What a fresh, original and fantastically fun story! I loved reading in the male POV and found the inner dialogue very authentic and believeable althou...moreWhat a fresh, original and fantastically fun story! I loved reading in the male POV and found the inner dialogue very authentic and believeable although Drew's attempts to win back Kate went a bit over the top at the end. Still, I adored the story and will be eager to see what Ms. Chase comes up with next. (less)
The story opens in Japan where the hero Barry Lord Craven has spent the last two years of his decade after wanderin...moreTHE SHADOW OF THE EAST by E.M. Hull
The story opens in Japan where the hero Barry Lord Craven has spent the last two years of his decade after wandering the globe. Barry, the reader quickly learns, is from a long line of adventurers and explorers, men who have wanderlust in their blood. Although he despises his own father, a man who abandoned Barry and his mother in favor of foreign travels, he has nevertheless followed in his predecessor's footsteps. This eventually leads to a truly shocking revelation (that I cannot reveal without spoiling the plot) and a tragedy that has a traumatic and far reaching effect on Barry's life.
Directly following this crisis, Barry receives a letter from an old friend who has passed away, requesting that Barry assume guardianship of the friend's daughter who is residing at a French convent. Perceiving this favor as a means of redeeming himself for his sins, Barry accepts the guardianship. He arrives in Paris expecting a child, but discovers a beautiful young woman instead. Thenceforth, the romance slowly unfolds between Barry and Gillian Locke.
There are several noteworthy secondary characters who play pivotal roles, to include Barry's land steward, his Japanese valet who saves his life on several occasions, and his spinster aunt who takes Gillian under her wing. While main protagonists are both sympathetic characters, Barry is very much a tortured hero who sacrifices his personal happiness in an effort to overcome his past. While I would still categorize this as a romance, the love story is really secondary to the hero's journey (in both the literal and figurative sense as the setting shifts from Japan to England and then to the Middle East) and his ultimate redemption.
Although disappointed with the denouement that I felt was too abrupt, I would still recommend THE SHADOW OF THE EAST as a highly engaging escape read for those who enjoy dramatic stories.
NOTE: This title was originally published in 1921 the electronic version is now available for free in the public domain.
4.5 Stars I have never read this author before but given that I'm now writing some contemporary western romance, I wanted to check this series out. Bec...more4.5 Stars I have never read this author before but given that I'm now writing some contemporary western romance, I wanted to check this series out. Because I am not a big fan of erotica or even lust to love plots, I scoped out this entire series to settle on a few titles that I thought I might enjoy. COWGIRL UP definitely proved a good place for me to begin as I felt it really was a compelling romance at heart. (Not to say it isn't really sexed up!)
Another reason this was a plus for me is that I'm a real sucker for unrequited love/ hero worship stories. AJ has been in love with Cord since she was 5 years old. I believed this and empathized with her because I had been there myself. And yes, my first heartthrob was a hot cowboy too. He was seventeen and I was thirteen,chubby with braces. Needless to say it was completely unrequited, but he did loan me his demin jacket once and I took it home and slept in it. I can still remember what it/he smelled like thirty five years later. Just like AJ, for YEARS I fantasized about running into him when I was all grown up. (Never happened.) Enough rambling.
Lorelei James' writing has a natural feeling flow that can only stem from a genuine knowledge of the small town and raching life. She also demonstrates great skill in weaving her subplots and secondary characters into the story which pulled me inextricably into the world of the McKay clan.
Although I know I won't read the entire series due to some of the over-the-top erotica, I do plan to read several more of the titles that appear to focus more on the romance.
I'm definitely a new fan and look forward to Keely's story.(less)
"How could you possibly wish to risk dirtying your hands with something like this?" Ned asked. "Are you not still bound for the clergy, Sin?" "That, my friend is a two part question that I must answer in kind," Simon replied. "While my dear devout mother would have me join the church, I have searched deeply and cannot summon an inkling of pious sentiment. Moreover, my natural inclination to licentiousness is decidedly incompatible with a theological vocation. With my two great passions being poetry and women of easy virtue, not necessarily in that order, I fear all combines to make me an exceedingly poor candidate for the clergy. "This now leads to part two. Why would I dirty my hands? The sad truth is that I am in need of the money." "Money? But you receive a more than adequate allowance." "Most of which he squanders on entertaining the aforementioned women of easy virtue," DeVere laughed. "Admittedly," Simon confessed, unabashed. "And now my father has not only reduced my quarterly allowance, but demands a full account of every ha'penny. I tell you, it is humiliating in the extreme. Unless I wish to live under such a yoke for the next three years, which I positively do not, I must find a way to make my living, and if I must travail for my bread, what better way than by the fruits of my pen?" "How better indeed," Ned replied dryly. "So now you combine these passions for poetry and lewd woman by writing poetry about lewd women?" "Precisely!" Simon clapped Ned on the back. "Don't you see the ironic beauty of it? This venture with Harris is the perfect solution" "What do you suppose will happen when your dear devout Mama gets wind of it?" Ned asked. "My parents will never know anything about it, for I have taken every precaution to ensure my anonymity. Only you, DeVere and Harris are privy to my identity." He retrieved the book from DeVere. "My contribution to this little work is, and shall forever remain, a well-kept secret." (less)
I read very few contemporary romances- maybe 3 a year as they normally don't provide the kind of escape I crave. I'm glad I made an exception for this...moreI read very few contemporary romances- maybe 3 a year as they normally don't provide the kind of escape I crave. I'm glad I made an exception for this title. A fabulous (and scorching hot) story of redemptive love.(less)