REISSUE of ANNABELLE published in October, 1998 and ROSABELLE published in December, 1998.
Life Had Treated the Kelland Twins Very Differently.....
Rosabelle. Mrs. Rosabelle Ordway badly needed a holiday from her London home, but the only way was to change places with her identical twin in Berkshire. Philip Winbolt, Annabelle's neighbor, soon began to suspect something. "Annabelle" had changed toward him. She was someone he could adore--but Rosabelle couldn't tell him the truth, for she was in great danger.
Annabelle. Meanwhile, Annabelle Kelland had taken her sister's place in London, sharing a house with Rosabelle's godmother and mother-in-law, and Giles Stanton, the new heir to the Ordway fortune. She enjoyed sparring with strong-minded Giles, but it was only as "Rosabelle" stepped through Society's pitfalls that she began to understand what dreadful danger her sister was in....
Sylvia is a great reader, whose preference in fiction is for thrillers and historical romances. She married Simon Andrew, the boy next door, and they have one daughter, Catherine, who is married and works in London. Catherine lives in Maidenhead quite near the river, and they have a small house in Normandy, which they visit whenever they can. They are great travelers — from a shopping weekend in Paris to a three week tour of Vietnam on a bicycle!
They both took early retirement and now live in the West Country with their dog and cat. Simon is an active town councillor in Crewkerne, and very well-known there. Until Sylvia retired she was busy to write, Teaching full-time as vice principal of a large comprehensive sixth form college, while also running a house and a family didn't really give her much time. She never attempted to have anything published before she sent in her first historical romance to Mills & Boon, in the days when the series was called "Masquerade." She was somewhat flabbergasted — though absolutely delighted — when it was accepted. Perdita first appeared in 1991, and she is still surprised at the idea of herself as a writer.
Two books in one and I enjoyed both stories, although I think I enjoyed Rosabelle's (story 1) more because Annabelle's (story 2) became a rehash of the same ultimate problem... dealing with the inevitable identical twin switch. There was good substance and mystery, which made this 2-story book a good read but there are definitely things unexplained in story 1 that are explained in story 2, and vice versa. Also the stories blend which could be confusing if you don't read both stories in order, one right after the other. This book also had very little to do with Christmas - the epilogue was the Christmassy part, which was really just silly fluff and unnecessary, in my opinion. I'm sure it was only there to tie-in with the title. I will say that the author did a great job keeping the twins' names' straight. Overall an enjoyable read and I would recommend it.
Life had treated the Kelland twins very differently...
Rosabelle Mrs. Rosabelle Ordway badly need a holiday from her London home, but the only way was to change places with her identical twin in Berkshire. Philip Winbolt, Annabelle's neighbour, soon began to suspect something. "Annabelle" had changed toward him. She was someone he could adore--but Rosabelle couldn't tell him the truth, for she was in great danger.
Annabelle Meanwhile, Annabelle Kelland had taken her sister's place in London, sharing a house with Rosabelle's godmother and mother-in-law, and Giles Stanton, the new heir to the Ordway fortune. She enjoyed sparring with strong-minded Giles, but it was only as "Rosabelle" stepped through Society's pitfalls that she began to understand what dreadful danger her sister was in...
And my review:
These stories were originally published seperately, then reissued in this volume. Reissuing them together in one book was probably a smart move, since the stories intertwine so much that it's pretty hard to seperate one from the other; both seem to happen at once throughout both stories.
Which is one of the reason why I didn't really enjoy this. I had a hard time keeping all the characters straight. This task was made even more difficult by the fact that the characters were not very well-drawn. They weren't really people to me, they were just there, woodenly moving through the paces the author set for them. I didn't hate them, I just didn't much care about them.
Also, the author liked to split the story up into lots of different sections. No scene lasted more than a page or two, and most were significantly shorter than that. Sometimes, you'd end up with five or six scenes within two facing pages. It was just so choppy that I felt the story was never really able to gain any momentum. Just when things might start to get interesting, the author would cut it off, and then the next scene would pick up the next day (or sometimes even days or weeks) later. I was never able to get drawn into the story.
My first try of this author's work, and probably my last.
Couldn't finish the first part of the book (Rosabelle) unfortunately. The heroine's continuing deception of the hero just got repetitious and boring, since the only thing preventing her from coming clean about it was her own lack of courage.
Prachtig verhaal maar het krijgt 4 sterren omdat ik er in het begin wat moeite had om er in te komen. Maar ook omdat ik meer kerst had verwacht. Voor de rest een prachtig verhaal waarin een tweeling tot bloei komt door de liefde.
Enjoyed the two stories, probably liked the 1st story a bit better. Annabelle made a couple of decisions concerning her safety that drove me crazy. But, overall, the switching places stories were fun to read.