love this book, which is sort of a mash-up of the fairy tale/House (tv show)/regency romance, particularly as the doctor-earl-hero swims l...moreI wanted to love this book, which is sort of a mash-up of the fairy tale/House (tv show)/regency romance, particularly as the doctor-earl-hero swims laps (in a tidal pool on the coast of Wales) to help alleviate his leg pain. But it drove me bonkers that he swam, and taught the heroine to swim, front crawl! I found this anacrchronism very jarring--In this place & time, they definitely would have been swimming breaststroke. I still really liked it but since swimming is a pretty important part of the story, this inaccuracy knocked a star off. 3.5 out of 5, rounding down because I care more about the history of swimming than most people and it would've made absolutely zero difference to the plot to have them swim the correct stroke. Breaststroke.(less)
I had extremely high expectations after seeing several recommendations for this book. It lived up to them. Many other people have written great review...moreI had extremely high expectations after seeing several recommendations for this book. It lived up to them. Many other people have written great reviews (see above) so I just want to note something that was a minor part of the book but a major revelation for me. I'll do this in a way that is as non-spoiler-y as possible, but consider yourself warned anyway (if you want to avoid any hint of spoils, why are you reading reviews?!?).
One of the characters is a non-reader, a person who is smart and able to read (and not dyslexic) but does not retain knowledge well from reading and consequently does not enjoy it. Until I read this book, I did not understand how that could be, even though I know people like that (thinking of one friend especially). I really appreciate that insight--maybe it sounds obvious that a person could be smart and enjoy good stories and be *able* to read yet not enjoy reading/books, but I never really grokked that until I read this book, because I love books so much myself. It seemed incomprehensible, nonsensical, ludicrous. I get it now. Thanks, Fangirl!(less)
Book five in a series and the one I've been looking forward to through all of the previous books. The hero (Elijah) and heroine (Jemma) have been marr...moreBook five in a series and the one I've been looking forward to through all of the previous books. The hero (Elijah) and heroine (Jemma) have been married for nine years but they got off on the wrong foot and have been living apart for all but the past year (during which the first four books occur). Now Elijah's heart is failing and they need an heir, plus they have both learned and grown so both now want to reconcile. Of course there are still significant issues to resolve, or else we wouldn't have a book: Jemma is frustrated that Elijah loves his work in parliament and his noble ideals more than he loves her (or himself). She also sometimes feels unworthy and frivolous compared to his important work, even though she's a chess master and otherwise quite sure of herself. Elijah has lingering issues from his father's premature death and a savior complex in addition to his inherited heart problem.
I don't know whether I would have enjoyed this book quite so much if I'd read it at a different point in my life. I've now been married almost as long as the duke and duchess and I think that may be part of the reason I connected so strongly with this book and finished it in less than a day. They have a shared history but not the same perspective (definitely opposites attract), and their struggle to find a way out of repeating their old mistakes rang true. My husband is a surgeon so I felt a lot of empathy for Jemma as she struggled with how hard to push Elijah to make time for her and to rest, even though his work IS important to other people's lives. This book gave me a fresh appreciation for my own husband and a renewed desire to find ways to make our marriage even better, which is a pretty powerful impact for "fluffy" fiction to have. YMMV(less)
I won this through a randomly-chosen-winner giveaway on Twitter. It's the first in a series about a small town in Montana called Parable, and I'm alre...moreI won this through a randomly-chosen-winner giveaway on Twitter. It's the first in a series about a small town in Montana called Parable, and I'm already looking forward to reading more. Thankfully I don't have to wait since the next two are out already. This is a perfectly nice, light, not overly saccharine small-town romance with believable, appropriately detailed supporting characters and solid writing. Another reviewer called it a "comfortable" romance and I agree with that--it won't keep you up late into the night, but it hit the sweet spot of holding my interest.
The hero is the town sheriff so he's not exactly a cowboy at the beginning, but he wants to retire and become a rancher (not a spoiler as this is made clear quite early). The heroine grew up in Parable but moved away years ago and has been drawn back for reasons that are not entirely clear even to herself. The ending is satisfying despite being predictable and somewhat abrupt. 3.5 stars. I'm tempted to round up for the heroine's initiative on page 323, but upon reflection I'm going to round down for the last 25 pages because the ending could definitely have been smoother.(less)
Set in England in mid-1300s, this is a sweet, charming, almost fairy-tale romance. The set-up is memorable, and even though the plot twists are fairly...moreSet in England in mid-1300s, this is a sweet, charming, almost fairy-tale romance. The set-up is memorable, and even though the plot twists are fairly predictable, they are well-executed and the ending is satisfying. The characters are lovable and I enjoyed the non-regency historical setting.(less)
This is a cute story and I particularly enjoyed the secondary romance between two of the supporting characters, which can be tricky to pull off well....moreThis is a cute story and I particularly enjoyed the secondary romance between two of the supporting characters, which can be tricky to pull off well. The epilogue was too perfect to be realistic and I didn't need to be reminded quite so often how perfect the "Viking" hero's good looks were, but the plot held my interest and the Australia-Wisconsin culture clashes were funny and realistic. I liked it.(less)
I particularly enjoyed that the heroine is the one who starts off seeming like a [jerk] and the hero is a thorough do-gooder who helps her become her...moreI particularly enjoyed that the heroine is the one who starts off seeming like a [jerk] and the hero is a thorough do-gooder who helps her become her best self. I love me some bad boy heros, but I've read too many stories lately where it was the other way around so this was a great change of pace. I liked that the heroine becomes a better person without totally changing her personality. I also liked that the hero has a profession (doctor, and he specializes in what will become obstetrics) instead of being the typical lord/duke/whatever.
It was interesting to read about some of the medical practices of the time, even if I have a niggling feeling that some of that information is not entirely accurate. Nothing was so wrong that it made me want to tear my hair out, except for the mismatch between the heroine's RED hair and the clearly yellow-haired, not even strawberry-blond woman on the cover. Why do publishers do that?! AAAAARGH!
I haven't read any of the other books in this series yet, but the references to previous events were explained briefly and clearly enough that it didn't get in the way at all.(less)
I agree with the other reviewers who said the hero's denouement grovelling was insufficient for his misdeeds. The premise is great and the set-up is b...moreI agree with the other reviewers who said the hero's denouement grovelling was insufficient for his misdeeds. The premise is great and the set-up is beautifully executed, so after the first few chapters I thought it was headed for 5 stars. It's a shame the ending is such a let-down. :-((less)