Mary Balogh is always exquisite in her writing style. Her dialogue is very refined and flows beautifully. This book served as an introduction to the Huxtable family: eldest sister Margaret is beautiful and a nurturer, middle sister Vanessa is funny and plain, youngest sister Katherine is sweet and very pretty and their baby brother Stephen whom they are all looking after. The first book is the story of Vanessa and Lyndgate. They marry for convenience and then, this being a romance novel, fall in love. What I love about Balogh's characters is that they are flawed but very likeable and the siblings have a strong sense of loyalty and duty. What I found missing is the development of feelings between the 2 main characters. It lacked the depth of feelings that I found in Simply Love which was also about a couple marrying for convenience. I just felt that it was slightly rushed. I was also disappointed that Roz Landor was not the narrator. I just think she is the best for Regency Romance. Nevertheless, it was a good book and I can't wait to know what happens to the rest of the Huxtables, especially Meg and their cousin Con, the most complex and interesting character in the book. Of course, Mrs Balogh left him till the 5th and last book of the series. Get this one and the Simply series, you won't regret it.
After her last 2 books, I can say that SEP is back in the game. I did not like Glitter Baby because I did not like any of the characters. As for What I did for Love, well Julia Gibson destroyed it for me. While Anna Fields has left huge shoes to fill, I think Shannon Cochran did pretty good job. The characters were flawed but likeable, which is an SEP trademark. And yes, many aspects of the storyline have been rehashed in other books, but who cares, it is a sussessful formula and should be used multiple times. At least I can say this for myself, I always come back for a second serving of SEP's macho male character and headstrong damsel in distress any day. My only regret is that Lucy did not seem anything like the teenager she was and story B (an SEP trademark) was missing. Nevertheless, I loved the book, especially the culminating finale at the landfill.
I've read the 7 books of the highlander's series and this one (book 4) is by far my favorite. The plot is quite similar to "A Knight in Shining Armor" by Jude Deveraux (the hero was an English Lord who gets transported into the future rather than a Scottish Laird sleeping for 500 years), Ms Moning had a much better throught out and logical ending (if you accept the possibility of time travel). This book is so good I really wish they turn it into a movie. It had humor, spunk and sex appeal. I was somewhat disappointed that the author did not provide more details about Drustan's reaction to 21st centurie's every day things such as indoor plumbing, fridge, food, lights, etc. Jude Deveraux covered that part beautifully in her book to include a trip to the dentist and had her hero go nuts over modern electricity and chocolate ice cream. I enjoyed his time in the 16th century a lot more. My only complaint would be that Moning's heroine, a scientist nonetheless, would refer to potential lovers as "cherry pickers" (Yeeech! Who does that?). Overall, I truly loved this book and I enjoyed listening to it on audio. The narrator, Phil Gigante, does an amazing job playing MacKeltar with his sexy voice and brings the highlander men to life like no other. If you like this book, make sure you read Deveraux's "A Knight in Shining Armor" as well. From this series, "Dark Highlander", the story of Daegus is a must read after this one. It is equally good. As a matter of fact, you'll pretty much get hooked and get them all, but you should read the last 4 books of the series in order. Thank you Karen Moning for this gift.
Whenever a Susan Mallery book is added on audible, it is an automatic buy for me. I don't even bother to read the preview and I'm never disappointed. This is book 1 of the Lone Star sisters series and is about the 3 daughters of a Texan Tycoon. Lexi is deseperately trying to figure out a solution to a business loan that was called in. She runs into an old flame Cruz Rodriguez who offers to barter with her: Her connections to Texan high society and a fake engagement with an expiration date in exchange for the money she needs. As soon as these two seal the deal, the sparks fly, emotions run haywire and old feelings resurface. The narrator was excellent and I look forward to the next books in the series. I'm hoping that Susan will have a book for Dana, my favorite character.
I have read all of Susan Mallery's past series and enjoyed them tremendously. This one started well with book 1, but book 2 has been a let down, starting mainly with the female character Skye. Her weakness, self pity and inability to stand up to her dad were way off the charts. Also, the author expected too much out of her readers this time.
1. We have to accept that an 18 year old could be pushed by her father into marrying a stranger even though she's in love with another, but to be allowing herself to be bullied into it again at age 30 because god forbid daddy won't love me anymore, pleeeaaase!!
2. We're expected to like her dead husband, a man who married his friend's teenage daughter, yeech!
3. The 2 sisters dating and fighting over the same guy was absolutely distasteful.
4. Skye's character of peacemaker in book1 became disturbingly unreasonable and silly in book 2.
Two things saved this book: Skye's little girl, really sweet kid that you cannot help but love her and Mich's struglle with his disability and loss. In my opinion, Mich let Skye off the hook way too easily and she was not worthy of him. For Susan Mallery, this book was just tolerable. I really hope she'll get her mojo back in book 3.
This was a suprisingly good book, witty, funny, and oh, very sensual. I really enjoyed it. The narrator was excellent. Her nasal rendition of the bad guy, cousin Phil, was awesome. Eliza is basically shopping for a husband after she inherits her aunt's fortune. Her friend Violet enlists her brother-in-law Kit to help coach Eliza in her first season as an eligible heiress within the ton. The fact that Eliza is secretly in love with Kit and that Kit can't see love if it hits him over the head makes for a funny and frustrating situation for everyone involved. I wanted to wring Kit's neck sometimes. Very enjoyable story, light and fun. I am now looking for the other books in the series. If only audible would add them to its list.
This is the 4th book in the series and is Stephen's story. We were introduced to Stephen in the first book when he inherited the title of Earl of Merton at the age of 16. We watched him grow in book 2 and 3. This is his story and happy ending. In a strike of genius, Mrs Balogh has interconnected the Huxtable stories in a very unique way:
Book 1 - Vanessa proposes marriage to Elliott when they were pratically strangers
Book2 - Catherine is seduced by Jasper on their first encounter
Book 3 - Meg challenges Duncan to make her fall in love with him
And finally, in book 4, Cassandra offers to be Stephen's mistress on their first interaction. A little reverse psychology by Mrs Balogh!
Cassandra is the female version of Duncan, self sacrificing, compassionate and unjustly shunned by society. Her battered past turned her into a cynic about love. Desperate to survive and protect her female dependents, she decides to offer herself to Stephen as a mistress. Little did she know that if the Huxtables are about one thing, is their optimism and belief in love and family. Stephen and Cassy engage in a sexual relationship too soon, but it takes them on a journey where both earn the title of "angel". Book 4 was just as good as book 3 as this author never disappoints. The story comes full circle and ends with the same scene book 1 started with: Con talking to the soul of his dead brother in the graveyard. I emailed Mrs Balogh (isn't she the coolest author) and she informed me that Con's story "Taming the Devil" is due out June 2010. I just can't wait.
The first 2 books of the series dealt with the stories of the 2 Huxtable sisters: Katherine and Vanessa. We've also been introduced to the eldest sister Margaret (Meg) who sacrificed her happiness to fulfill a promise she made on her father's deathbed when she was only 17 years old to raise her brother and sisters until they reached maturity. As a result, she tells her sweetheart at the time, Crispin Dew, that she will wait for him to return to her when he finishes his military service, only to find out accidentally that he married someone else and did not even bother to inform her himself. Book 3 is Meg's story and I am delighted to say (after giving 3 stars to the last book) that it has been the best one in the series so far. Duncan was a great match for the self sacrificing, compassionate, honorable and level headed Meg. He was also a cynic who no longer believed in love but was seeking to marry out of necessity. Their first exchange is one of the highlights of the book and carries Mrs Balogh's traditional signature humor and sarcasm. The main theme of their story was trust and being faithful to one's conscience in my opinion. This book featured what I have always expected of Mrs Balogh: humor, exquisite dialogue, sarcasm and lots of heart. The 2 villains were somewhat one dimensional, but the secondary characters (grandfather, Duncan's mom, Sir Ingraham and Tobby) were very likeable and had a lot of depth to them. Stephen has also matured in this book and we are obviously being prepped for his upcoming story. Yet, I cannot wait for Constantine's book because he is the most complex character in the series. If you are reading Mrs Balogh, please give us Con's story. To audible listeners, download this book and enjoy. You won't be disappointed.
When I finished listening to "Hot and Bothered", I immediately downloaded this book to see what happens to PJ and Jared. In the first book, PJ was a proud teenager, full of sass yet with a vulnerability that tugged at my heart. I loved her and could not wait to listen to her story. I have to admit that I did not like her as much as an adult, especially at the beginning. She treated Jared dismally despite what they had shared, not caring if he freezes to death when he was just doing his job. The story picked up halfway through the book, but it lacked the sweetness and humor that made me love the first book "Hot and Bothered" and give it 5 stars. This one fell short for me unfortunately.
Victoria's father is murdered and her teenage brother is a suspect. She hires a private detective to locate her brother and clear his name only to come face to face with the man she spent an unforgettable week with 6 years ago which resulted in making her a single mom. The 5 year old Esmay was a hoot and I just loved watching father and daughter discover each other. I laughed out loud at the Racoon Ants Mission and the barbie platoon. The secondary story between her brother Jared and his side-kick Priscilla is very sweet and I have already downloaded Andersen's second book for this series "Coming Undone" to find out what happens to them when they meet again as adults. This was my first read for this author and I am now a fan. The book is fast paced with good character development and witty dialogue. I highly recommend it.
Let me count the ways. This is my 2nd read/listen for this author and definitely my last. The only way I was able to go through it was by putting it on fast settings. The pace of her stories are just too slow for me, the characters are selfish and don't draw me in. This one in particular was distasteful to me because I felt she was too preachy and one sided with her social commentary and views on immigration. By the 1st chapter, I got it illegal immigrants are "undocumented" and "have done nothing wrong", "except went to work every day". A LEGAL immigrant myself, I will leave a debate about those who breach our country's immigration laws for another forum, I will just say that the premise of the story was completely unrealistic. A woman who lived here all her life, got married, divorced, gave birth, and worked, yet never had to show proof of residence in the US; has no mexican citizenship, yet gets deported to Mexico; gets detained, without her son being allowed to see her or talk to her over the phone; this is not how the system works and I have personally been through the system myself. I also could not stand that little boy who was just annoyingly selfish and rude to his dad. I had a similar opinion after reading "Table For 5" which took half the book to get us through one day of the story. Never again.
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