Sunday, October 31, 2010
Saturday, October 30, 2010
Friday, October 29, 2010
A Gentleman Always Remembers by Candace Camp 815
When Eve Hawthorne was widowed after her officer husband died she moved back in with her father and stepmother. The arrangement was not at all pleasant so she accepted a job as a companion/ chaperone to the two young American cousins of the Earl of Shrewsbury, who was happy to hire her with the recommendation of her friend, Vivian. The Bascombe girls quickly take a liking to their new chaperone, but it is their cousin's half-brother, Fitzhugh Talbot, who most enjoys her company. When he goes to pick her up he finds her playing with her younger brother in a river with her skirt tucked into her dress and he cannot getthe image out of his mind. He is determined to bring out this carefree woman again and wants to begin an affair with her. Despite being married, Eve has never known sex as her husband had been impotent, and while she is interested in experiencing that she knows that having an affair would ruin her reputation and put her very livelihood at risk.
But she is forced to enlist his aid when one of her charges, young Lily Bascombe, is far too interested in Fitz's friend, the rakish Neville Carr, who is already pre-engaged to another young woman. The Earl has been called back to London and suddenly it is the carefree Fitz who is taking charge of the estate when many come down with the measles, and who finds himself for once being the honorable guardian as he attempts to warn Neville away from Lily. Things get even more heated when someone starts delivering threatening notes to Eve claiming that her husband was a thief who killed himself and stole the very watch the Eve cherishes from him. She tries to be brave, but when someone starts breaking into the house, she tells Fitz and the two become closer than ever. Fitz needs to find the man who is threatening Eve because suddenly he can't sand the thought of anything happening to her.
I always like the chaperone getting a little something for herself and Camp does a pretty good job of it here. Eve is great however I thought it a little too noble of her not to have accepted Vivian's generous offer to come live with her. I'm all for a woman trying to make it on her own, but in that day and age when someone gives you a way out I think she should have taken it. I also thought that Camp did an excellent job explaining away her virginal status because apparently the virgin widow used to be all too common in the genre and while not so now, the situation still needs some good back story. The women are of course all fast friends and get along famously, which sometimes annoys me in stories as that is so rarely the case in real life, but Camp also does a great job with this- perhaps because one of the villains of the story is Lady Sabrina, who I absolutely love to hate in the Willowmere series.
And another staple is the rogue with no worries who suddenly finds himself wanting to tie himself to one woman and take up all the responsibilities he had been all too eager to hand off to another. Fitz is really pretty average for a romance novel hero; supposedly bad but still noble to stop just shy of ruining the heroine. The sex between these two is pretty good but I really felt like it could have been better as there was some great chemistry between them throughout the rest of the book. The whole letters and stealing ex-husband was a little weird really as it just seemed to show up when it was convenient and then disappear when there was other things that needed to be done. I guess I'm also a little upset as I hoped the Bascombe sisters would get their own series/ books but their stories are obviously being thrown in as side-romances for the men of Willowmere. One of my favorite parts of this was reading about Neville Carr's weak-willed "fiance" growing a spine and I wish there had been more.
Rating: Camp really has become one of my go-to authors recently and while this is not her best this is still a fun read. Looking forward to Stewkesbury's story immensely.
Thursday, October 28, 2010
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Monday, October 25, 2010
Sunday, October 24, 2010
Saturday, October 23, 2010
Victoria Paget believes that her husband's regiment in France was betrayed and thinks that Lieutenant Tom Godfrey must be the culprit as he was the only man to return alive. She goes undercover in a brothel to learn his secrets and he falls for it right away. Tom has been infatuated with Victoria since his captain showed him her picture so finding a twin in a brothel is perfection. When he realizes who she is he offers her marriage so he can take her away from her horrible life. Victoria realizes that she must have the wrong man as Tom is honest and obviously cares for her and wants to do the right thing. Tom tries to find a job with another man in the War Office and when he is turned down, the real spy lands himself right in Tom's lap. Victoria knows she must confess her former suspicions to Tom, and hope that he can forgive her and they can work on capturing the true spy together after they are married.
This story is incredibly short (45 pages) and a good majority of that is absolutely scorching sex. I really had to suspend reality for this one as going undercover in a brothel is just not believable. However, Merrill did a good job with the very small amount of pages she was given, as I quickly grew to like both characters. Tom was strong and wanted to take care of those around him, while Victoria was dedicated and determined to get to the bottom of what had happened to her husband at any cost. I would have preferred a few more pages so that their could have been some angst about her believing him to be a spy, though. I was really excited when they were able to adequately wrap up the spy plot pretty well, although it does end on somewhat of a to be continued in that department. However, the romance, and especially the sex, was great.
The Viking's Forbidden Love Slave by Michelle Willingham
When Aisling O'Bannon is kidnapped by a Viking warrior, she knows she has much to worry about as the Vikings have been raiding and tormenting her family for years. Tharand is known among his people as fierce but they believe he is dangerous and has no heart. He has kidnapped Aisling in the hopes that he can exchange her to his king Magnus for his young sister Jorja. But he is taken with this fierce woman he finds in his possession and it is certainly difficult for him to keep his hands off of her. Aisling tries desperately to hate her captor but as she realizes why he has kidnapped her it becomes difficult. In one furious standoff with the King the two must use all their skills to save their lives, and that of young Jorja.
Another short story, but it desperately needed ten or so pages as the confrontation at the end was over laughably quickly and everything was tied up far too neatly. I felt like Aisling and Tharand did not really get to know each other and that their attraction/ love was merely a product of close proximity. I really did not go for Aisling being so forgiving of Tharand's people as they really had been making life horrible for hers. It just seemed like there was far too much stacked against them and it was not really explained away. The sex between them was decent and short but no real steam.
The Unlacing of Miss Leigh by Diane Gaston