Steelwhisper's Reviews > A Lady Awakened

A Lady Awakened by Cecilia Grant
Rate this book
Clear rating

by
7962895
's review

did not like it
bookshelves: 1-bad, boring, boring-sex, cover-love, hero-heroine-tstl, historical-romance, kowtow-the-psychopath, m-f, lover-mistress, not-for-me, dnf, panders-to-stereotypes, pretentious-prose, regency, sociopathic-hero, wtf-did-i-just-read, horrid-heroine
Recommended to Steelwhisper by: Sofia
Recommended for: masochists ;P

Short review:

I don't like heroines who're man-haters. Such an obnoxious, skeevy woman!



Long review:

Someone appears to have watched too much "Whitechapel" and "Downton Abbey" without truly understanding it.



The author's voice was so dry and laboriously stuffy I had trouble reading it at all. If that was an attempt at making the heroine unlikeable it was a full success. In addition the staccato, curt sentences mixed with quite peculiar similes and metaphors made for something which came over as pretentious, very strained and also quite boring.

The author appears to think that she managed to represent a "typical aristocratic and prim Englishwoman". Well, maybe she should have a long talk with Maggie Smith for some help with that. Because unlike Smith's able performance of the Downton dowager Grant's Martha Russell hasn't got even a mild spark of life, passion or interest hidden behind her prim mask. Instead the author appears to think that the mask people then presented was the person. The result is a truly obnoxious character who I was disliking heartily not even ten pages into the book.

What's worse, the plot--in itself interesting enough so I bought the book--didn't go with the character, nor was it even truly researched. *Any* offspring born within the year after a husband's demise was perforce considered being a rightful heir at the time. Which is why women of that era were over one year in strict mourning and incapable of having another marriage within that timeframe. As to that dead wood of a heroine: I plainly disbelieve such a woman capable of even thinking up such a scheme, not to speak of going through with it, and the author never sold me on that. I also had problems accepting such a limp git of a wimp as a hero, who must have been terribly needy and of extremely low expectation to even get it up for such a heroine.

There were more factual errors, enough so that together with the distancing, dour main character I never really connected with this book. The premise was intriguing, the execution lacking, and so sorry, this sure as hell wasn't a romance or lovestory. At 20% or so I skimread and then skipped to the end without finding anything improving.

9 likes · flag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read A Lady Awakened.
Sign In »

Reading Progress

May 11, 2014 – Shelved
May 11, 2014 – Shelved as: to-read
May 12, 2014 – Started Reading
May 12, 2014 – Shelved as: 1-bad
May 12, 2014 – Shelved as: boring-sex
May 12, 2014 – Shelved as: boring
May 12, 2014 – Shelved as: cover-love
May 12, 2014 – Shelved as: hero-heroine-tstl
May 12, 2014 – Shelved as: historical-romance
May 12, 2014 – Shelved as: kowtow-the-psychopath
May 12, 2014 – Shelved as: m-f
May 12, 2014 – Shelved as: lover-mistress
May 12, 2014 – Shelved as: not-for-me
May 12, 2014 – Shelved as: dnf
May 12, 2014 – Shelved as: panders-to-stereotypes
May 12, 2014 – Shelved as: pretentious-prose
May 12, 2014 – Shelved as: regency
May 12, 2014 – Shelved as: sociopathic-hero
May 12, 2014 – Shelved as: wtf-did-i-just-read
May 12, 2014 – Shelved as: horrid-heroine
May 12, 2014 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-8 of 8 (8 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

Khanh, first of her name, mother of bunnies I can't recall much about this book except for the fact that it is the most joyless act of procreation I have ever read.


Steelwhisper Oh definitely. It's a long time I read such a horrid female character. And such completely needless wangsting.


Sofia Another case of you and me not being on the same page Steel. On to the next one.


message 4: by Steelwhisper (last edited May 12, 2014 03:42AM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Steelwhisper Definitely not on the same page with this one. Unlikeable characters and stodgy prose, and I didn't even go into the many errors. Such as that no aristocrat would think twice about the sex with the maids, or that a maid would dare talk about it to a lady. Or why she would reject the help from her family. Or why an allegedly handsome rake would stoop so low as Theo did. Nothing much made sense. I couldn't help but compare to both Austen and the Brontes, what a difference! But I could return it, so at least that's that.


Rainbowheart That's too bad. I added this to my shelf some time back. Can't remember why, I think it was recommended as something with a more beta hero and active heroine.


message 6: by Sarah Mac (last edited May 12, 2014 03:04PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Sarah Mac And such completely needless wangsting.

THIS. Absolutely agree. *cringe*

The author's voice was so dry and laboriously stuffy I had trouble reading it at all.

Agreed on this, too. I get that some authors want to use a more 'authentic' voice for their Regency/Victorian/Edwardian period romance -- but stilted, wordy prose does NOT equal pastiche.


Steelwhisper Sarah wrote: " And such completely needless wangsting..."

It's a failed characterisation for me. If the goal had been to present a frigid woman, then I'd really resent the way she was set up with so many negative traits. Completely unnecessary then. If she wanted to present an asexual woman, then she failed as well, because that doesn't change all of a sudden. And if the goal was "British stuffed up, repressed spinster", then she wrote the outward mask and stereotype without the real anguish inside.

And that's the problem with all that wangsting, it was unfounded, not grounded and largely mean-tempered.

As to the voice, she should read Austen and the Brontes and a couple of other contemporaties of Austen. One author who truly nailed it for me was Bennetts in May 1812. That was perfectly readable and yet distinctly Regency in tone and dialogue without smothering the reader in affectation.

In general though I prefer an author to take themselves back, rather than foist "language" on me. An m/m Regency romance/horror novel which I adore for the spare, elegant use of time-appropriate language is Soulless for instance. Even less in the face than "May 1812", yet definitely of that era.


message 8: by Steelwhisper (last edited May 12, 2014 10:22PM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Steelwhisper Rainbowheart wrote: "That's too bad. I added this to my shelf some time back. Can't remember why, I think it was recommended as something with a more beta hero and active heroine."

Not really. He was a supposed rake, but really came across as a childish, limp git. There again I had the feeling that prejudices prevailed.


back to top