Carol Storm's Reviews > Shattered Rainbows

Shattered Rainbows by Mary Jo Putney
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's review
Nov 02, 2011

it was amazing

Haldoran! Haldoran! Does whatever a scoundrel can! Can he shoot? Can he scheme? Ravishing Catherine is his dream. Here comes that Haldoran man!

All Spider Man tributes aside, this is one of the best historical romance novels I've ever read. Mary Jo Putney has a great talent for not only creating hunky heroes, but heroines with real skills and intelligence, and villains who are far more deadly and resourceful than the liars and cowardly weaklings who make up "the usual suspects" in most romance.

I fell in love with Catherine right from the beginning. I love the way she's not only married, her daughter Amy is nearly a teenager by the time the book opens. Yet Catherine is not only beautiful, poised, and classy, she's a battlefield nurse, army wife, and really almost a combat soldier in her own right. Mary Jo Putney has created a really multi-faceted heroine, miles ahead of the usual angry spitfire or silly young virgin. Catherine is so serene and good on the surface it's intriguing to find the cracks and flaws underneath. This is a very special heroine!

I liked Michael a lot too. He's not only a brave soldier, he's a man of honor who feels compelled to deny himself out of respect to Catherine's goodness and reputation. I loved the way his battle scenes at Waterloo are written almost like an adventure novel, not skimmed over like in most historical romances. It really made history come alive!

But of course, the most notable character in this book is the villain -- the Amazing Haldoran. This is not some weakling who bursts into tears the minute the hero punches him in the nose. Haldoran is a swordsman, a hunter, a master of intrigue, a master of disguise, and a villain who can keep on swinging even when the odds are against him. The final chapters of this amazing novel shift the mood entirely, from VANITY FAIR (high society, gallant battles) to something more primal and modern, almost like SURVIVOR or THE MOST DANGEROUS GAME. Haldoran is so completely evil, yet his very presence creates chilling suspense as Michael and Catherine must outwit a truly satanic villain in a bleak and uncanny landscape of crags and moors and ruins. If only Haldoran could have blown himself up in his castle instead of just falling off a cliff!

"Made it, ma! Top of the world!"
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Comments (showing 1-6 of 6) (6 new)

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Ilze Putney is a hit-or-miss author for me. Of the last 2 I've read, both in the Fallen Angels series, one was DNF and the other was 5 stars! But overall I think this is her best series and even the not-so-good ones have memorable scenes and characters.

Carol Storm I agree! Years ago I bought a great anthology called A VICTORIAN CHRISTMAS from Signet. Mary Jo Putney did a very short "beauty and the beast" tribute called THE BEAST OF BELLETERRE and it was amazing!

Ilze aaargh - I remember that one - it *is* good - but I discarded my copy of the anthology when I did some bookshelf cleanup ;-(

Carol Storm I know what you mean! I have TWO copies of that one just in case. The Betina Krahn story, KIDNAPED FOR CHRISTMAS, is just as good!

Ilze Great review, Lily!

Carol Storm Thanks Ilze! This was the review I had posted on AMAZON a few years ago -- I had a couple of minutes free last night at work (my other job) so I copied it over here!

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