This was a re-read for me and the first time around I gave the book 4 stars, but this time the romance just didn't work for me. The first seduction scene totally turned me off, which ruined the hero for me (manipulation is not sexy!). And the romance didn't feel true. For me, the best part of a romance novel is seeing how the hero and heroine get to their happily ever after. I mean we all know there's going to be a happily ever after, so the journey is the fun part. This story skipped over the slow build up of the relationship (they spent half the book in different cities!) and instead poof, magic, it's "insta-love!" Lame! The mystery aspect was okay, though a bit over the top. Definitely not my favorite Linda Howard. Listen to Mr. Perfect instead. :)
This is the story of Kyle Grayson and Amelia Drake, who have both been hurt in the past by people they loved. They are forced to marry and now they have to learn to trust each other with their secrets and their hearts.
Kyle Grayson is the middle Grayson brother who has run the family mill since his father died. He lost the woman he thought he was going to marry to his brother, so he is (understandably) very cranky and pretty cynical about love. Amelia Drake is the daughter of a mill owner and when she was young she was seduced and abandoned by a man who she thought loved her and wanted to marry her. Now she’s decided to stay a spinster school teacher because no man would want a wife who isn’t a virgin. Due to some unfortunate circumstances, Kyle and Amelia must marry and that’s where the story really takes off.
What I liked:
Kyle and Amelia are really interesting, complicated characters who both have A LOT of baggage. Kyle is not a particularly likeable character in the first book, so it was really great to see him transform over the course of the book, not just in his relationship with Amelia, but also with his brothers. I liked Amelia’s sassiness and sense of humor. This books had a lot of humor which was a pleasant surprise.
What I Also Liked:
There was a bit of a mystery in this story, which I thought added to the book and helped Kyle and Amelia build their relationship and learn to work together.
What I didn’t Like:
The hero and heroine keeping secrets from each other is not my favorite plot device. I just wanted them to talk to each other! There were so many secrets, it got a little frustrating, but even after saying all that it does make for a compelling read!
I listened to the audio version of this book and I thought the narrator did an excellent job portraying all the different characters and conveying the emotion and humor needed for this story.
If you’re looking for a well-written, compelling historical romance (when are those secrets going to come out!?!?), with complex characters with a lot of baggage but also sass and humor and occasional crankiness, then I highly recommend this story!
I was offered a copy of the audio book by the author in exchange for an honest review.
Radford Grayson is a former Union soldier and when he returned home after the Civil War ended, he was too emotionally wounded to stay and help his brothers run the mill their father built. He returns again, five years later, this time with his four year old daughter in tow, ready to take his place alongside his brothers at the mill, but his brother Kyle is not happy to see him and sends him to help his fiance, Evelyn Tucker, run her father’s livery. Radford reluctantly agrees to help Evelyn at the livery, and begins to develop feelings for her.
Why I read this book:
The story appealed to me in so many ways:
The setting: it’s set in the US after the Civil War, which was a nice change of pace from the Regency ballroom type historicals I usually read
The hero: two words -- tortured hero
The heroine: she’s not your typical heroine -- she wears boots and breeches and runs her father’s livery
The romance set-up/conflict: the heroine is the fiance of the hero’s brother.
What I liked:
Radford and Evelyn were such well-drawn characters and their emotional journey felt really authentic. From the moment I read the description, I wanted to know how they could possibly get their HEA. Evelyn is Radford’s sister-in-law to be -- how could it possibly work out? The thing I love about romance novels is that you know there will be an HEA, so it’s all about how the author gets the characters there and this was a bumpy, but realistic ride and I was hooked from the first chapter.
What I also liked:
The secondary characters really added to this story. Radford has a four year old daughter and the relationship that develops between Rebecca and Evelyn is as important to the story as Radford and Evelyn’s relationship. I also loved the relationship between Evelyn and her father and his relationship with Radford and Rebecca.
I listened to the audio version of this book and I thought the narrator did an excellent job conveying the emotion needed for this story. She did a good job with the various voices too - she had to voice a variety of characters -- from a four year old little girl to a man who’d suffered a stroke and she pulled them all off quite well. There were a few areas where the pacing was off, but it didn’t take away from my enjoyment of the story.
If you’re looking for a well-written, emotionally rich historical romance with well-drawn characters you grow to really care about, and miss when you’re done reading, then I highly recommend this story.
I was offered a copy of the audio book by the author in exchange for an honest review.
This was a cute story, with likable characters and a nice romance. I loved the setting (an vet clinic and animal boarding facility) because the animals really added to the story. What I didn't like was hearing OVER AND OVER how hot the hero was. I got it the first time -- his arms/butt/chest were huge/hard/cut. Ugh. Over and over! I think it was something I would have skimmed over if I was just reading the book, but on audio it was hard to avoid. I still enjoyed the story enough to recommend it though!
I have really mixed feelings about this series. There are aspects to it that I like (the mysteries, some of the humor, Charley's interactions with the secondary characters) and some I don't (some of the humor, Reyes) and I don't know if I care about it enough to continue. Before I started it, I would have said I loved snarky characters, but after reading this, I'm rethinking that. It did have some laugh out loud moments, but mostly it was a "heh" not a true lol and there were a lot of parts where I thought the author was trying too hard to be funny; it didn't feel natural. I also don't like Reyes. He's a jerk and a bit too creepy/stalkery for my taste.
I feel like I'm missing something because everyone else I know who is reading it loves it.
The narration is great. Lorelei King does a great job with the different character voices.
I really loved this story. Nora Roberts writes such great characters, especially male characters, and she sure knows how to write brothers in a realistic way. I thought the romance between Beckett and Clare was very sweet and I loved Clare's kids, I know a lot of people didn't like all the details about the renovation of the inn, but I found it to be really interesting (of course I like to watch the tv show "This Old House," so I'm inclined to find that sort of thing interesting :)).
I wasn't crazy about the narration. I usually prefer female narrators, but MacLeod Andrews has such a great voice for the male characters, that I was able to forgive his not so great narration of the female characters and high pitched, screechy voices for the kids.
I really enjoyed this story. I liked the world Chloe Neill has created. I like the idea of the different vampire houses and watching Merit try to fit her very modern self into the very traditional world of the vampires was a lot of fun. I liked all the secondary characters too and I'm looking forward to continuing the series.
What I didn't like about this audio book was the narration. The narrator was not good at all. She read the book in a very boring manner and didn't do a good job of distinguishing the voices of the various characters. She often put the wrong emphasis on words which made the sentence either not make sense or just took me out of the story. She also pronounced some words incorrectly or in an exaggerated manner which was annoying and also made me notice that some words were used repeatedly by the author (something I probably wouldn't have noticed if I was reading the book). I really should have returned this audiobook and read the book instead -- I think I would have enjoyed the story event more. Needless to say, I will not be listening to the rest of this series!
This was a re-read for me and the second time around I still enjoyed it. The best part of the story was the romance. Linda Howard really knows how to write a believable "I can't stand you" to "I love you" romance. I liked the main characters a lot, but Daisy was so naive, it got to be ridiculous. Still a good listen, though not my favorite Linda Howard book.
I'm loving the adventure Deborah Harkness is taking us on in her All Souls' Trilogy. The visit to Elizabethan England was exciting and quite a learning experience. I loved the historical fiction/fantasy mash up of this book, though I felt like the middle dragged a bit and that there was more history and less plot progression than I would have liked. Overall, I really enjoyed this tale and can't wait to see what obstacles Diana and Matthew have to overcome next!
Jennifer Ikeda is a new favorite narrator. Her voices for the characters were wonderful and so distinctive. I never had any trouble telling the characters apart and it really felt like she was living the adventure along with the characters.
This was an enjoyable romance with a lot of funny moments. I wasn't super crazy about the main guy - he was a spoiled Hollywood star and was almost too spoiled to be likable, but I loved the main girl; she was smart, hilarious and didn't take any crap from the guy. I'd recommend the book if you want something light and funny. I also really liked the narrator. This is the first time I've listened to a book read by her and I'd definitely listen to another one.
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