Book reviews à la bookworm...The good, the bad, and everything in between.
Anthony, the eldest son of the late viscount Bridgerton, and current holder of the title, knows he will die young. His father died only thirty-eight years old, so why should Anthony be any different. Which mean he only has eight, nine tops, years to live, and it's about time he did his duty to the title. Marry and produce an heir. Oh, and don't fall in love with wife.
He already has a perfect candidate for his viscountess. Beautiful, delicate, fair-colored, reasonably intelligent Edwina Sheffield. She will do nicely. She'll look good on his arm, bear him children, but most importantly...He won't fall in love with her, because the spark just isn't there. Perfect indeed. Pity, she has a big flaw. In the form of older sister, Katharina "Kate" Sheffield. She's tall, dark-haired, opinionated, and she hates his guts.
At least the feeling's mutual...Or is it?
Ooh, the sparkage. You could see it coming off the pages whenever Kate and Anthony shared a scene. They argued, they bantered, they traded barbs, they wanted to kill each other...And yet...Sparkage. Where there was none with Kate's younger step-sister, Edwina, there was plenty with Kate. And I relished the sparkage as much as these two would-be adversaries did.
And once more what started as animosity, slowly grew into an unlikely friendship that slowly transformed into something more (something that was there from the beginning, but they were too stubborn to see it. I just love romance novels where the main relationship has a foot to stand on in friendship and camaraderie.
I loved the whole phobia subplot that resulted in the two finding themselves in a position that neither was prepared to admit they secretly wanted. When I first read this book, I was convinced the compromising would stem from Kate's fear of thunderstorms (what with them huddling under a desk in the middle of the night with her only in her nightgown), so it was a double pleasure to read it was once again the man's fault. Namely, Anthony exaggerating over an unsuspecting (and in the end, unfortunate) little bee.
From then on it was just a matter of time when Anthony would forgo his stubborn refusal to fall in love with his wife, the problem was him getting to admit it, which ended up being the catalyst for the last hiccup in this relationship, which also (when you'll read the last chapter, you'll understand why) ended up being quite useful in Anthony yet once more playing the hero.
I missed the Bridgerton banter and meddling that was so present in the previous book, but since the hero was the head of the Bridgerton family (and a male) that was to be expected. Still, we got a nice little showing of the eldest siblings rivalry in a lawn game.
Another quick and (very) fun and witty read with a great main couple and supporting cast. It offered plenty of laughs, a tear or two, and just the right amount of drama to keep it interesting.
Daphne Bridgerton is a woman on a mission. Find a suitable match that actually sees her more than just a friend, while also pleasing her matchmaking mama.
Needless to say she's not really succeeding.
All the suitable men find her pleasant and "normal", while pursuing the belles of the ton blessed with "the right" coloring (blond and blue-eyed), relegating her into the wallflower territory.
Until her oldest brother's best friend, newly minted Duke of Hastings, recently returned to England, concocts a fool-proof plan to make Daphne insanely desirable and himself safe from other matchmaking mamas.
They'll pretend to develop a tendre, until Daphne finds a suitable match after which she'd jilt him...Unfortunately, the prospect of jilting the handsome duke becomes every day more unpalatable.
I read this book a long, long, long time ago, but decided to do it again, after the Netflix series dropped, to refresh my memory.
It was a very good decision, I've forgotten how much fun the Bridgetown brood can be. And maybe this time I'll actually read all the books in the series.
Daphne, the fourth child (and oldest girl) of the Bridgerton family and Simon Basset, the new Duke of Hastings, might come off as an odd couple at the beginning, but as the story progresses, and they develop an easy friendship that slowly evolves into something stronger and lasting, end up as a perfect match. Two completely opposites that somehow, also with plenty of help from her family, find a middle ground where they can both be themselves with each other.
It was nice reading about a regency-era relationship that stemmed from friendship and camaraderie instead of just two characters thrown together by happenstance, intrigue or whiff of scandal.
Their relationship was still rocky, especially thanks to Simon's demons and his stupid vow to a dead man (we cannot have a romance book without conflict and the big rift, now can we), and granted, the whole thing was rather quickly resolved (even that highly questionable act on Daphne's part), but the initial friendship and ease between them made it more believable and easier for the reader to accept the swift resolution.
And, because this is a series about a family, that family must not remain unmentioned, since it was a third main character in this story. The Bridgertons were a hoot to read about and they provided plenty of love and friendship, a touch of drama, and a whole lot of support for both Daphne and Simon (albeit in a more roundabout way).
Reading this story was like having a glass of refreshing lemonade and a perfect choice to break my reading fast. A fun, quick and easy read, that made it easy to empathize with and root for the characters; it made me laugh, it made me cry and it made me (once more) eager to read more. On to the next.
***ARC provided by publisher through NetGalley***
Dr. Taryn Landry had lost her little sister in the Long Acre massacre and watched her family fall apart, so she has one goal in life—prevent school shootings. She's been working her ass off developing a program to implement in schools and she's this close to present it to the school board of her old, now renamed school. She has no time for distractions, no matter how hot the guy might look. Besides, he's blown her off.
Shaw Miller had no other option. He's been living a lie for years, changing his name, his look, creating a new life in order to escape the brand society and media put on him—brother of a murderer. His little brother opened fire on the senior prom in Long Acre fourteen years ago and Shaw's been feeling responsible ever since...Others have held him responsible, just waiting for him to erupt as his brother had. He has no business looking for romance, feeling happy...
These two lost and lonely souls were bound to end up together, but once the whole truth comes to light, will they be able to live their lives together or will preconceptions drive them apart?
This one was rather exhausting. The entire series deals with a tough (and very contemporary) topic, and the stories aren't light and fluffy reading material, but this book made me really tired. I just couldn't read it in one gulp (as I did the others). There was something blocking me, I guess.
And I guess I know what it is.
I didn't really engage with the two protagonists. I didn't really like them, actually. I disliked the pity party they both had going; Shaw with his everybody-hates-me-so-I-don't-really-deserve-a-normal-life and Taryn with her allowing her parents to emotionally blackmail in not having a life at all.
I guess, in the end, these two really deserved each other, having so much in common, but I didn't really appreciate their story and romance.
It was the friendship angle that saved this story for me. Both Shaw and Taryn had friends, steadfast, stubborn friends who tried to make them see reason and didn't take no for an answer, never bailing, but sticking fast and true. Rivers was a nice addition to the storyline, he clicked right in (especially with Kincaid).
I guess the next book will be the final one in the series. Kincaid is the only one left and I'm looking forward to seeing who she'll end up paired with.
The Giambelli family is all about tradition, passing the business of winemaking down through generations. Now, it's time for a little change. A merger long in the making, a final business merger augmenting a long personal one.
But someone has a grudge against the Giambellis, especially, or so it seems, Sophia, the PR whiz of the family. But she's not alone, fighting against an enemy, she cannot see yet. There's her grandmother, the matriarch, her soft, yet steady mother finding a new chance at happiness in her own life, and there's Tyler McMillan, someone she grew up with, but has no blood ties...And feels no sisterly feelings for.
Sophia and Tyler must work together, despite their possible misgivings, despite the explosive attraction, to bring about the merger of their two wineries, to bring about the start of a new century for the label and brand, and to discover who is the enemy in the shadows...
This was a usual Nora Roberts book. A well-researched topic with wonderfully evocative descriptions and narrative, a prickly (and a bit too bitchy in this case) heroine who, despite not wanting to be like her father, keeps making (almost) the same mistakes, a deceptively laid-back hero who has enough self-confidence and self-worth to be able to stand back and play Beta (because being Alpha all the time is exhausting), a wonderful secondary romance between two people who more than deserve a happy ending, a great supporting cast of family and friends, and a gripping suspense sub-plot.
I must confess to preferring the secondary romance between Sophia's mother, Pilar, and the new COO, David to the main one between Sophia and Tyler. There was something incredibly sweet and cute between these two people seemingly past their prime rediscovering romance, and I loved seeing how David slowly coaxed Pilar out of her protective, quiet shell.
The primary romance, in comparison, was rather harsh and jarring, mostly due to the heroine's dislikable character...In the end, I didn't really feel the love between the two.
The suspense was great with its many twists, turns and a red herring thrown into the mix for good measure, although the unraveling at the end left me a little perplexed, since it didn't really fit with everything that happened before. The methodical revenge plot simply disintegrated into the ravings of an offended lunatic. Maybe the unraveling of the calculating personality happened because of the financial and business loss, but I'm still quite perplexed.
And then there was the supporting cast. Each individual, from family to friends and enemies, each with their own character, personality and goals, and each bringing something special to the table, from comic relief to the key of the mystery.
An intriguing story of legacy and revenge in the winemaking industry.
In Wedding Knight Katrina Trapp takes her nervous twin sister's place at the altar, only to find out her sister never had any intentions of marrying Alfred Theodious Knight in the first place...
This was a quick, quirky and funny little romp about a woman switching places with her sister, who ends up disappearing and leaves her in the lurch of being married to a supposed tyrant of a man. But as the two newlyweds come to get to know each other, they also rediscover themselves, and dare we hope fall in love?
I liked the two protagonists, although I felt Katrina was a tad too bratty at times, and I loved how they slowly changed for one another as they got to know each other and developed tender feelings of one another. Of course, seeing how everything was based on a switch, the inevitable twist had to come.
I felt it was resolved a little too quickly, but that's scandal for you.
A lovely little budding romance story.
In Have Mercy Winifred Mackland, having failed to deliver a good manuscript, is packed away on a forced writing retreat by her agent...Who turns out to have matchmaking tendencies...
Quick, funky and hot as hell.
Initially, I felt it was all moving a tad too quickly (even for a short story), but as it moved along, and the two got into their easy rhythm beyond jumping naked into the hot tub on the day they met, I came to love them and their little romance.
The progress and the reservations thanks to Mac's profession, was organic and realistic, and they were super cute and super hot together. Besides, the story made me smile, which is always a plus.
DNF @ 55%
Mrs. Kathryn Darrell is finally free. Her bastard of a husband is dead and she's free to come to London and finally live. She also cannot wait to experience true passion so she sets her sights on the most unattainable of bachelors, Ryder Blake, Duke of Darkwell.
Put that way, the story sounds interesting, right? Humorous, intriguing, passionate, romantic.
It could've been all that if it weren't for the hero. The man was an ass. An ass who had no idea what he really wanted. An ass that, if you ask me, didn't really love his first wife (it sounded more like gratitude for her sticking with him when his parents died), yet he truly mourned her and blamed himself...And then turned it into an art form. If he didn't let go of her, he didn't have to make an effort and everybody saw him as some sort of tortured figure.
While in truth, he was just an obnoxious asshole who had no idea what he truly wanted and once he discovered it, he chickened out and turned into an even bigger asshole.
You don't want her, fine. Keep clear, not make jealous scenes all over town. Pick a lane and stick to it.
The heroine, mind you, was no better. She also refused to fall in love, because she's been an idiot before and believed her first husband actually loved her, while he loved only her money. But she ended up falling for the aforementioned jerk anyway. She knew what he was like, he repeatedly rebuffed her, yet she kept at it. What the hell? If the guy is an ass, you steer clear, but I guess she just wanted to be the one who won him in the end, the one who changed him in the end.
I didn't feel the love between these two. He was a project for her, she was a fascination for him. End of story. This wasn't a romance, this was a forced-angst-filled slightly sexy story that focused too much on the hero's issues, making him come across as a petulant teenager.
I persevered over the half mark because I kept hoping it would get better. Half-way through, the guy was still a petulant ass, the heroine suddenly developed tender feelings for him (inexplicable and out of the blue, if you ask me), so I threw in the towel.
...And then I took a peek at the end and wanted to slap the woman until her head fell off. No, thank you.
***ARC provided by publisher through NetGalley***
Dak Parrish has family issues. That's what he'd jumped at the opportunity to come back to Oregon to fight fires—his father, mother and little brother live on the reservation nearby. While his mother appears not to want to have anything to do with him, his father makes an impromptu visit, blackmailing Dak into helping an arsonist investigator look into suspicious fires...A prickly female investigator that quickly gets under Dak's skin...
Like its predecessor this story also didn't bring much to the table. The characters were bland (although the heroine was slightly too bitchy for my taste), the suspense had its moments, but the final reveal (without much motive behind it, or a worthy resolution) left everything to be desired, the pacing was plodding...
Another puffed-rice-cake equivalent.
Ten years ago, the lives of two families imploded. Two men died in a fire, one was blamed for both deaths and friendships crumbled.
Lance Roberts is back in Redmond, Oregon. First, to get his father's old job and second, to uncover the truth about the death of his and his best friend's father, his father was also blamed for. He doesn't really expect a warm welcome, but he also doesn't expect threats and sabotage...Or falling (again) for his ex-best friend's sister who also happens to be his trainer.
I liked the blurb of this book...But that's pretty much all I liked. Let me put it this way. This book was the reading equivalent of puffed rice cakes. Bland, tasteless and odorless.
The characters were bland, the story was bland, the pacing was poor, the suspense lacked any oomph, the villains were one too many, the romance was lackluster at best (I preferred the angst before they got together)...
It failed to capture my attention and I was bored by the time I got to chapter 4. I admit to only skimming the rest of it, because I kept hoping something would click.
An old lady witnesses something in the woods as she's searching for an orchid. Something so terrible, someone is willing to kill her to keep it hidden. But as soon as the police is involved, thanks to the lady's nosy neighbor, more and more secrets are coming out...
An interesting murder mystery with multiple possible suspects, loads of red herrings and a surprising final reveal.
Unfortunately, it was also very slow with a quite a plodding pace and some of the filler scenes were rather boring and dull.
I much prefer the series, actually, including the characterization of Barnaby and Troy.
Cilla McGowan, washed-up star, comes to Virginia to restore her famous grandmother's house. But someone doesn't want Cilla around, determined to do anything to drive her out of town. But she's not alone; her hot and quirky neighbor, Ford Sawyer, a comic book author, is close at hand to help...And to keep her in Virginia.
What makes this book (if you saw the TV movie, the book is way better, even though you know who did it) memorable is Ford Sawyer. He deserves five stars all on his own. I love the guy. What's not to love after all. He was nerdy, quirky, hot, protective, loyal, deceptively laid back and relaxed and so damned in love it made me want to go out and find me a Ford of my own.
Compared to him, Cilla, the heroine, paled and I must say I didn't really know her, not even in the end. It's not every day the heroine plays such a second fiddle to the hero. She was rather formulaic, a pretty standard NR heroine with a chip on her shoulder and an independent streak. But she was rather bland and generic.
Heck, Spock the dog had more personality than she did. The supporting cast was more interesting than she was. I don't know how to explain it, she left me quite cold and disinterested.
The suspense was good, even though I knew who the villain was. If I didn't, the identity would've been a huge surprise, something I wouldn't have seen coming, which is always a plus. The big bad was pleasantly twisted, wearing a perfectly innocuous mask, which made the big reveal that more coldly shocking.
The book started off rather slow and I didn't much care for the flashback/dream scenes, but it picked up the pace toward the end, creating a nice feeling of anticipation. The hero was adorable, the supporting cast provided a nice backdrop to the story and the shop talk, though rather abundant, didn't deter from the overall enjoyment.
Four young girls, roommates at a boarding school, find an old sixpence in a mattress and decide it would be their lucky charm in finding suitable husbands when the time came...
Something New by Stephanie Sloane (❀❀❀)
Miss Anne Brabourne needs to find a husband and quickly, before she’s banished into the country. She also has a list of requirements and that list doesn’t include either love or passion thanks to the destruction, caused by heightened emotions, she’d witnessed as a child. Anne also gains a strange ally in her husband-seeking quest; Rhys Alexander Hamilton, Duke of Dorset. He’s determined to help her, but he has his own reasons.
This was a cute story. Maybe a tad too short, since both characterization and the plot itself suffered a bit—everything happened rather quickly, feeling a bit rushed. But I liked both main protagonists and especially their matchmaking aunts.
Something Borrowed by Elizabeth Boyle (❀❀❀❀)
Miss Cordelia Padley has invented a fake betrothed to curb her aunt’s enthusiasm of thrusting vicars upon her. But now she’s invited to her friend’s wedding and she’s supposed to bring her man along. The only one she could turn to is the famous Captain Kipp Talcott, her childhood friend. But as she pays him a visit, she discovers Kipp isn’t her Kipp anymore, but Winston Christopher Talcott, the Earl of Thornton. Still, she asks him to pretend to be her betrothed and he agrees, even though he was about to really get betrothed himself.
A sweet story of long-lost childhood friends finding each other again, trying to navigate between old and new dreams and real adult responsibilities, but in the end only one thing prevails—the heart.
I liked the contrast between the slightly flighty heroine and the stuffy hero, they provided a nice balance, complimenting each other rather splendidly. The story moved well, and though the love-story might appear rushed, the fact they were childhood friends compensated for the lack of space and time dedicated to the deeper development of their romance.
Something Blue by Laura Lee Guhrke (❀❀)
Lady Elinor Daventry is determined to save her father no matter the cost. Even marrying a man she doesn’t love. Anything is preferable to her father standing trial for things he didn’t commit. That’s why, six months before, she broke off her engagement to Lawrence Blackthorne, the man who believes all the nasty rumors about her father, determined to ruin him.
Ellie knows the sixpence is her ticket to marriage to the son of the duke, who might sway the peers to believe her father, but Lawrence Blackthorne has other ideas…And steals the coin.
This would’ve been a lovely second-chances story if it weren’t for the heroine and her determination to believe her father no matter what. Even when she had proof, she was still stubbornly in denial. I didn’t like how she treated the hero when he was doing his duty, the man that gave her up in order to seek justice for thousands of men.
I felt she wasn’t really worthy of everything Lawrence did to get her back, and somehow I didn’t really believe her feelings in the end, either.
...and a Sixpence in Her Shoe by Julia Quinn (❀❀❀❀)
Miss Beatrice Mary Heywood is the most pragmatic of the four friends. And the only reason she’s wearing the sixpence in her shoe is to keep her promise to her friends that she’d do so. And then she meets Lord Frederick Grey-Osbourne and all her dreams suddenly come true.
Short, but sweet.
Granted, the romance seemed a bit rushed, but we’re talking about a short story after all. I liked both protagonists, especially Bea, who looked beyond appearances and her enthusiasm was rather contagious. Frederick was a bit bland, at least compared to Bea, and I absolutely adored aunt Calpurnia in all her matchmaking glory.
Lady Rose Sherbourne is quiet, proper and following the rules of the ton. No one would suspect there's anything remotely similar to passion under her placid exterior, but as she embarks on a quest to find out what happened to her mother, she discovers there's nothing more liberating than following one's heart...
I must confess, I much preferred the Honeycote portion of this series than the Sherbourne one. I simply felt there were things missing in the last two installments. Like spunk, spark, humor and passion.
Unlike her sister Rose was much more sedate and proper, but she was too placid, downright vapid at the beginning of the story. She captured my interest once she went rogue and sprung her boyfriend out of jail, but then almost immediately went back to huddling in on herself, fretting and feeling sorry for herself. She didn't appear to have much agency, most of her decisions were based on Charles, the hero.
Who was rather bland himself. I never got to really know him, beside in context of his puppy-like devotion to Rose and he also failed to have anything to do that would make him an individual instead of part of the couple with Rose.
The story only came alive once they were in the company either of Lady Boneville or Rose's family who at least brought some spark to the proceedings.
I liked the suspense sub-plot and would've appreciated it if it was developed a little further and more fully instead of only serving as catalyst to bring Charles and Rose together.
Lady Olivia Sherbourne has been in love with James Averill, her brother's solicitor and friend, for a decade, but the man is completely oblivious. She always thought she had time to make him notice her, make him fall in love, but that time is running out. James is on his way to Egypt. For two years. And Olivia finally takes off her gloves and decides to fight dirty.
This series certainly is hit-and-miss. I had in inkling I would particularly like this one, since I found Olivia to be too bratty and self-centered in the previous two books, but I thought that once she got her own book, her own story, she would grow on me.
Well, she didn't. She was a self-centered, spoiled brat for more than half her story, pushing and prodding, demanding to have it her own way, disregarding what others, namely the man she supposedly loved, might want and wish. And once she got it, she still wasn't satisfied. She truly reminded me of a spoiled child who, once she gets her toy, she doesn't want it anymore.
And, unlike the previous two novels, she didn't grow on me, because she didn't learn anything. She still got her way in the end without much suffering. She merely proved that all she needed was a fit and everything will be handed to her.
I would actually pity her hero, but I didn't much care for him either. He was bland a dull, without much character or agency, beyond catering to Olivia, her agenda, and her story. And I didn't buy his about face about her feelings either. It was too abrupt. It would've worked if he was infatuated from the start, but he actually noticed her only once she stopped flitting about him. Which makes him rather self-centered as well, come to think of it. He started pursuing her only once she stopped (at least outright) pursuing him.
In the end, I guess they pretty much deserved one another. And I didn't really buy the romance/love thing. They certainly worked better as friends with possible crushes on one another than lovers. But maybe that's just me and my general dislike of both of them.
I liked the supporting cast, though. Granted, they were relegated to the sidelines mostly, but it was still a pleasure seeing them and getting to know the new additions to the "family".
Benjamin Elliot, Earl of Foxburn, will do anything to prevent his best friend's younger brother from falling into the clutches of a fortune huntress. Which is what Miss Daphne Honeycote seems to be. Because Ben knows she's not the ethereal, innocent beauty everybody sees. Nope, Ben knows very well, what she hides underneath her clothes, because proof of it hangs in his study.
When her mother was ill, Daphne made a choice. She chose to pose for two rather scandalous portraits in order to get the money for her mother's medicine. Now that choice has come back to bite her in the form of the Earl of Foxburn and his blackmailing scheme; leave his friend's brother be or he'd reveal the truth.
But soon Ben becomes her ally, since Daphne has no idea what has happened to the other portrait, and Ben realizes his altruism toward his friend's brother was rather bogus. He wants Daphne for himself.
Yet another wonderfully told story. A little bit darker than the first book, mostly thanks to the hero and his broody, ornery, stubborn self, yet still packing quite a punch, even without the star-crossed lovers theme.
I loved Daphne. She might look all fragile and carefree, but inside, where it counts the most, she hid her worries and her pain, not letting anyone see it, until Ben came along.
Ben became rather annoying toward the middle, with his whining and feeling sorry for himself. I'm all for wounded, brooding heroes, I even adored his brutal honesty, but I couldn't stand his self-pity and pushing people away. And he almost succeeded in pushing the most important person away for good, only to pull his head out of his ass at just the right moment for everything to work out just fine. I wouldn't have minded a little bit more grovelling on his part, though.
The baddie was your regular spiteful asshole with a grudge, the bitch from the first book returned with a vengeance and once again failed to do any lasting damage, the supporting cast was perfectly placed and "proportioned", I was glad for Belle and Owen, I loved the character of Lady Bonneville and I hope to see more of her in the next two books, although I'm dreading the next installment a little, since it features more of Olivia, Huntford's slightly too self-centered sister (I'm growing tired of her droning on an on about her James).
This was a lovely story about self-discovery, courage and changes one is capable of under the right motivation.
Thomas Thorne is finally ready to confess his feelings for his business partner and best friend of twelve years, Gwyn Weaver (he has no choice, really), but ends up drugged and naked in his bed with a murdered woman by his side.
None of his friends believe he did it, but someone obviously has a grudge against him. A grudge so big, they're willing to dig around his past, dredging up painful memories, and putting everybody he loves, putting Gwyn in danger.
This book obviously marks the end of the Baltimore-based books (we're moving to California next with Taylor's adoptive sister, Daisy) and it was lovely seeing all the old friends and faces again. The only two missing were Grayson and Daphne, but they were there in spirit as the others fought against time and death itself in order to figure out who and why was making Thorne suffer and how to stop them.
I've been curious about Thorne since he first appeared on scene and I'm glad he didn't suffer a character transplant in his book as some of the previous seemingly larger-than-life heroes. He was compassionate and loyal, willing and able to do anything to protect those he loved and cared about, and I was glad the tough exterior he was known for was just a cover for the marshmallow-y inside.
It's a real pity about the heroine, though. I didn't like Gwyn. There've been plenty of KR heroines who's gone through what she's been through, but somehow she felt she was different, somehow special and unique, making her way too whiny for my taste. She was also incredibly selfish. Someone wanted to hurt Thorne, but she always seemed to make everything about herself and her feelings.
As the story progressed, and she finally pulled her head out of her ass about Thorne and their relationship, I actually started to like her, only to grit my teeth at her inability just to tell everything up front. I didn't get the secret keeping and I hated she told Thorne the truth about her past only when she feared it would come out anyway.
The suspense also left much to be desired, which is surprising for a KR book. It felt like it was all over the place, the twists and turns making it rather convoluted and disjointed. The main villain was rather disappointing, since he couldn't keep his hands firmly on the reins, but trusted all those other people to do his dirty work. People make mistakes. The more people, the more mistakes. It made him appear weak and quite a caricature, unintentionally similar to the Bond villains of old with much talk and not enough action.
It made the positive ending a given, instead of making the reader tremble alongside the characters.
This book definitely wasn't what I've come to expect from Karen Rose, but hopefully it's just a fluke.
Miss Amelia Wimple is a recluse, refusing to leave the house she lives in with her mother and go out into the ton again after the humiliating incident that happened two years ago on the eve of her would-be engagement. The man who was supposed to propose eloped with another and she and her overbearing mother became laughingstocks. But there's one bright memory from that dreadful night; Lord Stephen Brookes and his kindness toward her.
Now, her mother is off to Bath and Amelia has the house all to herself, but her short life of bliss is rudely interrupted by the man who jilted her bringing the unconscious, severely beaten Lord Stephen Brookes to her doorstep seeking refuge. Amelia, God bless her, decides to hide Stephen until his wounds heal enough that he doesn't scare people...But she might get more in return that she's bargained for.
Another cute and slightly humorous story in this series. Pity it suffered from its lack of length.
I liked the two protagonists; they were both hiding their true selves and only the other could see it. I liked the camaraderie between them, the strange friendship and the blossoming romance. But the latter was so quick and rushed, it failed to be believable. I could see the potential, but it certainly needed a few more chapters to be developed properly...Or, it could've been presented as the blurb insinuated; that Stephen has always had a tendre for Amelia and used the golden opportunity of his stay with her to his advantage.
Alas, the way it was written, it felt like it happened in the blink of an eye, when they barely knew each other. Not a good foundation for lasting love that.
Still, it was an enjoyable read.