Saturday, August 05, 2006

Recent Reads and Brief Reviews

SCANDAL IN SPRING, Lisa Kleypas - plot
THE GOOD - the love story between Daisy and Matthew was sweet and simple (with the exception of Matthew's big secret which threatened to ruin it all). We all believed Cam Rohan would be Daisy's hero based on their brief interaction in DEVIL IN WINTER, but it was not to be due to the two being entirely too similar and hence lacking the requisite chemistry. I didn't know what to expect from Matthew. Somehow I wanted him and Cam Rohan to be the same person. I don't know how that would have worked out, but at the time that's what I wanted. After reading SCANDAL, I realized that Matthew was perfect for Daisy. An ugly duckling turned swan, he was always in love with Daisy, seeing her for the adorable sweet woman she was; loving everything and anything about her...her quirks, her eccentricities, her faults. He was my kind of man, a Mark Darcy type who loves Daisy "just as she is." The story moved quickly and I was thrilled there were no misunderstandings or big drawn out separations. I especially loved the part when Daisy believed Matthew was dead...oh, dear...honestly when Lillian told Daisy that Matthew was believed to be dead, my heart just broke and I did shed a tear or two.
THE BAD - The often overbearing and obnoxious presence of Lillian Bowman...didn't this chick already get her own book? Get out of Daisy's!!! Gosh, I wanted to wring her neck so many times. Kleypas did a great job in depicting Lillian as controlling and selfish...I suppose a typical older sister (gosh, I'm sorta like that, too...thinking I know what's best for my younger brother and sisters)...it really got on my nerves (now I know why it's gets on my siblings' as well). I always hate it when people who've found love and married for love try to pair everyone else off with random guys they don't give a crap about. Nice! It's like they're the only ones allowed to marry for love or something (sorry, sore subject...my friends do this to me all the time).
Also, Matt's big secret drama solved itself in two seconds...I think. See I don't really know. One minute everyone is stressing about it and then next thing I know SILENCE. Did it get resolved? Did my book have a chapter missing? No clue.
OVERALL VERDICT - B: I enjoyed the book a lot, despite Lillian Bowman et al. I would recommend reading it for the simple fact that the love story between Daisy and Matthew is one of the sweetest I've read this year. It was a fitting end to a great series. My favorite is still DEVIL IN WINTER though...Sebastian Lord St. Vincent, please marry me!!!

FROM LONDON WITH LOVE, Jenna Petersen - plot
THE GOOD - I loved the romance between Meredith and Tristan; loved how he looked at her; loved reading what he thought whenever he looked at her. Wow! I enjoyed reading about an independent woman unafraid of demonstrating her love for a man. It was clear that the two characters were meant for each other. The sex scenes? Hot! I love it when two characters get caught in the act or close to it. Tristan is also a jealous hero, something I don't care much for in real life, but that I absolutely LOVE in romance novels. LOVE LOVE LOVE IT!!!
THE BAD - Somehow, I felt like my book was missing a prologue or something. The lead characters knew each other from the past, yet...since there really wasn't much talk about this past, except for a few paragraphs in the middle of the book, I felt like I started reading the novel midway. I was confused at the beginning and wanted to put the book down because of it. I was also pissed I wasn't being given a glimpse of the past relationship between the lead characters. How and when exactly did they fall in love with each other? All this talk about them loving each other from afar when they were younger...could I get at least 3 paragraphs showing me this? This frustrated me...I am glad I didn't put the book down though.
FINAL VERDICT - A-: read the book and then look forward to the second of the series coming later this year.

JUST ONE OF THOSE FLINGS, Candice Hern - plot
THE GOOD - something different; older woman/younger man romance....well, not that much younger..she's 35 and he's 29. The sex scenes are hot; I love it when a hero thinks he can just have sex with the heroine and then can't stop thinking about her. The love the hero clearly feels for the heroine is beautiful and I admired his putting everything on the line and telling her exactly how he felt. It's not very often we read about a hero telling the heroine he loves her more than life itself, not often we read about a hero who almost begs the heroine to marry him, not often we can actually feel the heartbreak following rejection. Hern is a fantastic writer. The hero is all you would ever want in a man. He doesn't care about the heroine's age; he loves her and can't see why they can't be together. He loves her, despite her "middle age" (her words, not mine); loves her for her mind and sees her as the beautiful creature she is, despite not having the body of a 20 year old. Now that's love!
THE BAD - I don't know why but everyone reassuring the heroine that she could still have kids even though she was 35 really irked me....I guess it was mentioned too much. I get it...ok...they're gonna have a zillion kids! What else? I hated her rejection of the hero...it broke my heart and made me hate the heroine just a bit. She was beyond cruel.
FINAL VERDICT - A-/B+: Read the book; I personally cannot wait for the last book of the trilogy, LADY BE BAD. Must we wait 'til Summer 2007? Argh!

EVERYTHING AND THE MOON, Julia Quinn - plot
This was a reread
THE GOOD - the initial rumblings of romance between the hero and heroine. I loved everything from the love at first sight, to their breaking it off to them finally meeting again.
THE BAD - the heroine's neverending grudge against the hero. Get over it, chica! It wasn't his fault you became a governess to a brat! The two were separated through a series of lies by both their parents. They spent 7 years hating each other because of it (with a lot of love mixed into it). They find out it was their parents' lies that separated them; the hero wants to marry the heroine, but the heroine? She carries a grudge against the hero because he believed the lies, even though she did the same. HYPOCRITE! I don't remember whether I loved the book or not the first time. However, I didn't like the heroine at all the second time around. She was too holier than thou for my taste. The hero, on the other hand, was YUUUUUUUUUMMY!!!
FINAL VERDICT - C+ (only because of the hero does it merit a +; had he been a douche bag like the heroine, it would have gotten a C or lower) : read if you must, only because it's a Quinn book, but you wouldn't miss anything if you didn't.

14 comments:

Devonna said...

I'm so glad that you liked Daisy and Matthew's story in SIS. This is currently 3rd in my TBR pile and the more reviews I've seen, the more I'm looking forward to read it. And I agree, DIW is my favorite wallflower book too (well, so far...but doubtful I'll change my mind on that one ~ Sebastian is just too hard to beat).

Everything and the Moon I read years ago. I do want to reread all of my JQ books...just trying to get through my TBR pile first.

I haven't read anything from JP or CH, but I may have to check out some of their stuff one of these days also....I liked the cover on JP's book that you posted.

Thanks so much for the reviews!

Keish said...

totally agree with SIS.
Lillian was EVERYWHERE. I was like LEAVE omg, you HAD yoru book already.
Good Lord

Candice Hern said...

Glad you enjoyed my book, Romancelover. Thanks for the lovely review! I hadn't realized I'd mentioned the kid thing so often. My bad! The point was supposed to be that Beatrice didn't really WANT more kids, not that she couldn't have them (and remember that back then 35 was a lot older than it is now, if you know what I mean). She'd had her marriage, her family, etc. Been there, done that. She had to discover that she wanted those things again with Thayne before she could commit to him. And yes, her rejection of him was cruel. It was meant to be. :-)

One minor point ... the title is JUST ONE OF THOSE FLINGS. The Previous book was IN THE THRILL OF THE NIGHT.

Thanks again!

Candice

Jenna Petersen said...

I'm so glad you enjoyed LONDON, romancelover! :) I had so much fun writing all the Lady Spy books. And the next one is just around the corner!!

romancelover said...

To C. Hern - I liked that she was cruel...don't get me wrong. I didn't mind it at all...just that it was well written and I hated the heroine when she rejected him. I realize it was meant to be cruel...I think I should have put that in THE GOOD because it was good...I just wanted to beat the heroine because I loved the hero so much and it just broke my heart to see him that way. I corrected the error in title...I do look forward to LADY BE BAD and loved the brief excerpt. Gosh, I can't wait...

To J. Petersen - Glad the next book is coming out soon. I'm eager to read Ana's story.

Holly said...

I hated seeing so much of Lillian in SIS, too. I'm hoping to have my review up shortly. But basically, it'll be the same as yours. Really loved the story between D and M, but I was SOOO over the BIG SECRET and LILLIAN! UGH!

EATM is one of JQ's worst, IMO. I hated the heroine. She drove me INSANE! You remember those herione issues I have, right? Yeah, well....TSTL!

I haven't read CH or JP, but I might. I keep hearing about them and my curiosity is peaked. We shall see. ;)

Mailyn said...

great reviews! ok, so what was Mathew's big secret? I don't care to read the Wallflowers, except for DiW, so I need to know. lol.

Mailyn said...

ps Lillian was the reason I was never interested in this series. ugh. one look at the plot in the first book and I said no way!

romancelover said...

Mailyn, you're too funny! I'll e-mail you the secret. I actually liked Lillian in her own book...it was in the other Wallflower books that she seemed 30 million times more obnoxious.

Jenna Petersen said...

Hey romancelover, I just posted a new contest to win an ARC of DND and you already qualify. :) Check out http://www.jennapetersen.com/contest.htm and email me if you want to enter!

romancelover said...

What? Yes, I want an ARC...will e-mail...hope I get it...woo hoo.

Kate D. said...

Funny. I just finished SCANDAL and Lillian annoyed me, but that was one of the things I liked about it... the fact that here's a heroine who already got her HEA, but she actually hates being pregnant and can't get along with everyone else's heroes. I felt it made things more realistic. It also gave Daisy some reason to hesitate, when there really was no other reason... my sister and I always made a point of hating this guy, but wow, he's kinda hot and my sister's being kind of lame... how do I resolve this shifting paradigm?

I'm gonna have to read the new Candice Hern. The first one skeezed me out a little because of everyone talking so much about their sexcapades, but I'm thinking I've gotten over some of my Puritanical ways...

romancelover said...

The 2nd Hern isn't like that...I think the 1st one had too much of Penelope (don't know if you remember that one) and it was really an introduction to the series and those are always overrun by secondary characters. I did enjoy the 1st book though. I am really itching to read the 3rd book...I can't believe I have to wait 'til Summer 2007. What torture!!!

Cara said...

Gyaah! I can't believe you said that!!! This is the first time I've ever (emphasis on the EVER) found myself disagreeing with you. I adored the book found it delicious and slow and a perfect read. One of her bests..