I used to love historical romances, such as Lisa Kleypas’ Wallflower series and Julia Quinn’s Bridgerton books. Unfortunately, for the past 5 years II used to love historical romances, such as Lisa Kleypas’ Wallflower series and Julia Quinn’s Bridgerton books. Unfortunately, for the past 5 years I haven’t been able to get into the genre. Katharine Ashe seems to be changing this. Captive Bride: A Regency Ghost Novel, is one of her stand-alone novels, which I picked-up after reading two of her novellas and enjoying them.
Captive Bride is a ghost story that is heavier on the historical romance side than the paranormal. After receiving a letter from her twin brother, Beatrice travels to a remote estate to help him get out of his newest mess. Accompanied by her two aunts and Lord Peter Cheriot, the man who has been proposing to her for the past four years, she discovers that her brother’s mention of a ghost were not false.
For all intents and purposes, I probably shouldn’t have enjoyed this book as much as I did. The terms of the ghost’s curse were pretty clichéd. Basically, the ghost must marry a maiden to free himself from the curse. So, any maiden who crosses the threshold of the estate gets trapped in the castle. You know where the story is leading in this regard. Ashe did put a small spin on the plot towards the very end, but it still generally ended-up in the same place I had thought it was going when I heard the term of the ghost’s curse. Despite this, I still really enjoyed the journey.
What made the book enjoyable were the characters. Bea and Peter’s relationship was cute, if a little frustrating because one clear conversation between the two would’ve cleared up so much angst. I also really love the way Ashe writes her heroes as not overbearing, which is found a lot in historical romances and was the reason I stopped reading them. I got tired of the caveman routine prevalent in the genre’s lead male characters. So, it was refreshing to get Peter as a lead because ultimately he wanted Bea to be happy. Even if that meant, after all was said and done, she wouldn’t be with him.
All in all, Captive Bride was a solid book. I will definitely look into some of Ashe’s other full-length novels soon....more
I read Rage purely because I was curious to see what Thea Harrison was writing back in the 80's under the name Amanda Carpenter.
Rage has some hardcorI read Rage purely because I was curious to see what Thea Harrison was writing back in the 80's under the name Amanda Carpenter.
Rage has some hardcore 80's soap opera stuff happening throughout the story. Glasses are getting shattered dramatically, people are slapping each other's faces all over the place, and the rich protagonists are going around calling each other droll. Now, I love a crazy melodramatic book once in a while but this one did not work for me. Mostly because the story didn't go far enough into the ridiculous for me to enjoy it. There was no rich male stripper with a heart of gold and pet owl (see Lightning That Lingers) or evil twin. Instead, the underlying plot was fairly interesting and believable. It was just the characters' reactions to things that were overblown and that's what made the book annoying. The tone of the plot and character's actions didn't match-up for me. On top of that, the stereotypical snobby rich tone of the dialog was grating on my nerves.
This book was interesting to see how far Thea Harrison has come as a writer. However, if you're thinking about reading this because you're a fan of her recent work, I would recommend you skip it....more