I would've likely never picked this up if I hadn't read The Bronze Horseman, one of my favorite series everWhite Gardenia was absolutely fascinating.
I would've likely never picked this up if I hadn't read The Bronze Horseman, one of my favorite series ever. I'm glad I finally gave White Gardenia a chance. And while it does have some similarities in culture and theme, they are not the same at all. It took me at least one hundred pages to really dig into this book, basically when I stopped trying to figure out what was going to happen and just read.
The writing isn't at all lyrical or even that captivating; it was stark, almost like reading a recitation, which definitely kept me more of an observer and not prone to feeling what the characters felt. In some ways that's a bit of a disappointment and does slightly lower my overall opinion. On the other hand, it's sometimes nice to read an emotionally difficult story without feeling overwhelmed. But the story? Anya's story was absolutely fascinating. Her world was brutal and horrifying, interspersed with times of great joy. Heartbreaking but ultimately uplifting. And I learned so much! I had no idea about the Russians who fled to China after the Revolution, about Shanghei, and what happened when a displaced people were once again brutalized and displaced in the fallout after WWII. For a history nerd like me, that's like book crack. Once I got going, I couldn't stop turning pages.
White Gardenia, Anya's story is one I know I will never forget. ...more
ohhhhhh myyyyyyy god Like No Other Lover is a gorgeous book.
As I'm working my way through the Pennyroyal Green series, I've quickly become an avid faohhhhhh myyyyyyy god Like No Other Lover is a gorgeous book.
As I'm working my way through the Pennyroyal Green series, I've quickly become an avid fan of Julie Anne Long. She writes these magnificent historoms that are lush and angsty and clever and so very romantic. They leave me feeling light-headed with happiness. I should also point out that this one was very, very funny.
Miles Redmond was very Mr. Darcy-esque. So controlled, repressed and proper. Prone to quick judgment in the beginning, and almost always saying the wrong thing whilst flustered by the charming and pretty Cynthia Brightly. Now she, was another dynamic character. Seemingly a gold-digger, the treasure Cynthia truly seeks is stability and a home of her own. There was never any question Miles and Cynthia were destined to find one another. That despite what they thought they wanted, dreamt on, a life together would be the greatest adventure.
Having never read Loretta Chase's work, I was anxious to read Royally Ever After. I wasn't put off by the shortness, I tend to enjoy novellas and wasHaving never read Loretta Chase's work, I was anxious to read Royally Ever After. I wasn't put off by the shortness, I tend to enjoy novellas and was hoping it would give me a nice feel for her style/voice.
I did get a feel, and did enjoy the two stories. I will say that there's not a lot of meat to either one. Lord Lovendon's Duel was the stronger of the two, and very charming. The Jilting of Lord Rothwick began and ended abruptly, but what we do get I enjoyed.
I feel Royally Ever After will best suit those who, like me, want a taste of Loretta Chase's work, to see if it's a good match. It will also likely please readers who are familiar with the world in which the stories/characters belong, and are clamoring for more from a beloved author. I, myself, am now anxious to give one of her novels a go. ...more
"I know you wanted a chance to determine what you want. But what I want is this: I want to be wherever you are. Whatever that means. Wherever that mig"I know you wanted a chance to determine what you want. But what I want is this: I want to be wherever you are. Whatever that means. Wherever that might be. So if you want me, I will stay. For as long as you want me. However you want me. Because…” He sighed. “…I love you.”
(and that's the line that officially made me swoon)
I've made it my mission to read the Pennyroyal Green series. I'm doing it like it's my job. If only...
I really enjoyed Since the Surrender. Chase Eversea and Rosalind March were two tough nuts to crack, but perfectly suited. They had a sad but very intriguing history as well. Long did an excellent job of keeping sympathy on their side in such difficult circumstances. The passion and chemistry was top-notch; this book had the steam. There were a couple of times their timing in...activities made me side-eye, but oh well.
This installment had a good mystery, as well, even though the ending was a bit anticlimactic. I mean, not all mysteries can end with the dramatic revelations of Perils of Pleasure, can they? By the way, Colin Eversea just continues to be the most adorable thing ever every time he's on the page!
Since the Surrender was a very good book. True to form, I flew through it in a matter of hours. And while it may not be my very favorite Pennyroyal Green novel, it is still miles ahead of most historical romance.
I need to send a few thankful thoughts to whomever first turned my eye towards the Pennyroyal Green series (and to myself for listening ;-) ) becauseI need to send a few thankful thoughts to whomever first turned my eye towards the Pennyroyal Green series (and to myself for listening ;-) ) because it has turned out to be one of my very favorites.
I actually started Pennyroyal Green with the most recent book, It Started with a Scandal. It's been a favorite of 2015. Then I jumped back to book four, I Kissed an Earl, because it directly ties to ISwaS. Loved it as well. Then I read Like No Other Lover (#2), which was once again, a big hit with me. All books obviously come after The Perils of Pleasure, and all mentioned the now-mythical Colin Eversea and his love Madeline. Each book made me more curious about the legendary man, and then I thought "Hey idiot, why don't you just read his book?".
So I bought The Perils of Pleasure (in digital and print because I knew it would go on my "keeper shelf") and in what will be no surprise, I loved it. Every single word on every single page.
The Perils of Pleasure is at its core a romance, but also a mystery. The book begins with Colin Eversea headed to the noose, framed for a murder he didn't commit. In a flash of smoke and chaos, Colin is rescued by the mysterious Madeline Greenway, who is in turned nearly murdered soon thereafter. Who framed Colin, who paid for his rescue, and why is Madeline now in danger as well, are the questions Colin and Madeline are on the race to answer during the next four days. Why four days? Because Colin is determined to stop the wedding of his childhood love, who is marrying his older brother. Because that's not awkward at all.
As Colin and Madeline trace the clues, they begin to feel, you guessed it, an intense attraction. Colin has been without physical comfort in a while, Madeline for far longer. The stressful quest they're on, and the fact they get on so very well has them reluctantly growing closer, which is so not the plan. Colin is in love with the brother's fiancé (or does he only think he is?) and Madeline has plans to leave her painful past behind and start a new life in America. How the two go from their intended path to falling in love was an absolute DELIGHT. Very few authors have made me feel for and believe in the conviction of a couple like Julie Anne Long. Their journey was tentative and fraught with concealed emotions, and a love of which both are terrified. Let me tell you, the past three chapters held me enraptured and breathless. I could not and did not want to look away. Perfectly executed and in a rare event in romance, our heroine makes the grand gesture.
Having made an odd path in my reading of the Pennyroyal Green series, I didn't count on being surprised. I WAS WRONG because near the end I was completely blindsided by the reveal of a secret so big and destructive and heartbreaking, that I'm seeing the entire series with brand new eyes. I think this is calling for a series marathon, including those I've already read.
Pennyroyal Green is my new obsession. Every historical romance fan should consider it a must-read. ...more
(view spoiler)[Okay, not tricked. I may have made the assumption that readers would finally learn the identity of Lady Constance, tI've been tricked!
(view spoiler)[Okay, not tricked. I may have made the assumption that readers would finally learn the identity of Lady Constance, the elusive author of the serial Fifty Ways to Sin. I, like many readers, have been curious to know who has been writing the wicked exploits that have titillated the ladies (and men) of the Scandalous series. I think it's possible we learn who might be the author, but....no. We probably don't, which leaves me dying of curiosity and hoping we will in the future. (hide spoiler)]
All's Fair in Love and Scandal was delightful. Douglas Bennet was such a cad in Love and Other Scandals. I'm so pleased to see him brought to his knees in devotion to Madeline Wilde. Madeline was perfect. A strong, elusive young widow, not willing to let her heart be broken, she made him work to earn her trust and affection. A woman after my own heart.
All's Fair in Love and Scandal is a well-executed novella. The author fit a fun, romantic and intriguing story into a tight space, and worked it to perfection. I highly recommend it to fans of the Scandalous series, those curious about the series, and anyone looking for a great historical romance. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
Four Nights with the Duke was such a delight! In this story, we have Mia-a romance novelist who writes about the type of love she wants to experience
Four Nights with the Duke was such a delight! In this story, we have Mia-a romance novelist who writes about the type of love she wants to experience. She suffers from terrible self-esteem, majorly stemming from a humiliating rejection from Vander, from whom she'd written an ode at fifteen. Vander also happens to be the son of Mia's father's mistress, a truly scandalous and hurtful situation for both. Thirteen years later, Mia needs a husband to maintain custody of her mildly physically disabled, abused nephew (it seems he may have a club foot?). She has blackmail material against Vander, and voila, we have a marriage-of-convenience.
This trope always makes for a good story, even more so under these strained circumstances. I loved experiencing Mia's transformation from a meek wallflower into a woman who knows her worth, amd demands its due. I loved seeing Vander begin to transform from a cold, ruthless man who never wants to fall in love, to a man who realizes that he's inadvertly found a treasure in Mia and her nephew, Charlie. Btw, I dare anyone not to melt while reading scenes between Vander and Charlie.
Vander's uncle Chuffy was a winner, as were the brief scenes including Thorne and India (from Three Weeks with Lady X). I'm interested to see if a particularly interesting character (Edward) will be the hero of the next book.. And though I'm not typically a big fan of animals being heavily featured in books, be on the look out for the Arabian stallion, Jafeer.
Four Nights with the Duke was such an endearing story. If you love strong, insightful heroines and the men who fall madly in love with them, I highly recommend. ...more
Three Weeks with Lady X is my first Eloisa James book. I'm thrilled her work lived up to the hype.
I found the story and characters to be enormously inThree Weeks with Lady X is my first Eloisa James book. I'm thrilled her work lived up to the hype.
I found the story and characters to be enormously interesting, lively and winning. The story revolves centers on the tumultuous, sometimes contentious, and eventually friendly and romantic friendship between India and Thorn. India and Thorn believe they would be a horrible match, with him even looking for marriage elsewhere, and her not really looking at all. Their views on life and love, due to the emotional damages from their parents, along with the assumptions that come from the rigid expectations of society, threaten to keep the two infuriating oblivious, enormously stubborn knuckleheads from realizing the are perfect together.
And I loved Three Weeks with Lady X.
The story had excellent dialogue (oh, the banter!), chemistry, sexual tension, and conflict. The second half ramped the angst and tension to an unbelievable level. I could not put this book down until the happy ending was delivered.
Highly recommend, and looking forward to book two! ...more
I feel like a first-class jerk, but I just couldn't get into this book. I read the first seven chapters, and then just stopped. I felt like a ping ponI feel like a first-class jerk, but I just couldn't get into this book. I read the first seven chapters, and then just stopped. I felt like a ping pong ball, bouncing back-and-forth between the motivations of the H/h, her father, uncle and cousin, his friend (who's probably in love with him). It just made me tired.
All this is purely personal opinion. There's nothing "wrong" with the book. It just wasn't for me, at this time. ...more