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Rosie



Joined: 01 Apr 2007
Posts: 291

PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 6:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I stayed up way too late last night finishing Sherry Thomas' Tempting the Bride. I totally agree with the DIK status/review it got here at AAR. I probably would've finished the book sooner if I hadn't kept stopping to reread paragraphs that just took my breath away. There's something about Thomas' writing that is just so compelling and lovely to me.

I adored Hastings and Helena and their story. The old amnesia trope worked here -- in fact, I LOVED that Hastings got to have the hope of a "new beginning" with the girl he loved because of that old pesky bump on Helena's head. LOL Thomas isn't afraid to write flawed characters who make stupid mistakes -- and then finally come to their senses. I loved the characters in this trilogy -- flaws and all.

My ratings for the trilogy:
Beguiling the Beauty = B-
Ravishing the Heiress = A-
Tempting the Bride = A+ a true keeper/future reread
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pwm in mi



Joined: 19 Oct 2011
Posts: 307

PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2012 7:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hard Evidence by Pamela Clare
I've read other I-Team novels and was intrigued by Julian's character.
While he was entertaining, I found the heroine to be weak. Too many TSTL moments.
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Eggletina



Joined: 06 Jul 2010
Posts: 404

PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 8:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Recent reads:

Dirty by Megan Hart - B+/A-
I don't often read erotic romances, but thought this was a good one. This is a good example of one where sex is very much part of the journey and character development rather than just there for thrills. It's also 1st person narrative, which I tend to like. It tackles some really dark issues (sexual abuse by a family member, e.g.) that may not be for everyone.

Beautiful Bad Man by Ellen O'Connell - B+
I've enjoyed everything she's written to date, and this is no exception. Dancing on Coals and Sing My Name are still my favorites by her, but this is a very solid romance.

Mrs. Drew Plays Her Hand by Carla Kelly - B
Another enjoyable novel from the author's backlist which I decided to take advantage of now that it is available as a Kindle. I had a few issues with some developments in last quarter of the book, but my enjoyment of the characters outweighed any quibbles I had.

The Midwife of Hope River by Patricia Harman - A-/B+
This covers approximately one year in the life of a midwife living in a rural community in Depression era West Virginia. The story is primarily focused on the birth stories, but the heroine's backstory, which includes her past personal losses and involvement with Labor Union activists before she fled to W. VA are gradually revealed. The side stories include the midwife's friendships with a young black woman (as well as the larger black community) who trains as her assistant and a neighboring vet who serves as a love interest, though it's handled in a very subtle and understated way. The story is written in first person, present tense, which I found awkward at first, but ceased to bother me once I settled into the story. Her journey is one of recovering and healing from personal loss assisted by unexpected friendships in the community and the redemptive experience of helping women in childbirth. I very much enjoyed it. I recommend this especially to those who are fascinated by all things medical. The novel does not gloss over the grim realities of the time.
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stl_reader



Joined: 03 Aug 2011
Posts: 212
Location: Missouri

PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 10:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Re: Mrs. Drew Plays Her Hand

I read it a couple of months ago, I think. I'd also rate it a B read, too. Nice, but not special. Not as good for me as Reforming Lord Ragsdale, as I recall.

One thing I remember thinking while reading it was that Fletcher Rand was "played" by the same "actor" who played Lord Ragsdale.

No, not that there was a movie made; I just had the impression that it was the same character, but in two different stories.
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Eggletina



Joined: 06 Jul 2010
Posts: 404

PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 1:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

stl_reader wrote:
Re: Mrs. Drew Plays Her Hand

I read it a couple of months ago, I think. I'd also rate it a B read, too. Nice, but not special. Not as good for me as Reforming Lord Ragsdale, as I recall.

One thing I remember thinking while reading it was that Fletcher Rand was "played" by the same "actor" who played Lord Ragsdale.

No, not that there was a movie made; I just had the impression that it was the same character, but in two different stories.


I liked Reforming Lord Ragsdale a little better as well. I do agree about Fletch and Lord Ragsdale being similar. I wonder if part of that can be attributed to how the author handles their internal thoughts?
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PWNN



Joined: 11 Apr 2010
Posts: 911

PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 12:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't think Fletcher and Ragsdale are alike except that they both had a core decency and inherent kindness. Qualities all Kelly heroes and heroines share.

Fletcher was an utterly competent, level headed, completely mature man. He'd have no need of Emma reforming or organizing him - rather he needs to thaw a bit. Ragsdale in personality is far closer to Nez of One Good Turn. Both are more carefree on the outside but scarred by war. They have to grow into the men they should be. I adore them all but it's a rare Kelly hero I don't.
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jaime



Joined: 23 Sep 2011
Posts: 484

PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 1:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just finished Venetia by Georgette Heyer. I think this must be my favorite Heyer so far along with These Old Shades. Heroine is so lovely and likable and so much chemistry between her and hero. They are so witty together and great friends. One thing about Heyer and her HEAs - I get the impression from the author that she did not believe men could be monogamous.
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Natalie



Joined: 25 Mar 2007
Posts: 1691

PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 3:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sherry Thomas, Ravishing the Heiress B-

My biggest problem with this book was the premise: a couple where one half is in love with the other, the other half is attracted (at the very least) and they're all good friends and they still manage to live 8 years (almost) completely celibate? And he's still carrying the torch for hist young love who he hasn't seen since before his marriage while cheerfully sleeping with other women? And the wife stays the virgin all this time? I'm getting tired of the romance double standards. I also wanted more impact from the scene where Fitz realized she's the woman he wants to spend the rest of his life with. Still, Sherry is obviously a talented author and the still kept my interest despite the reservations.
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jaime



Joined: 23 Sep 2011
Posts: 484

PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 3:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Natalie wrote:
Sherry Thomas, Ravishing the Heiress B-

My biggest problem with this book was the premise: a couple where one half is in love with the other, the other half is attracted (at the very least) and they're all good friends and they still manage to live 8 years (almost) completely celibate? And he's still carrying the torch for hist young love who he hasn't seen since before his marriage while cheerfully sleeping with other women? And the wife stays the virgin all this time? I'm getting tired of the romance double standards. I also wanted more impact from the scene where Fitz realized she's the woman he wants to spend the rest of his life with. Still, Sherry is obviously a talented author and the still kept my interest despite the reservations.


Yes, the heroine remaining a virgin while the hero got to have casual sex bugged me too. I like Thomas' debut novel better in that aspect as the heroine had sexual affairs too and not just the hero. That's one of my issues with the romance genre: the cult of female virginity and the slut shaming of sexually active women.
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3girlsofmyown



Joined: 06 Jul 2011
Posts: 13

PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 6:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I finally got a copy of Rules to Catch a Devilish Duke after problems with the Nook copy Sad I was really looking forward to reading it, but I was disappointed. I really liked Adam in Taming an Impossible Rogue, but he was kind of a jerk in this one. I loved Sophia, though. And the ending was disappointing for the quick wrap up.
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mirole



Joined: 06 Aug 2010
Posts: 277
Location: Toronto, Ontario

PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 8:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jaime wrote:
Just finished Venetia by Georgette Heyer. I think this must be my favorite Heyer so far along with These Old Shades. Heroine is so lovely and likable and so much chemistry between her and hero. They are so witty together and great friends. One thing about Heyer and her HEAs - I get the impression from the author that she did not believe men could be monogamous.


Ahhh, Jamie, this is my absolute favourite Heyer and my Top 2 romance of all time.

I agree with everything you say about it including the author's views on monogamy.
BUT in this case I believe in H's staying faithful because
1. He's 38 and has sewn his wild oats. By the time the novelty of their feelings wears off, he will be in his 40s and his libido will go down enough not to be chasing other women.
2. Very often in romance it is said that the H will not ever want another woman and such. I wholeheartedly hope so but how can we be sure?
In this case, although Venetia was implying she did not expect the H to be loyal physically to her and the hero was not making any proclamations of staying faithful to the h for the rest of his life, I still believe he would be faithful to her. She is beautiful, very sweet, unpretencious, intelligent, shares a lot of his interests, has a great sense of humour so I think she would be able to sustain his interest for a very long time.


2.
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jaime



Joined: 23 Sep 2011
Posts: 484

PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 8:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mirole wrote:
jaime wrote:
Just finished Venetia by Georgette Heyer. I think this must be my favorite Heyer so far along with These Old Shades. Heroine is so lovely and likable and so much chemistry between her and hero. They are so witty together and great friends. One thing about Heyer and her HEAs - I get the impression from the author that she did not believe men could be monogamous.


Ahhh, Jamie, this is my absolute favourite Heyer and my Top 2 romance of all time.

I agree with everything you say about it including the author's views on monogamy.
BUT in this case I believe in H's staying faithful because
1. He's 38 and has sewn his wild oats. By the time the novelty of their feelings wears off, he will be in his 40s and his libido will go down enough not to be chasing other women.
2. Very often in romance it is said that the H will not ever want another woman and such. I wholeheartedly hope so but how can we be sure?
In this case, although Venetia was implying she did not expect the H to be loyal physically to her and the hero was not making any proclamations of staying faithful to the h for the rest of his life, I still believe he would be faithful to her. She is beautiful, very sweet, unpretencious, intelligent, shares a lot of his interests, has a great sense of humour so I think she would be able to sustain his interest for a very long time.


2.


Nods. No matter the hero's sexual proclivities prior to him meeting Venetia I believe their marriage has the same chance for faithfulness as any marriage does. I think that's what Venetia means when she says she doesn't automatically expect or take for granted sexual faithfulness. And like you say - sometimes these rakes are more faithful than the average guy who's never gotten around much and who develops a wandering eye during their midlife crisis.

And as for what Georgette Heyer clearly believed about male monogamy or the lack of - she knew the time period she was writing in and it is a fact that many of these married gentlemen had mistresses and visited brothels on a regular basis while claiming to love their wives.
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pwm in mi



Joined: 19 Oct 2011
Posts: 307

PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2012 7:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A Lady Awakened by Cecilia Grant
I was looking forward to this one, as it had a lot of positive buzz. Unfortunately, it did not work for me. Loved the Hero, found the heroine too cold for me. While intellectually I understood the heroine, emotionally I could not could not connect with her. I think she was too buttoned up for me. Also the use of "one could" or "one might " was jarring.
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Natalie



Joined: 25 Mar 2007
Posts: 1691

PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2012 8:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dark Knight by Elizabeth Elliott - DNF (probably)

I was really looking to this book after reading the first two (Warlord was one of the first historical romance novels I read almost 20(!) years ago). However, after a promising start with mysterious deeds and kidnappings I lost interest. Despite a fairly unusual hero (you don't often see heroes killing other people, even enemies, in cold blood) and a resourceful heroine I felt the relationship was going a generic way (could be any young innocent maiden and a tough knight). I liked Dante more as a detached assassin in the previous story.
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Blackjack1



Joined: 21 Feb 2011
Posts: 566
Location: Portland, OR

PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2012 4:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Duke of Sin, Adele Ashworth (B) - I've only read Winter Garden and quite enjoyed it and so I've been looking forward to reading some other highly rated Ashworth novels, of which she has quite a few DIKs here from this site. I enjoyed the initial premise in Duke of Sin of a widow seeking to make a life for herself in relative solitude in a small coastal town, developing her own business as a florist. I enjoyed too the hero's backstory as a man living in self-imposed solitude after being accused of his wife's death. These two lonely creatures each with difficult histories are meant to share their lives. I looked forward to the book and it does start off well. Unfortunately, I grew a bit tired of the melodrama surrounding the mystery that brings Vivian and Will together. Even one of the bizarre and tragic events they must overcome would sustain an entire novel quite well but a half dozen of them made my head swim. I enjoyed the writing and the entire story but in the end felt a bit exhausted by the obstacles the couple must overcome. The mystery and the couple's own individual history overshadowed the romance in this one.
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