Amazing! I've lost so much sleep the last two weeks enthralled by this book. Each book in this All Souls Trilogy HAS TO BE MADE INTO A MOVIE!!!!! Luke...moreAmazing! I've lost so much sleep the last two weeks enthralled by this book. Each book in this All Souls Trilogy HAS TO BE MADE INTO A MOVIE!!!!! Luke Evans (Dracula Untold & the Hobbit) should play Matthew.(less)
I have been a Jo Beverley romance fan since the days of her traditional regencies. She is an amazing author with a gift for strong characters, well-dr...moreI have been a Jo Beverley romance fan since the days of her traditional regencies. She is an amazing author with a gift for strong characters, well-drawn plots, and for drawing you into the story. I am always sad when I reach the end, but happy because I had a good read. That being said, I wish I'd enjoyed A Shocking Delight as much as I usually enjoy a Jo Beverley romance. I was a little overwhelmed trying to keep up with the extra cast of characters woven throughout the story to support the plot and its' twist but even more so bewildered by David's ancestral ties. I liked his character though and how he struggled to juggle his two worlds while falling in love with Lucy Potter. I'm sitting on the fence about Lucy though. I didn't really warm to her personality: I found her judgmental and a little too prickly. I found myself skipping pages to get to the end and the entire last few chapters felt rushed to bring the hero & heroine together. I think Crag Wyvern has been sadly mis-used. (less)
How does Deborah Harkness do it? How does she blend a bazillion details together as if they were the fine threads of a tapestry that when stitched tog...moreHow does Deborah Harkness do it? How does she blend a bazillion details together as if they were the fine threads of a tapestry that when stitched together becomes a piece of fine art? Never mind her uncanny ability to move around the game board of her creation (the All Souls Trilogy) a cast of characters (both fictional and not), history (real and fictional), time and places? Can you tell I’m impressed!
I am normally not a fan of books written in the First Person narrative, but I got so wrapped up in these stories I forgot all about the narrator. Deborah Harkness writes with such finesse that I too am woven into the story.
Shadow of Night (All Souls Trilogy, #2) was a page turner. “Just a few more pages” or “just to the end of the chapter” was my mantra on many nights. The characters, even those beyond the main ones, were engaging and real. Matthew and Diana are two strongly drawn, realistic characters that you worry over, cheer for and feel happiness for as they follow the path destiny has designed. Can I say again I was blown away by the richness and authenticity of the setting, etc. If anyone in Hollywood is listening...make these books into movies! Please!
I will wait a few months before reading book #3 in the trilogy. I like to “cleanse my palate” (in a manner of speaking and in a good sense) with another book by a different author in order to prepare my literary taste buds for the next adventure. Thank you Deborah Harkness for another fantastic read! (less)
I borrowed this book from the library because I decided since I'd recently seen Saving Mr. Banks and saw Disney's Mary Poppins eons ago, I really shou...moreI borrowed this book from the library because I decided since I'd recently seen Saving Mr. Banks and saw Disney's Mary Poppins eons ago, I really should read Mary Poppins (how did I miss this book as a child?) I wanted to like this book. I didn't. I liked PL Travers sense of humor, I liked her dry wit, but I was waiting for the story to develop into something more than snippets of scenes. This is one book I wished I read before seeing the two movies because I kept comparing the book to them. I wanted the essence of Saving Mr. Banks to come through in Mary Poppins, but was left wanting. I wanted some of the joy in Disney's Mary Poppins to leap off the page, but it didn't. When I read the sidewalk chalk pictures scene and the Uncle Albert laughing on the ceiling scene in the book, I immediately visualized those scenes from the Disney movie. Other than that, I was left wanting. I never liked Mary Poppins the character. She was too perfect, a snob, and not as nice as everyone thinks. But I loved the way she was represented on screen: a character who could do magic, bring a family together, help children realize their potential in spite of themselves, the adventure that's life. But the novel felt like a series of disconnected events that really never led me anywhere. Would I feel differently if I'd read the books first? We'll never know. And that makes me sad. But not sad enough to explore the other books in the series. Sorry Mary.
I stopped reading half way through this book and won't give it another chance. It's a Harlequin Historical Regency, but where's the romance? All I got...moreI stopped reading half way through this book and won't give it another chance. It's a Harlequin Historical Regency, but where's the romance? All I got from this book was sex, sex and more sex. Where's the relationship development? Where's the originality? The story read more like an exercise called "name that sexual body part." If I read the word nubben one more time... Two pages seemed dedicated to a blow-by-blow (no puns intended) account of each sexual step as if to illustrate the author's command of a sexual body part phrase book. I was bored by the sex scenes almost immediately.
The Duke is certainly powerful, but hardly likeable. He is overbearing, brutish, and in my opinion a borderline sexual predator. Where were his redeeming qualities? He uses sex and Ellie's inexperience and attraction to him as a weapon to overcome her reluctance. And their sexual encounters don't ruin her reputation because they didn't actually have intercourse (this towards the start of the book)? Uh, I don't think so.
I'm not sure if I like Ellie or not. Why does she love the Duke in the first place? Why is she attracted to a man who is boorish and brutish and treats her with such disrespect. I never get the Duke deserves her regard. Why would she choose a man who uses pleasure as a way to overcome her reluctance; who disregards her wishes and her dignity.
Overall, two thumbs way down. At the start of this review I asked where's the romance? Difficult if not impossible to find. This Harlequin Historical was more a book of sex scenes with a few references to love and romance thrown in for good measure. Not my cup of tea.
Loved it! Loved it! Loved it! This story was as good the second time around as it was the first. Lauren Willig is so adept at bringing to life a time...moreLoved it! Loved it! Loved it! This story was as good the second time around as it was the first. Lauren Willig is so adept at bringing to life a time and place. Her descriptions are original, the premise fresh, and the supporting characters are a nice compliment to the hero & heroine.
I was swept away by the intrigue, the romance, the story, the adventure! I think Ms. Willig's handling of shifts between present day and the past were well done. Confession: I did skip the last few present day sections towards the end of the book because 1) I'd read this book before and 2) I was so caught up in Richard & Amy's romance/adventure, I just wanted to stay in the 19th century with them. I really enjoyed Richard and Amy's developing relationship. It was plain fun being a part of their ups and downs. One of my favorite parts was Richard's jealousy of The Purple Gentian. Priceless. I can't wait to pick up the second volume in this fantastic series. I highly recommend this book and subsequent volumes!
The back cover blurb for Blackmoore says "Set in the 1820s, Blackmoore is a Regency Romance..." except it's not. Never mind the fact the 1820s was not...moreThe back cover blurb for Blackmoore says "Set in the 1820s, Blackmoore is a Regency Romance..." except it's not. Never mind the fact the 1820s was not the Regency period; this book read more like a melodrama or heavy handed gothic mystery/romance. Blackmoore is the darkness while Edenbrooke (Ms. Donaldson's other novel) is the light.
I found everything to be over-the-top: the writing, the characters, the dialogue, the drama, the setting. But I couldn't stop reading because I liked Henry Delafield and I wanted to know what exactly all the gothic mystery was about. I had to know how and if Henry and Kate got together. This is not a cheery, happy romance novel. It's almost suffocating in its gothic feel. Even the end robbed me of any sense of happily ever after because it left me wondering: what changed five years later that may have allowed a return to Blackmoore?
Ms. Donaldson does know how to write heroes. Henry Delafield is so well written I wish he were real. Strong, compassionate, romantic, passionate, kind, considerate...he's what I expect in a hero in romance novel. Kate Worthington made me cringe like finger nails on a blackboard. She struck me as selfish, overly dramatic, gloomy, and self-indulgent. Other characters were black hearted and over the top.
An important scene towards the end of the book involved Kate's mother, Kate and the grandfather's will. I was baffled by this scene since the plot turned on it; the scene was there, but why? I liked the Henry/grandfather scene and the Kate/grandfather scene - these were tender and heart warming, but the grandfather's appearance in the story seemed more plot device; it could have been so much more.
Where Edenbrooke was a warm fleece blanket wrapping itself around me, Blackmoore, sadly, felt like a fleece blanket that suffocated me with its over wrought scenes, characters and darkness.
I really enjoyed this book, but before I share my review, I wanted to suggest the use of a visual aid which could add to your reading enjoyment. I kno...moreI really enjoyed this book, but before I share my review, I wanted to suggest the use of a visual aid which could add to your reading enjoyment. I know this isn’t an advice column, but here’s the idea: keep a 3x5 index card with the words “she’s only 17” written on it with you as you read Edenbrooke (especially if you are over the age of 30).
Marianne, the heroine, is only 17 years old. She’s spirited and strong willed, but she’s also a naive, innocent child, and her inability to understand certain behaviors or to comprehend meanings behind conversations stems from her lack of years and experience. But as an over 50 gal with lots of life experiences and a different perspective, I had to keep reminding myself that Marianne was only 17; I had to be patient with her otherwise I was irritated no end by her foolishness. Hence the visual aid.
It also helped me understand Marianne’s inclination to twirl (though in all honesty there isn’t a lot of twirling in the story), but when I tried to read this book the first time around 6-months ago that very act in the first few pages stopped me cold. I put the book down then, but I’m glad I gave it another chance. A 17 year old girl in 19th century England who twirls makes sense. And the twirling is important later in the book when… (you’ll have to read it to understand).
Philip is one of my favorite heroes. He’s not perfect, but he is genuine. He has stepped off the page and into my heart. How old is he though? We know Marianne is 17. Based upon his maturity, manner of speaking and view of the world around him, I’d guess Philip to be in his late 20s/early 30s. And that made me wonder...would a man that age really and truly fall for a 17 year old girl the way Philip fell for Marianne? But then I realized something...reality didn’t matter. Julianne Donaldson had woven a tale that convinced me it could happen, that these two people were meant to be together.
On a minor note--I like the book's cover, but the dress worn by the solitary feminine figure is not period appropriate. It struck me as too modern or too early 20th century, but definitely not early 19th.
I thoroughly enjoyed Edenbrooke. It’s a well-written story, with a charming heroine, a wonderful hero and a satisfying story and romance. It’s written in the first person which I think contributed to the honesty of the romance between Marianne and Philip. Though there were a few hiccups/cliches (such as eavesdropping that leads to misunderstanding which could have been resolved with a simple question), I recommend this book to regency romance fans who enjoy a traditional, sweet romance. When I turned the last page, the story stayed with me as if it had taken on the form of a warm fleece blanket and had wrapped itself around my heart.(less)
This is the first Kieran Kramer historical romance I've read (and I believe it was her debut novel). I’m a fan of her writing style and have every int...moreThis is the first Kieran Kramer historical romance I've read (and I believe it was her debut novel). I’m a fan of her writing style and have every intention of reading her other historical romances. Her writing is fun and full of zest, and she makes me forget I'm reading about fictional people.
I liked Harry-he wasn’t perfect, but he strove to protect Molly and evolve into the man Molly knew he could be. I liked Molly's spirit and her unwillingness to give up on Harry, but she sometimes acted/sounded more modern than early 19th century and that coupled with my feeling that the plot was entirely improbable (I know some women engaged in sexual activity outside of marriage or before and I don’t mean courtesans), but I think Molly, an unmarried young innocent female (and an aristocrat at that), would have found her and Harry’s trysts a bit more shocking (albeit pleasant) even after seeing pictures in a book. I skipped over most of the details anyway; I cared more about the story.
The Impossible Bachelor’s wager confused the heck out of me from the get-go, so I ignored the details and went along for the ride. What cinched a 4 star rating for me in addition to Ms. Kramer’s writing style was the last two chapters. They made me happy since the improbability/impropriety issue was resolved (though the hiding in plain sight character was a little weak but worked just the same). And The Spinster's Club? I ignored the reference to yet another new series, and am looking forward to reading more historical romances by Kieran Kramer.
This was an amazing book. I’d say make it into a movie, but I don’t think anyone could do it justice. The story was compelling. It grabbed hold and wo...moreThis was an amazing book. I’d say make it into a movie, but I don’t think anyone could do it justice. The story was compelling. It grabbed hold and wouldn’t let go until the last page before the Epilogue. Alex Myers’ descriptions were original and fresh. His writing crisp. Every word had a purpose and every word was just the right word. I cared about Deborah. I felt her pain, rode her emotional roller coaster, worried about her as she soldiered, experienced her heart ache and reveled in her courage.
About ¾ of the way through the book there is a scene involving Deborah/Robert and another soldier and their possible feelings for one another. WIthout giving anything away, I was a little surprised that she/he would jeopardize everything for a moment of emotional gratification after expending so much time and energy on maintaining her disguise. It felt like a cheap plot device, but it happens for a reason and Mr. Myers makes it work.
I don’t usually find fault with Epilogues, but this one was disappointing. First it kicked me out of the story because I didn’t automatically key in to a “new” character (this became a “duh” moment for me), then I lost the story thread again because I felt lost in time. When were we? 10 years later? 5 years? 18 months? I would have preferred a time frame of reference for this point in the story, and when I didn’t have one, I floundered. But the very end redeemed the Epilogue somewhat for me.
I found the lack of historical notes about Deborah Samson extremely disappointing. I would have enjoyed learning more about her, about the author’s research materials, and what was historical fact as opposed to historical fiction (for example: were the letters authentic or from the author’s imagination). For a book based upon a remarkable real person's life, I think Deborah Samson deserved more attention than she got after the story ended.
The author’s life experiences as a transgendered individual may have influenced his perspective and provided insight as he wrote Revolutionary, but the emphasis on his gender transformation experience made me wonder if in the future he’ll be defined as the “transgendered author Alex Myers” or will the quality of his writing define him as “the talented author Alex Myers?”
I look forward to reading the talented author Mr. Myers’ next novel and hopefully many others after that. I would recommend this book to everyone. (less)