This was a solid 4-star read. I greatly enjoy stories with the Beauty and the Beast theme and I think having the "beast" as a scientist was a fun twisThis was a solid 4-star read. I greatly enjoy stories with the Beauty and the Beast theme and I think having the "beast" as a scientist was a fun twist. Edward is not just beastly for his appearance but much more for his lack of attention to the social niceties. He is so caught up in research and a desire to stretch the limits of his field that he has sequestered himself and forgotten the other responsibilities he carries in his life. I enjoyed the build up of attraction and feelings between the H/h while they worked together. The relationship wasn't completely based on lust and I could believe there was an underlying respect for one another that built right along with the love. As time went on it was very easy to understand just how Lydia was changing the beast back into a man, and in turn how the experience was broadening her sense of self. The idea of a ticking clock behind their romance actually worked for me and just added to the tension in how they might come together in time.
I might have rated the story higher but I had a small problem with how the book ended. (view spoiler)[I think the final chapters wrapped up everything way to rapidly. After a MAJOR confrontation between Lydia and Edward things seemed to jump forward in time without a true sense of how long it had been between the characters. We don't really get a chance to experience their pain of separation and all the angst that comes with it. Edward's confusion about dedicating his life to academic pursuits verses experiencing a life at home with a loving wife was seemingly solved in one conversation with a trusted friend. Lydia also closes herself off from Edward way too easily and dams up her emotions until they burst in a scene that has been played out before in too many other books. (hide spoiler)]
Overall, this was a wonderful debut book and I cannot wait for the next story to be told. Next fairy tale up is Cinderella.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
Of the three books, this one was the best from a romance point of view. I appreciate the author creating a real reason for Prudence to be a3.75 Stars
Of the three books, this one was the best from a romance point of view. I appreciate the author creating a real reason for Prudence to be a wallflower rather than just the typical historical excuses (like chronic Bluestocking-itis). All of her internal struggles and breakthroughs had real significance to show how this character grew from page one through to the epilogue. I absolutely adored John and for whatever reason never saw the twist coming about his identity. He was such a wonderful Hero for Prudence! His care and patience with her truly was romantic as it allowed her to be herself and believe that the man she opened up to wouldn't abuse that trust. Even when things had fallen apart I loved how these two held tight to all of the emotions they felt for one another and used that to keep fighting for a happy ending.
For all of the reviewers complaining about a lack of historical accuracy in this series, I would have to just say to go with it. Sure, there was insta-lust and a completely improbable reason for these two to be together alone for so long; however the story itself was entertaining and it hit all the right marks, making it a joy to read. ...more
**spoiler alert** I try to finish any book I've committed to (especially one I've paid for) even when the going gets tough, but this time I just could**spoiler alert** I try to finish any book I've committed to (especially one I've paid for) even when the going gets tough, but this time I just couldn't. The story NEVER improved upon its convoluted and slightly disturbing premise of how the hero Marcus and the heroine Danni meet and come together.
We the reader are supposed to feel compassion for Marcus's situation and believe that while his actions are menacing and criminal his heart is really innocent and his choices justified. I call that a whole lot of baloney! This is not a story of a villain being redeemed as a true hero; it's more like the deconstruction of a hero to his most basic elements and the author asks us to only pick up the good traits while ignoring the dark and damaged parts that force him to do wrong.
"Ignore the fact that Marcus is a barely functioning alcoholic..." "Never mind that he uses threats and blackmail to get what he wants..." "Please forgive how badly he treats his younger sister all in the name of protecting her..." "Don't think about the minor detail that his best solution to a problem is KIDNAPPING and a FORCED MARRIAGE..."
Danni isn't innocent in her own bungled actions throughout the story, especially how she parties herself to Marcus's madness. She is on a one-woman crusade through the ton to protect the virtues of love and the sanctity of marriage for the emotion, but she can't go against her father's wish she marry for political reasons. Oh No! And once Danni understands why Marcus is kidnapping a completely innocent girl for her money couldn't she just speak up and say "Hey, instead of kidnapping a completely innocent girl for her money... Why don't you marry me for mine?" Nope! That would be TOO convenient and then we'd never get to deal with all the problems these two morons encounter while on the road to Scotland.
I gave up about mid-way through the story and skipped to the end in the hopes that everything would be redeemed in a BIG finish full of emotions, declarations and other happy feelings. At least in that the author got it right. Unfortunately it just wasn't enough to get me to go back and read what I'd missed.
I truly wish, from the bottom of my heart, that Ms. Daniels hadn't tried to be clever in her storytelling and had just kept the premise simple. If Marcus had kidnapped Danni (not the innocent girl) and then all the hi-jinx happened to just the two of them then perhaps I would have gotten past a lot of the other issues I had with the book. Shading both the main characters as morally gray left too much room for other bad triggers to creep into my interpretation of the story. ...more
**spoiler alert** The ending of this book just killed me (and my rating). For a main character to make such a monumental error in judgement in the fin**spoiler alert** The ending of this book just killed me (and my rating). For a main character to make such a monumental error in judgement in the final moments just marginalized everything I read before it. The epilogue only barely makes amends to the reader; however it wasn't enough to save what had already been a very arduous read. Long winded conversations (with very little actually communicated), drawn out pages of self introspection and a relationship that seemed terribly one sided. Teddy's determination to make herself an independent woman was a poor attempt to infuse Feminism into the story. I had similar problems with an earlier book in this series where the heroine confused independence with stubbornness. This is supposed to be romance, and yet to these women they equate Love with surrender of their ideals. True love should be in finding the one person who will support and nurture those ideals. I think Jack was that man for Teddy and yet she wouldn't trust him with that role. I appreciate the author using the social upheavals of the late Victorian age to create women characters with something to say, but she has to remember this is still Romance. We need to know that the heroine will love just as passionately as she feels for whatever else is in her life. If not, then the Heroes are only getting half of a love affair and the reader is getting half of a HEA. ...more
***Thank you to Avon and Edelweiss for providing a copy for an honest review***
The love story of Eleanor Caulfield and Taliesin Wolfe has been slowly***Thank you to Avon and Edelweiss for providing a copy for an honest review***
The love story of Eleanor Caulfield and Taliesin Wolfe has been slowly simmering in the background of the other Caulfield sisters’ books, with small hints given to the readers of what is to come. Author Katharine Ashe may have been playing the long game with her characters, but readers with a sharp eye could sense all of the angst just ready to bubble to the surface with these two quiet yet strong people. Going into this book I had a wish list of all the things I wanted to see for Eleanor and Tali before they could get their Happy Ever After. I am so ecstatic that I got everything I wanted and then MORE.
With her younger sisters and her foster father all getting married around her, Eleanor has come to the realization that her life is passing her by and she is painfully aware that her choices for adventure are limited as an unmarried woman. As the last unmarried Caulfield sister, the burden of a Gypsy prophecy and a man’s signet ring have now fallen in Eleanor’s lap with the dream that her marriage to a prince will reveal the sister’s true parentage and place in the world. Practical Eleanor has never truly believed in this prophecy as her sisters did, but with her new wish to escape from all the happy marriages around her she jumps at the opportunity to investigate her background by tracing the ship that had originally brought the trio to England.
Knowing that Eleanor is sheltered to the world beyond the village she grew up in, her sister the duchess calls home their childhood friend Taliesin to serve as an escort. Taliesin was a young gypsy boy who was taken on by their father as a charity case. In their youth, Eleanor and Tali were constantly pushing and challenging one another, becoming both rivals and partners in each other’s successes. As they matured, that charge between them became more focused as each experienced an awakening to attraction and affection for one another. Unfortunately events transpired to separate the two, with Taliesin never returning to their village and Eleanor never leaving it.
The framework of I Loved A Rogue is a basic road romance, with their travel down the English coast looking for clues keeping Eleanor and Taliesin in close company with little influence from the outside. During the journey all of the feelings that had been suppressed for eleven years are quickly brought back to the surface, so the real story becomes how they can reconcile those emotions to the people they have become since their separation. Taliesin has lived as a rogue, spending time in both lawful and some misguided pursuits all in the name of bettering himself. He has gone against his gypsy upbringing to find permanence on a small parcel of land to show the world that he could be a gentleman; however there is still a part of him that feels that he cannot be good enough for a woman like Eleanor, especially when she meets a man who could possibly be her destiny.
While the “Will they, won’t they” of the relationship could have become frustrating as it stretches the length of the story, in this case it just pulled me deeper into their romance. Both characters have significant history to put behind them before there would be any true sense that their love will survive. Eleanor and Taliesin also fear how passionately they feel for one another and don’t know how to communicate those emotions without risking whatever friendship they may have. Their love is almost engrained into their personalities, yet the separation of eleven years, as well misinterpreted signals in their youth, has taught both of them to guard that part of themselves from the other. There was a moment in the story when they are so close to revealing their true emotions to one another and then Taliesin pulls back and it had me yelling at the character “WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!” To get a reader that vested in a fictional relationship that the pain of their decisions literally hurts takes some talented writing.
The romance was definitely the best part of this story for me but I was also completely engrossed in all the revelations Eleanor makes about her family. As each clue was uncovered and more pieces started falling into place I couldn’t believe the circumstances that had sent three young girls out into the world on their own. Things take on a heavier tone once Eleanor meets her biological relatives, but these moments were needed to help clarify things for both main characters that had been left on hold. Once all truths are revealed it was very interesting to look back at how Eleanor had been chasing her destiny for years and yet it had found her from the very start.
I would have loved if Ms. Ashe had included an extended epilogue where we get to revel in the happy endings of all the characters a bit more. What can I say; I’m greedy like that from all of the emotional ups and downs I went on with these characters. However, what we did get made me giddy with just how well Eleanor and Tali suited one another for their future. This was a wonderful send off for the series. ...more
The mixture of the hidden identity alongside an overly innocent character could have pushed the plot completely over the top, buTrue Rating: 4.5 Stars
The mixture of the hidden identity alongside an overly innocent character could have pushed the plot completely over the top, but there were enough great characterizations that I just fell into the story. While Goldie will never be one of my favorite heroines, her sweetness and naiveté played very well against a completely jaded man who needed a woman who could accept every part of him. Saber’s heart had become so shut off that only a woman with such openness would allow him the freedom to become himself once again. By the end of the story I could see every step of their journey together and how it had changed them both into the better versions of themselves.
This story is a testament to how some romantic themes will never get old and how much fun it can be to revisit some of the books that we may have forgotten were so good. ...more