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Milan's, Jewel's, Thomas's Anthology

 
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Lynda X



Joined: 05 Apr 2007
Posts: 1467

PostPosted: Sat Sep 01, 2012 12:02 pm    Post subject: Milan's, Jewel's, Thomas's Anthology Reply with quote

I was very disappointed in MIDNIGHT SCANDALS, the e-book anthology by Courtney Milan, Sherry Thomas, and Carolyn Jewel. Courtney Milan’s THE GOVERNESS AFFAIR is just about a perfect novella, so I know that she can do it; unfortunately, like her last novella (THREE WEDDINGS AND A MURDER), she didn't do it in this one either. Oddly enough, the minor characters are the real strengths in two of these novellas.


SOME mild SPOILERS. . . SOME mild SPOILERS

Courtney Milan’s selection explores a wife being totally controlled and isolated by her husband in a time when there is no legal solution. He refuses to allow her to do anything, read anything, go anywhere, see anyone (including her brother), all in the guise of "protecting her." Frankly, if she had been the heroine, it would have been a more interesting book. Instead, our heroine is this woman's companion who is running from her father's investors who were defrauded. As you would expect, the writing is fine, but it lacks Milan's past depth and detail. This book is just forgettable, that's all. Grade: C

A lot of Carolyn Jewel’s selection are sex scenes which were so usual that I pretty much skimmed them. The h&h were lovers years before, but he married someone else for reasons that come out in the book. His regret for marrying his wife because he was never able to love her (being still in love with the heroine) did not endear him to me, but instead, just made him seem weak. You know how you want to scream at a couple in the midst of the Big Misunderstanding, “Just spit it out, already!”? Well, I wanted to scream, “Just ask her to marry you, you dolt!” The real strength in the novella was the heroine’s sister-in-law, who uses her weakness and voiced concern to control people around her “for their own good.” Grade: C-

This novella contains the sequel to Sherry Thomas’s RAVISHING THE HEIRESS, giving a HEA to the woman in the previous book who was the original true love of that book’s hero. It begins with her reeling at Fitz’s (the previous hero) decision to stay with his wife. To me, the choice of a heroine who was totally willing to break up her former lover’s marriage, regardless of its impact on innocent people--including her own children--was insurmountable. The hero of this novella is a man who looks almost exactly like her former lover. To give Sherry Thomas credit, she pulls this “ugh” coincidence off pretty well. However, I just didn’t like the heroine and I hated the premise, so this novella did not work for me. Grade: C-
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Kayne



Joined: 31 Mar 2007
Posts: 901

PostPosted: Sat Sep 01, 2012 1:02 pm    Post subject: Re: Milan's, Jewel's, Thomas's Anthology Reply with quote

Lynda X wrote:
I was very disappointed in MIDNIGHT SCANDALS, the e-book anthology by Courtney Milan, Sherry Thomas, and Carolyn Jewel.


Carolyn Jewel's story had something that took me by surprise. Major Spoiler: There was mention in this story that the h had a pregnancy with the H's baby terminated when they knew each other previously for reasons I won't go into here. The H didn't understand why she had done it. Yikes. This could be a hot button and upsetting to some readers. Is this the kind of thing people would want to be warned about in a review beforehand or is it so much of a spoiler that it shouldn't be mentioned?

I agree with Lynda on being disappointed by this book. I enjoy anthologies and had been looking forward to this one.
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HEAreader



Joined: 20 Feb 2011
Posts: 159

PostPosted: Sat Sep 01, 2012 6:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Re: disappointed. That makes three of us. The first story (Jewel's) was a DNF for me b/c one of the characters was so annoying I could not stand to read anymore. The second story (Milan) is still waiting for me to finish - I have enjoyed her past work, but this one is not very interesting. I may go back to it. (NOPE, just looked at where I left off. I'm done.)

I really bought this anthology for Sherry Thomas's story so I not only finished it, I read it twice - not because it was so good, but to see if I missed anything the first go-round. The story develops another dimension to Isabelle, a character from her current trilogy, but is not quite believable despite ST's impeccable writing. Mild spoiler: the same day that RTH ends, really? And Millie and Fitz there as well, seemingly full of concern for someone who tried to end their marriage? My second reading was to try and reconcile the two stories (RTH and ADITM). ADITM did make me think more about Isabelle and her POV - and that's what ST stories are all about - they are quite unforgettable.
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jaime



Joined: 23 Sep 2011
Posts: 525

PostPosted: Mon Sep 03, 2012 5:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I did like the stories by Jewel and Milan but I am sad to say the Thomas story was really bad. I didn't like Isabella in the previous Thomas book but there have been quite a few characters I disliked when they were supporting characters but once they became the hero/heroine in their own story the author often made me change my mind about a character. But hooking Isabella up with a Fitzhugh lookalike was not the way to make Isabella sympathetic - it just made her seem even more - pathetic? I don't know how to put it really. Sad
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