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A History Nut's Romantic State of Mind

"I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read in the train." - Oscar Wilde

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By Arrangement (Medieval Series (Chronological order) #4)

By Arrangement - Madeline Hunter

Finally got this book out of my way.


I love a good medieval story. Since Madeline Hunter is famous for her medievals, I started this book with much enthusiasm. The premise is interesting enough. David, a low-born but stinking rich merchant, saw Christiana, a ward of the English King, at court. Being close to the English King, David offered for Christiana. The match was frowned upon because Christiana was a of noble birth, first tier, too. Her marrying a merchant was an outrageous thought.


Christiana loved another. A cad named Stephen. She resented the fact that she had to marry David and sent for Stephen to come marry her before everything was too late. But of course Stephen did not come. Everyone except Christiana could see that Stephen did not love her and that Christiana was an idiot to believe that she had a noble knight in Stephen.


So the marriage was on rocky grounds. The book follows Christiana and David's difficult union. A bride who resented her groom. A groom who desired his bride. Isn't that quaint? It turns out that David, was not a lowly merchant at all. Suffice it to say that Christiana felt like an idiot when David's true parentage came under the light. Some political intrigue, superficial I love you after great sex, the end.


I had a lot of problems with the book. It is not about the writing. It was the story itself. I detest Christiana from the beginning. A stupid girl who knew nothing about love, who mistook infatuation for affections, who expected a jerk to be her prince on the white horse, who despised a man who actually wanted her for his lowly birth and never gave him a chance. I wonder, what is to like about Christiana other than the fact that she was beautiful?


Christiana's immaturity permeates the story. She did "grow out of" her infatuation for Stephen and "realized" that she loved David. I thought the change strange since nothing has changed for Christiana and David other than the fact that they had great sex. So after they had fantastic sex, Christiana came to realize that now she loved David? I mean, come on, give women a little more credit than that. The attitude change and "falling in love" seemed fake. I honestly do not know what changed. Christiana changed. Just like that. And all because David was such a great lover. And this was supposed to be romantic?


Christiana's fault does not stop at being naive and stupid about love. She was quick to anger. Whenever things didn't go her way, she either shut herself in the room or got mad at someone (usually David), accusing them of lying, using, misleading and misunderstanding her. The beautiful Christiana was never at fault. And she was entitled to her anger, because you know, Christiana was not happy. Someone must be responsible for that. And no no, Christiana was always right.


I would have given the book 3 stars for the writing. But Christiana made this book such an awful reading experience. I wanted to slap her but I was forced to read about how David loved her for reasons that are beyond my comprehension. Oh but how could I forget, they had great sex. It must be true love.

Marrying The Captain (Channel Fleet #1)

Marrying The Captain - Carla Kelly

oh Captain Oliver Worthy, I am also in love with you.


I have heard about Carla Kelly for a while, lots of positive things, but this is my first book from her. I think her style is a little too innocent for me. But there is no denying it: she is a great writer. What I love about this book is Captain Worthy and his internal dialogues. Haven't we all been there, where the characters' internal dialogues drove us nut? Not in this Kelly novel. I wouldn't call her novel funny. It is not that. It is how poignant her characters are in a particular moment. And you laugh because you know exactly why they said what they said. It made you laugh because, well, you would have thought the same, had you been in the characters' shoes.


Eleanor, aka Nana, was 21 years old. I have to say it because it drove me batty in the beginning not knowing how old Nana and Oliver were. Oliver was 30. They met and came to like each other. It was that simple. What was endearing is the process. They were both so wonderfully sweet. And have I said this already? Captain Worthy is swoon-worthy. Really great characters, with Captain Worthy firmly in the lead.


The plot however, is a little bland for me. I like the background, a navy man, in a horrible war against the French. Wives seeing husbands off at the port. Difficult times. Carla Kelly did a great job illustrating that. She created a very endearing relationship between Oliver and Nana. But it kind of lacks excitement or tension. The pace was kind of slow for me. And the last 20% where Nana wen to rescue Oliver, well, I found that hard to believe. I wasn't impressed. Oliver and Nana are a sweet couple and I really liked Oliver. What a wonderful man. But the story is a bit too....sweet for me. Now I am wondering, just how cynical have I become to want a little more drama?

To Sir Phillip, With Love

To Sir Phillip, With Love  - Julia Quinn Sometimes I feel like such an oddball on Goodreads. What people love and rave about, I often find them not exactly my cup of tea. What people find not so great, I like a great deal.

That is the case with To Sir Phillip, with Love.

I read lots of reviews about the Bridgertons' stories. But I work my way slowly through them. Now I finally got to Eloise Bridgerton's story. It doesn't seem to be so well received. But I thought the relationship between Eloise and Phillip rather endearing, except for the last 20% when Phillip became a sex-crazed animal because he had not had sex for 8 years.

Eloise was 28 and single. She was pretty. She had a good social standing. She was smart. But she was single. It started bothering her after her best friend Penelope married her older brother Colin. She always thought, if one of them was going to get out of spinsterhood, it would be her, not Penelope.

A year before Penelope and Colin got married, Eloise started a secret correspondence with a country landowner, Sir Phillip Crane, a widower whose late wife was Eloise's cousin. It all started innocently enough and went on innocently for its entire duration. When Eloise was wallowing in self-doubt after her best friend married her brother when she received THE letter from Phillip. In said letter, Phillip, in his practical academic way, extended an invitation to Eloise with honorable intentions, to a visit to his home. It was his suggestion, that they could use the time to get to know each other.

So Eloise, being in the state of mind that she was, accepted, albeit without first conveying her acceptance beforehand to Phillip.

Phillip is a complex character. He had a rahter miserable marriage with his late wife but remained steadfast and faithful. He is by no means a boring character, even though I could see why he may be for some people. I personally find him charming. A giant of a man whose legs and arms are too long for his peace of mind. He thought Eloise would be rather eager to marry him, considering her advanced age of 28. He needed, quite honestly, a warm body in bed (a man has needs), a housekeeper for his estates (a man cannot be bothered with household accounts), and most importantly, a mother for his children (a man is a man, not a mother). He meant well. He really did. He thought it would be a mutually beneficial "arrangement".

Only that Eloise was not what he imagined her to be. He had expected a homely woman, not a pretty lady who was still single only because she was holding out for that "special spark".

So Eloise showed up. Phillip was floored. What was this pretty woman doing being single and why would she ever be interested in marring a practical stranger?

Their first few days as host and house guest were uncomfortable, to say the least. On paper they exchanged opinions and thoughts freely. Now standing face to face with marriage prospects hanging over their heads, they both were uncertain. But they were attracted to each other. This was obvious from their first meeting. But is this a good base for marriage?

Then incidents and incidents ensured, allowed them to come closer to each other. Phillip was smitten. Eloise hoped to be more than just his children's mother. I thought the relationship really sweet. Did he like me? Would she be content being married to me? I quite of liked him/her but would he/she return the affections? Physical attraction was present and Phillip had demonstrated that they "would suit". Now I can never think of "would suit" without having THAT picutre in mind. All in all, a charming story with 2 well-developed characters.

To be honest, the last 20% of the book SUCKED. Once they got married. Phillip was content to have Eloise as a sex partner, a housekeeper and a nanny for his children. He seemed almost lazy, leaving everything to Eloise and only coming to her at night to satisfy his "apptites". The charms in the relationship and in the character of Phillip almost disappeared. It is what we all fear: marriage is the end of romance. The last few chapters were devoted to Phillip's change in his attitude to his children and Eloise. He had to go from oh this woman gave me funny feelings to oh you are the love of my life. I thought the change was not nicely done. I could see how he warmed up to the children quickly. They were his kids after all and he by nature, wanted to be a good father. But his moment of truth, his realization that Eloise was THE ONE, came too hastily for my taste. I think they needed to weather a little more challenges before they could realize that they were truly blessed with each other.

Despite a rather anti-climatic ending, I really enjoyed reading the story of Eloise and Phillip. It wasn't angsty but it has an emotional depth. Both Eloise and Phillip are more than what meets the eyes. The relationship developed steadily and gradually until the last 20%. I could do without the children and their pranks though. But it is what it is.

The Madness of Viscount Atherbourne

The Madness of Viscount Atherbourne - Elisa Braden This book is perfect for someone just starting out in the historical romance genre. For a veteran reader of a certain age in the genre, such as yours truly, this book was a little too predictable.

May I just say that I love this name Lucien for a hero, all the way on top of my list together with Harry. Alas I have never met any Lucien in my life. I swear to God if I ever have a son I would so name him Lucien.

OK back to the book.

This book has an age-old revenge plot and not a very clever one, that. Lucien was out for blood, Blackmore's blood to be precise. Somehow he was led to be believe that Harrison, Duke of Blackmore, was responsible for his sister's death and then killed Lucient's brother in a duel over the said sister's honor. So what did our clever Lucien do? He married Blackmore's sister of course! Naturally some level of ruination was commited. So Victoria, Blackmore's sister, was either to to be shunned from society or marry Lucien.

I don't usually mind cliche in my romances. But it has to be cleverly done. In this book it was just too simple. It made Lucien look kind of dumb. I mean to marry his sister, how is that fitting revenge? I am always wondering about that while reading these revenge-based plots in romance novels.

But let's not get technical here.

The writing is pleasant enough, but the plot is too simple for this book to be a great read. I am being very generous with my 2 stars because it is her debut novel and it is not poorly written. The characters are ok, at least not annoying. But they are thin characters, Lucient especially. His "madness", if any, is not fleshed out and seemed hollow at best. Victoria is an easier-to-understand character.

For plot development this book has got 1 star. There really isn't much else to say except that Lucient wanted to keep Victoria from her beloved brother and used that as revenge against Blackmore. But of course he fell in love with Victoria and for reasons none other than her thighs and you-know-where. So character development is also shot. Ms. Elisa Braden is not a poor writer but her storytelling skills could use further development, as are her plots and characters.

2 encouraging stars for a new writer

A Whisper of Desire: A Disgraced Lords Novel (The Disgraced Lords)

A Whisper of Desire - Bronwen Evans I have said this before, and I think it bears repeating: sex alone is not sexy.

Warning: serious ranting ahead. Click the arrow on top left to escape. Your last chance.

This book has a lot of sex scenes, which I think, are all feeble attempts at romance. I do agree that they are titillating. But I confess to a certain degree of boredom reading about one after another intercourse, this position and that position and how these experience make the protagonists feel oh my God this is earth-shattering and life-changing. I was laughing in the end, no kidding.

I do apologize for my overtly scarcastic comments on these intimate scenes. But when I am told that 2 practical strangers had great sex and since they were all hots for each other, it must be looooooove, my first response is to laugh. I have trouble taking these intimate moments seriously.

Now let me briefly list the elements of the book:

Step 1: introduce Maitland. aka the cold Duke who is not exactly comfortable with his sexual desires. Awful father he had, you know.

Step 2: enters Marisa: the sister of Maitland's good friend Sebastian. She was in love with a cad and was going to marry him. But that does not signify. This plotline is not important.

Step 3: Maitland and Marisa were found in bed naked together. They must marry posthaste. So they did.

Step 4: Mailand and Marisa basked in their wedded bliss with some hot sex.

Step 5: Now we must add in a villain. So Maitland and Marisa went to an infamous "club" where they witnessed more sexual acts. Sexy times.

Step 6: Maitland and Marisa or at least one of them has to say I love you. So Maitland came clean with his "sordid past", which was of course sexual in nature. Marisa understood and they have crazy fantastic sex and oh she loved him, without a doubt. Sex is too great.

Step 7: The story gotta end somehow. Someone was out to get these sexy boys called the Libertine Scholars. So violence, sex, loss, danger. The end.

I firmly believe, that someone's villain is another's hero. It is all about perspectives, experiences and essentially who we are. This book, is just not my kind of story. Too much emphasis on sex. Not enough on romance. A really weak illustration of vulnerability in relationship and of longings for acceptance and love. For me (and I cannot point this out often enough, and me alone), to bare one's soul has little to do with what we say or even what we do. In my experience, it is what we refuse to say or do that is more telling, especially in matters of love.

Now my pretty little speech has a point. This book, employs a lot of sex and talking. "Oh I am so deep inside you now and it feels good" is roughly translated to "I have feelings for you." and "I want you now and tomorrow and every night" probably means "I wish you knew how I feel about you." This book has a lot of telling. They converse about how they feel about sex, marriage, expectations and regrets. But I cringe at almost every word. I wish I was more eloquent that I actually am so that I can explain why all this "telling" bothered me so much. I experienced such frustration reading about them talking about how they felt. Empty words, I say. Words without emotions are empty words and carry no weight.

You see my dilemma here. Two strangers, coming together in matrimony, they must dance the little dance called "getting to know you". They can have sex, yeah, why not. Have great sex, by all means. But this is not "here is my heart please take it and don't break it." And a man finding salvation in great sex with his wife, fighting his denied lust and hiding his "lustful tendencies", I find it rather off-putting.

Which, brings me to my point. I am all about vulnerabilty and longing in love. And this book, leaves little to my imagination about sex but leaves everything that makes love wonderful out of the picture. What makes love wonderful in my book? The tentative touches, the embarrasing attempts at showing affections, the deafening silence, the inarticualted I-do-give-a-shit-about-you.

Suffice it to say, this entire penis-business rarely impresses me. And books that explore only this part of human psyche usually suffer the same fate in my book.

Romancing Mister Bridgerton

Romancing Mister Bridgerton  - Julia Quinn

I actually skipped this book and went on to Eloise's story. When I was about half way into To Sir Phillip, with Love I thought I kind of liked Eloise's story and was reminded what a great writer Julia Quinn can be. I decided to come back and read Penelope and Colin's story. For God's sake, it is "the Bridgertons"!

I really like how Julia Quinn writes. The witty and charming subtlety, I always get into a happy place where I just enjoy the brilliance. There is nothing like it when the writing is so fluid that it encompasses you like a nice warm blanket on a winter night. Yeah, that is how Julia Quinn's writing makes me feel.

However I was rather underwhelmed by Colin and Penelope's story. I venture to guess that it has a lot to do with my doubts about a "I noticed you after 10 years" kind of romance and these tiny bits of details about the characters that usually bother me.

1. Extremely popular guy with a plain girl: Colin the perpetual charmer with Penelope the wallflower. It may be just the thing for some people. For me I am always asking the question: why her, of all the pretty attractive smart girls, why chose a plain girl? I don't get it.

2. They have know each other for years and all of a sudden, he couldn't keep his hands off her: Penelope was Colin's sister's best friend. They have know each other for 11 years when the story begins. I would love to be proven wrong but my observation has been that, if a guy doesn't like you in the beginning, it is very unlikely that he will like you later. It is a physical reaction, either they like you or they don't. And it happens fairly quickly. Whether they do something about it, that is a different story (even though I do maintain that if they REALLY like you, they would do something). If you have seen counter-examples, I would be more than happy to hear about it. I could even buy that the guy is unaware of his feelings. But there should always be something, sparks, discomfort, anything. The unexplored attraction may lay dormant, but it always does something to you.

So I have trouble believing that a charmer such as Colin, who has known Penelope for more than 10 years, would suddenly fall madly in love with the slightly pudgy spinster. Colin was always comfortable around Penelope. He had to be forced to dance with her to be polite. He never had funny thoughts about her. I didn't see any signs of chemistry. And I cannot imagine such a romance blossoming all of a sudden in their 11th year of friendship. But as I said, I would love to be corrected.

I am still glad that I read the book. It is almost like a duty to the Bridgerton family to read everyone's story. I have done right by Colin and Penelope and I am happy to go back to Eloise and Philip.

4:50 from Paddington

4:50 from Paddington - Agatha Christie I grew up a huge Miss Marple fan. I love anything that is remotely Miss Marple-y. Murder She Wrote, Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries, you name it, I have loved them. :D

To Desire a Devil

To Desire a Devil  - Elizabeth Hoyt This is the lowest rating I have ever given to a Elizabeth Hoyt book. And I gave it with a heavy heart.

First of all it took me 2 months to read the book. I read all the 3 previous books in the series and thought they were fine books. Nothing that blew me away but good stuff. This book, while written in the Hoyt style fluid proses, dragged on. The below comments are my personal opinions and the difficulties I experienced in reading this book may be exist for other people. Please read the review with a grain of salt.

I struggled with 2 problems in this book: lack of chemistry and lack of a good plot

Lack of Chemistry
Reynaud and Beatrice just have no chemistry together. They are both good characters. But their relationship came out of nowhere. Reynaud started his obsession over Beatrice without even knowing who she was. And Beatrice's youthful infatuation also seemed silly for her character. I think it is a huge waste of 2 perfectly good characters.

Lack of a Good Plot
The 4 soldiers looking for a traitor theme has to somehow come to an end in this final book. Reynaud's experience with the Indians also needed to be explained. Both themes, were not helpful for the romantic relationship. Beatrice ended up asking really dumb questions about Reynaud's experience in the Colonies. And this served as some kind of a mechanism for relationship development. I thought it did a poor job. And because the plots were not building the relationship, Reynaud's proclamation of love seemed really odd. What we end up with is just a couple in heat with quite a few sex scenes, which albeit well-written, quickly lost their usual allures. There is nothing romantic about a couple having sex who have not had some kind of relationship buildup.

I wanted to give the book 3 stars because I really think Elizabeth Hoyt is a talented writer. Even it is not as great s her other books, it is still better than a lot of romance novels out there. But in the end I must do her other books justice. This book, is not her best effort. She has much better offerings than this book.

The Rock

The Rock - Monica McCarty Monica McCarty has to be my favorite writer in the genre. Her books take me at least 4-5 hours to read (very engrossed reading too) and I always want to read every word. A great writer with superb storytelling talents. Her probes at the human condition, desires and regrets, I am again and again surprised by the poignancy in her observations of human interactions, romantic or not.

The review below concerns ONLY the story itself. It is not a reflection of the quality of the book. It is a personal reflection on the characters and their decisions.

When I was reading this book, I tried very very hard to understand Elizabeth Douglas. For one reason: I did something very similar to what Elizabeth did and I desperately wanted to make sense of her selfish behaviors.

Elizabeth and Thom went way back. They grew up together, the laird's daughter and the smithy's son. It started innocently enough and I could see it before me: guy met girl. They became friends. Guy liked girl but was waiting for the right moment to tell her. Girl was oblivious to guy's feelings, thinking the entire time that they were friends. And one day hell broke loose and they couldn't hide behind friendship anymore.

Either Monica McCarty is just that good at observing human interactions or she was writing from personal experience, I completely understood Elizabeth's confusion and denial. If a guy likes you, you kind of know, don't you? But you also kind of know whether it is going to work, or rather, how likely the relationship will succeed. So you weigh between giving it a shot and losing a dear friend, you decide: well, I'd rather have the friend.

So that was Elizabeth's decision, too. All happening on the subconscious level, of course.

Now also imagine, a guy likes you. He doesn't want to be your friend (God I wish I knew). It is either he is THE friend or nothing at all. The entire friendship has a chance because he is hoping that one day it would go to the next level. It is never his goal to maintain the status quo.

So now Elizabeth and Thom were at an impasse. What to do........what to do..........

Reading about Thom's reaction to Elizabeth's first rejection was like revisiting a rather ugly place in time for me. Now I understand what I didn't back then: He felt rejected and acted out of pride. He waited so long, biding his time and was served the "you are my friend" card. The way Thom flipped out on Elizabeth was exactly what I had experienced in my own "episode". I was shocked at how real those scenes were to me. In the fictional world, I actually respected Thom for flipping out on Elizabeth. I thought it good that he didn't mope around Elizabeth waiting for her.

But in real life, I was first confused, then I tried to diffuse the situation by joking then I got really pissed off, which incidentally, is exactly what Elizabeth did. It was like reading a page from my own book, if one was ever written. Like Elizabeth receiving an insulting retort from Thom, I was also told that "I don't have to wait on you hand and foot and entertain you whenever you want." (And this is what he said to me, verbatim.) Oh the nerves he had, I thought. Everything was twisted around in his mind. When did I ever expect such a thing from him?

Up until that point, I thought exactly what Elizabeth was thinking: why did you have to go around saying things like this and destroy everything we have?

Now we get the premise of the story. Thom was rejected. Elizabeth was mourning the loss of a dear friend, who never actually wanted to be her friend. And I get that. I really do. I had the exact same thoughts: it was never going to work. I did not want to lose him so I would rather not have him at all. I would wish him well, listen to his girl trouble and attend the wedding, taking comfort in that by giving up a relationship, I saved a friendship. And of course, it blew up in my face as it did Elizabeth.

Before I started reading this book, I mentally prepared myself. I have read reviews from GR friends and thought: oh God I think I would hate Elizabeth with a passion. And it sucks to hate the characters.

After I finished the book last night I started thinking. I love Monica McCarty's writing and storytelling. I did not hate Elizabeth as much as I thought I would. But I cannot say that I love the story. And I think I know why.


It has nothing to do with her turning down Thom, who was nothing but wonderful in the story. Thom was so in love with Elizabeth, but I thank the God that he wasn't pathetically so. He left and turned down the chance to further impress Elizabeth. Guy had backbones and wasn't led by his penis. Thank you Monica McCarty for writing Thom this way. And I didn't think it was so bad that she turned Thom down. As I said, I understand what Elizabeth did, when she believed that there was no chance

I don't dislike her, but I don't like her. While I understand her actions, I do not like the reasons why she felt that it was not to be for Thom and her. She was basically afraid of being poor. I actually commend Monica McCarty for writing a "immature" heroine. I think it was reasonable to not want to be poor, in Elizabeth's position. It was not that surprising and definitely not wrong. But it is just not attractive.

We live in a cynical, cynical world (points for anyone who knows who I am quoting?). I think that is why some of us read fiction. We are looking to identify ourselves with characters who we would like to be, whose adventures and love stories we yearn to experience. Elizabeth is not someone I would like to be, not because of what she did, but because of why she did it. It was immature and not exactly commendable. I cannot fault her though, because what she did was only human. But at the same time, I cannot say that I like her. In short, she did not have me at hello. Hell, she did not even have me at goodbye. (I should think that it is now clear who I am quoting?)

And because of the above reason, I had trouble with Thom and Elizabeth's relationship. I am not convinced that Elizabeth loved Thom. And the chemistry lost its allures because of that. I could see that Elizabeth loved Thom as a person, that she truly believed Thom to be a great human being. Someone with integrity and honor. But I am not convinced that Elizabeth loved Thom as a man. I think her feelings are not explored enough or appropriately for that purpose. Elizabeth spent too much time thinking about marrying a powerful lord and all the merriments of a glamorous political marriage. Her character suffered because of that and seemed really shallow.

Now we are almost at the end of the series. I hope with my poor romantic heart that Sir Alex Seton and Joan Comyn have one hell of a love story to blow me away in [b: The Ghost|25265859|The Ghost (Highland Guard, #12)|Monica McCarty|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1445970861s/25265859.jpg|44989837].

Highlander Unchained

Highlander Unchained - Donna Fletcher Sigh, Donna Fletcher is one author who I repeatedly allowed to disappoint me. God knows why.

This is a trilogy featuring the same couple. I was curious about how Donna Fletcher would make it work. Would it just drag on?

Well the thing is, Dawn is described to be a "plain" woman. I never get why writers do that. It's fiction. Why can't we have someone who is attractive? She doesn't have to be Helen of Troy. But why do writers go out of their way to say that the heroine is "plain of features"?

It usually works like this: we are told the heroine is plain. But guess what, the hot guy has the hots for the plain woman. Now I am in a bind. My brain cannot reconcile: so the writer drilled it in us that she is not attractive but we are to imagine her having wild sex with a hot guy?

Speaking of sex, Cree and Dawn did nothing except for having sex. It gets old fast, really. You'd be surprised how quickly sex gets boring and irrelevant, if that's all that's holding a relationship together. And because of all the wonderful sex, Cree must be crazy about Dawn and this was supposed to make the book great.

I did not buy the relationship or the sex. It was like watching animals in heat reading this book.

I actually wanted to read book 2 because Cree's bride arrived in book 2 and so began Cree's wife-mistress dilemma. I wanted to see how that would pan out but Donna Fletcher's writing is.............so boring.........I hate to bad mouth a writer's writing prowess. I feel so disrespectful. It's just after reading quite a few books by this author, I regret to say that they are all of mediocre caliber. Superficial writing, lots of telling and cheap sex. I would like to see more depth in characters before I am forced down their sex life. That's always sorely lacking in Donna Fletcher's books.

Pleasures of a Notorious Gentleman

Pleasures of a Notorious Gentleman - Lorraine Heath Wasn't it poorly written? No

Did I have a lot of difficulties staying with the story? Not really, I wasn't that crazy about it but I kind of enjoyed reading it.

Is it a bad story? Not at all

So what's my problem?

1. Mercy's self-serving lies:

I think people make mistakes. I am not that much of a goody two shoes to want a perfect heroine who never lies. Human beings do despicable things to each other. I can live with a heroine who has lied. But Mercy lied because she wanted to keep John and later Stephen. Come on, admit it. It was never for anyone but herself. She had no good reasons to lie other than her secret wishes didn't have a chance unless she lied. Oh Mercy girl, not cool, not cool.

2. SO MUCH internal dialogue Mercy had going on with herself:

Since she cooked this major lie about being John's mother, she had a lot of reckoning to do. She was constantly wondering about oh what if. Because again, her self-serving lies gave her what she wanted: the man she loved and the son she loved but didn't give birth to. So much page space wasted on watching a selfish woman being worried about getting caught.

3. Stephen and Mercy had little chemistry:

Why Mercy? Stephen had slept with many many many many women. What made Mercy so special? If the writer could not reasonably illustrate that, reading them having passionate sex is just plain funny. This is the kind of sex that's supposed to turn a rake into a family man? All the other poor women were all interchangeable but this one woman is special? I wasn't convinced.

This was an ok read because Lorraine Heath writes beautifully. But the plots and characters........I have no further comments.

Lord of Seduction

Lord of Seduction - Paula Quinn kind of bland, I wouldnt recommend it but it's not poorly written. Gareth and Tanon just have little chemistry. If there was any, well, it isn't the kind that I pick up on.
In truth I wanted to give 2 stars, but I do like Quinn's medieval stories. honorary one star so all in all, 3 weak stars.

Once a Warrior

Once a Warrior  - Karyn Monk sigh........another woman dressing up as a lad story. I lost interests immediately. what's attractive in a dirty lad? once i get the image of the heroine as a man in my head the character is shot for me. a feminine woman is always feminine, doesn't matter what she wears. if she could pass off as a young boy, she isn't feminine enough for me.

And the heroine "filled herself with hatred" because the Black Wolf "did not come to her family's aid". This was around page 10. I disliked her on the spot when I read that line. Woman, he DID NOT KNOW YOU, DID NOT KNOW YOUR FAMILY, DID NOT OWE YOU OR YOUR FAMILY ANYTHING. How can you hate someone for not coming to your aid when they had absolutely no reason and no obligation to?? He did not owe her anything. Her whole stupid idea of hatred is built on a "vision". Someone told her the Black Wolf would come. So damn the Black Wolf for not charging to her rescue.

In the same logic I would probably need to hate Josh Hartnett for not proposing to me because my mama said one day my Prince will come and he did not! Talk about stupid eh, this heroine is one special kind of stupid.

England's Perfect Hero

England's Perfect Hero  - Suzanne Enoch This was an interesting read for me. I don't usually like a book if I cannot feel the chemistry between the characters, which is true about this book, but I read it to the last line and followed its rather developed plots to the end, which is also a new experience with an Enoch book.

I was happy to find out that the hero for the 3rd book would be Robert, Tristan's war-injured brother. I literally went "yay" to my kindle. I thought him an interesting character in Tristan's story. Same thing goes for Lucinda. I liked how level-headed and kind and considerate she is (unlike Georgiana who would be usually too headstrong and impulsive for me and Evie who is kind of boring).

But lord do they make a boring couple. I kept turning the page waiting for the chemistry to happen. But it didn't happen for me in this book. For the life of me I just couldn't feel the attraction between them. Their interactions were missing something for me, I do not know what. Maybe it is Robert. I don't do well with a male leading character who is somehow a patient and the woman is his savior who saved him from his near-mental/near-death state. (This is usually the time I cue [b: Flowers from the Storm|360259|Flowers from the Storm|Laura Kinsale|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1275622146s/360259.jpg|788122].) And Lucinda telling her father what Robert asked her not to tell another soul, I thought that was very uncool. I can understand why she did it, being close to her father and having faith in him and all, it was not that far-fetched an idea for her to do it. But it did not help with her character.

But kudos to Enoch: I followed the story to the end because I just wanted to read on. She made me want to find out what happened in the story even though I was disappointed in the romance. In the end I read it like a myestery/war story. The romance was barely there. I never felt that Robert and Lucinda had feelings for each other, I was bored reading the 2 sex scenes, the stable one shocking. I also noticed that Enoch's heroines don't seem to know propriety. They are often virgins who have absolutely no problems losing their virginity to men who are at that time unlikely to pop the question. Not that I think you need the question to have sex, but do these women never think about the future? I find that a little hard to believe. They all give in a little too easily. I do not question the decision, but I question the ease with which they made the decision.

The entire series appears to be one of Enoch's most popular series. I have consistently given all of them 3 stars. I don't know what to think of that.

The Rake

The Rake  - Suzanne Enoch I have had this book on my TBR for a while, since I have been home sick for 2 days, I decided to read it to pass the time I am forced to stay in bed. This book.......is a such a typical encounter between Suzanne Enoch and me.

The book started great, with Tristan and Georgiana, who had a "thing", the nature only known to the both of them. There isn't much else to the plot other than Tristan and Georgiana danced their little dance toward each other. I liked both characters, which is usually the case when I read Enoch. No one really outrageously stupid or immature, the conversations a joy to follow, the secondary characters delightful and the chemistry well drawn out.

I don't usually care for secondary characters but I think they warrant an honorary mention in this book. Enoch's secondary characters are great fun and add something to the romance, never there to prolong the story because the writer ran out of material. In this book it was Tristan's large family, I am not sure whether his brothers got their own books but I wouldn't half mind reading about them.

As much as I enjoyed the usual Enoch charms in this book, it also suffers from the same problems. Enoch's books rather hold up well in the last 30%. They start great, then become ok and finally end rather chaotically or anti-climatically. Her characters are easy to love but have little depth. Her plots are often holey and often historically inaccurate.

So there goes a typical reading experience with Enoch. A light-hearted read with likeable characters and not so memorable plots. I might re-read it after I have forgotten about the story, not before that.

Silver Angel

Silver Angel - Johanna Lindsey Maybe the harem thing just just my thing. I wasn't really interested in the story. No connections to the characters. Just not meant to be.