Enchantment is a modern retelling of "Sleeping Beauty," written in Orson Scott Card's easy, readable style. When it comes to Card, he has some real wi...moreEnchantment is a modern retelling of "Sleeping Beauty," written in Orson Scott Card's easy, readable style. When it comes to Card, he has some real winners and some real stinkers, but it it is absolutely worth it to read through all of his books to find the true gems. This is one. Oh, I could nit pick if I really wanted to, but I'd rather just enjoy the simple, magical tale. (less)
This was the first romance novel I ever read and it is still my favorite in that genre. It is unique in that it features an overweight heroine, which...moreThis was the first romance novel I ever read and it is still my favorite in that genre. It is unique in that it features an overweight heroine, which may be why I like it so much. It's not deep or brilliant -- it is a true example of the romance novel genre -- but it is comfortable. I re-read it from time to time to remind myself that true beauty lies within. (less)
I've read this book twice, once half a lifetime ago when I was a teenager and again this week. It's interesting the perspective that comes with experi...moreI've read this book twice, once half a lifetime ago when I was a teenager and again this week. It's interesting the perspective that comes with experience. I still enjoyed the book, but in a different way. As a teenager who wasn't entirely sure she was supposed to be reading romance at all, I took it at face value and enjoyed the love story. As an adult, I realized that there is a great deal of satire in here. The author is trying -- and now succeeding -- at being funny.
The setup is completely ridiculous and draws widely upon romantic cliche. A nobleman needs must marry in order to produce an heir. He's getting old, you know, 29, and the pressure is on. But he doesn't want to court a woman, so he decides to marry the daughter of a duke who is having financial trouble and agrees to pay him, instead of receiving the usual dowry. But alas, he is called away on a military mission and cannot go to marry the beautiful woman, so he sends his cousin to marry her by proxy. The cousin marries her for himself instead and marries the beautiful girl's less attractive (by comparison) sister by proxy instead.
Yes, it's far-fetched, but just go with it. The characters are just as over the top as the setup. "I am your husband and master and you will obey me." And within the amusement, it still manages to be a rather compelling love story.
I plan to read the rest of the series, which seems to have grown substantially -- I only read the first 3 as a teen.
I recommend this to romance readers who don't necessarily have to take things too seriously. (less)
I was amused by my re-reading of the first book in the Bride series after 16 years, but not by the second. I vaguely remembered not liking it as much...moreI was amused by my re-reading of the first book in the Bride series after 16 years, but not by the second. I vaguely remembered not liking it as much but now I can honestly say I detest it. It's disgusting, not at all romantic. I'm sorry, but raping a woman repeatedly is not going to make her learn, eventually, to enjoy your touch and come to orgasm. Bleh. Who comes up with this crap?
No, seriously. That's what happens. It starts out all right. Ryder goes to Jamaica where there are some problems with one of his properties there. He meets a woman whose uncle has been abusing her and forcing her to pretend to be a whore. (In fact, she drugs the men and a slave sleeps with them. Because of course, it wouldn't do if she weren't a virgin.) Her uncle forces her to do this with Ryder, but he figures out that he's been tricked. Then everything goes to heck when Sophie is beaten to within an inch of her life and shortly thereafter accused of murdering her uncle. Ryder decides that the only thing to do is to marry her and send her to England. (Really, that was the only thing you could think of?)
He meets her back in England weeks later. The poor girl who has suffered abuse at the hands of her uncle and other men, has absolutely no interest in Ryder. So he forces her. He does more than that. He lords over her. He demands control of her body and soul. It is despicable. He seems to think that if he orders her about enough and rapes her enough times, she'll come to see that he is a good lover. That he's generous and tries to see to a woman's pleasure. As if a woman's pleasure has anything to do with being touched in all the right spots! (Which expert men know about and which are identical from woman to woman...ok, that part at least is just another amusing romance novel cliche, but in this book it failed to amuse me.) Of course she does come to enjoy him, but it's insanity, pure and simple. He takes an abused girl and abuses her further. The author tries to throw up the smokescreen of his orphanage for abused and crippled children as if to say, "Look, he's a nice guy!" Puh-lease.
This is exactly the sort of rubbish that gives the entire romance genre a bad name. I've read stories with dragons and elves that were more believable.
I don't recommend this book to anyone, not even romance readers, and not even those reading this series. Skip it. (less)
First thing's first. Turn your brain off. Go ahead, I'll wait...
Is it off? Terrific! Then this is the wonderful, romantic story of a young, headstrong...moreFirst thing's first. Turn your brain off. Go ahead, I'll wait...
Is it off? Terrific! Then this is the wonderful, romantic story of a young, headstrong girl who meets her match when a powerful duke decides he wants to marry her. Full of cycles of anger, passion, and love, this story is a roller coaster of emotions from beginning to end.
Now, for those of you who refused to turn your brain off, you may take exception to a few details. This story is not at all logical. If you try to apply logic to this story your head might explode. The duke represents the strong, powerful, somewhat dangerous older man who can awaken a young girl's passions. The trouble is that if you take it too seriously then you can't help but notice that he's an angry, somewhat violent jerk. He is arrogant, possessive, and a slut. (I believe they call men rakes...but it's the same thing.) He thinks he's better than everyone else, he is quick to anger, a poor communicator, and terrible judge of character. Most of these things are mentioned in the book, but they are given that seductive spin which works amazingly well if, and only if, you turn off that brain.
Since this was precisely what I was looking for when I picked up the book, I rated it highly. I recommend this book to seasoned romance readers, only. (less)
Probably the best of Judith McNaught's books. It's not quite perfect but it was immensely enjoyable to read. As with most of Mcnaught's books, this st...moreProbably the best of Judith McNaught's books. It's not quite perfect but it was immensely enjoyable to read. As with most of Mcnaught's books, this starts with a slow, gradual introduction of characters that will eventually come together. Often I find this part of her books a bit dull and infinitely skimmable, but in this case I found the characters interesting and sympathetic. When the plot does get rolling, it is quite simply a non-stop page turner. A rich and famous actor is convicted of a murder he didn't commit, he escapes from prison, and he ends up taking a woman hostage while he's on the run. The premise is fun, the tension real, and the characters fun and sympathetic.
I recommend this to romance readers, whether you read romance avidly or more occasionally, as I do. (less)
I'm busily reading my way through Judith McNaught's works and am enjoying them overall. They are predictable...moreMore like 3.5 stars but definitely not 4.
I'm busily reading my way through Judith McNaught's works and am enjoying them overall. They are predictable, fluffy, and definitely romantic.
This was no exception. We start with the typical slow character background before the two main characters finally meet, but something keeps them apart. In this case, what keeps them apart is a meddling father who manipulates his daughter and her new husband into getting a divorce. Eleven years later, they find out that the divorce is a fraud and that they are still married.
This was fun and touching. My biggest complaint is that this is such a skimmable book. There are endless business meetings that frankly bored me. Another complaint is that somehow, the idea that the press follows around wealthy business owners with quite the fervor indicated in this book was a bit unrealistic. (less)
Yawn. I gave this a good 75 pages but couldn't find the romance or frankly, anything else. This book is basically about a racist and a sexist who meet...moreYawn. I gave this a good 75 pages but couldn't find the romance or frankly, anything else. This book is basically about a racist and a sexist who meet in a bar. He then proceeds to lie (or at least hide the truth) from her and order her around while she has a random desire to tear his shirt off. I'd expect this from Harlequin, not Judith McNaught. (less)
I like Jude Deveraux's style and while I have not (yet) read many of her books, the ones I have read are easy to devour. They just keep you reading. T...moreI like Jude Deveraux's style and while I have not (yet) read many of her books, the ones I have read are easy to devour. They just keep you reading. There are moments of light humor and characters that are easy to like.
The problem with this one, and the reason I could only give it 3 stars, was that I simply could not believe Amanda's predicament. I could sympathize with it, but try as I might, the explanations about why she had grown up to be such a reserved, emotionless, completely controlled woman were not satisfying. She was a normal child until 14 when suddenly her father hires a tutor who gives her schedules and expects her to be perfect. He tells her what to wear, what to eat (not much), and what to talk about at dinner. Her mother simply disappeared around the same time the tutor was hired and thereafter had little to do with her daughter. She shut herself up in her room and I guess just hoped her daughter would work things out on her own. Um...really? Her father's character made no sense at all. He didn't even like what his daughter was becoming but not only did he not fire the tutor, but he agreed to their engagement. If her father were more involved in this quashing of her spirit it might have made more sense...I can buy a 14-year-old girl wanting to please her father (or probably in this case, the quashing would have started at a much younger age). But she did all this for a tutor who never showed her an ounce of kindness or love.
So I guess I would say that I wanted to like this more than I did. It's definitely not going to put me off Jude Deveraux books, but I do hope the others are more like "Wishes" -- which was the first romance novel I ever read and still my favorite. (less)
This is the first time travel romance novel that I have truly enjoyed and I absolutely loved it. For one thing, it felt very real. The 1560's weren't...moreThis is the first time travel romance novel that I have truly enjoyed and I absolutely loved it. For one thing, it felt very real. The 1560's weren't just some vague medieval-ish setting. I can't vouch for all the details since I haven't done the research myself but this seemed very well researched and very well thought out. The romance element was good and less certain than most in the genre, if that makes any sense. I really did not know if or how these two would get together as it seemed neither really belonged in the other's century.
I highly recommend this novel to anyone who enjoys romance, especially with a bit of magic. (less)
This is a rare one-star book that I actually finished, largely because I'm still waiting for the two books I want to read to come in the mail and I co...moreThis is a rare one-star book that I actually finished, largely because I'm still waiting for the two books I want to read to come in the mail and I couldn't sleep last night.
I'm afraid this is everything trite and meaningless about HEA romance. I can't stand romance novels in which the crux of the tension is the hero's inability to say three words. This book exacerbates the problem because it is so perfectly obvious that the hero does love the heroine and he shows her in a million ways, which leads to the other eye-rolling part of the tension: the heroine's desperate need to hear three little words or her life is simply unbearable. Gag.
I hate to say it, but this novel would have been better if the heroine had die. It's a bit of a spoiler to say but not much since I already said it's an HEA romance (that's happily ever after for those who are unaware). But there was an opportunity for the heroine to die at the end as we waited in not-so breathless anticipation to find out that she would make it, I found myself thinking how much better the book would be if she did die. Because then there would, at least, be a moral in the idea that you need to love people while you have the chance. I'm not saying the book would have been good had that happened, but I think it would have deserved at least 3 stars that way for sheer nerve.
And I hate to continue this rant here when I have generally been enjoying Julia Quinn's books (every author has a doozy) , but it really would be nice if romance authors would *consider* breaking the rules once in a while. (less)
I did enjoy this book. I really did. Of all the Bridgerton books, this one was the one I most looked forward to becau...more**spoiler alert** Spoiler Warning
I did enjoy this book. I really did. Of all the Bridgerton books, this one was the one I most looked forward to because Penelope reminded me more of me than any of the others...the wallflower, a big plump, shy around strangers. I'd already met her in the first three books in the series and was quite looking forward to seeing her paired up with Collin.
I also enjoyed this book because of the subtlety of the romance. In truth, I don't believe in love at first sight and in this book, it takes more than a dozen years for the two to fall in love. (Well, for Collin to fall in love, at any rate.) They were friends first, and that's how I got together with my own husband, so to me it was perfect.
But there was one glaring flaw that kept me from giving this the 5 stars it could have so easily deserved...the author cheated.
Finally, this book addresses the identity of Lady Whistledown, the gossip columnist who followed us through the first 3 novels. And as it turns out, Penelope is Lady Whistledown. Yet even immersed in Penelope's point of view, seeing her thoughts and getting to know her inner self, the author rather intrusively withholds the information that Penelope is Lady Whistledown until Collin finds out, about halfway through the novel. I had a sick feeling that the author might do this, but I didn't want to believe it. It wasn't just that the subject never came up -- most of the book was about this subject. When Lady Danbury announces that she'll give a thousand pounds to the person who unmasks Lady Whistledown, Penelope is right there and how does she react? She doesn't. When that awful woman tries to pretend she is Lady Whistledown Penelope is right there listening and how does she respond?
I call it a cheat but I want to make it clear that the problem isn't that the author tricked me. In fact, I rather suspected she might be taking us down this road. No, I was cheated out of my opportunity to truly get to know Penelope and understand her. Halfway through the book was too late. Even upon reread, skimming through the early chapters, I find myself annoyed that her reactions are not given in light of what she obviously knows about herself...this very important detail that has meant so much to her and says so much about her.
Alas, if only I had known Penelope's true self from the start, I am quite sure this would have been my favorite of the series. (less)