Joan Bennet has endured four Seasons without a single suitor or serious flirtation, let alone a marriage proposal. She's had just about enough of being a respectable wallflower and is giving serious thought to embarking on a life of sin, or at least a lascivious adventure like the ones described in a popular scandalous book. When she meets her brother's favorite drinking mate, Viscount Burke, it seems her hopes of adventure might be answered . . . Tristan Burke doesn't want a wife, and one can't trifle with a friend's sister without risking marriage. Even more, Joan's the last sort of woman he would ever choose: Droll, sharp-witted, and always unfashionably dressed. If only he could stop thinking about her mouth. Or what she might look like without those horrid clothes. Or the way he can only win an argument with her by kissing her senseless . . . even though that just makes him want her more. But more could lead to a betrothal, which he fears - or does he?
©2013 P.F. Belsley (P)2013 Tantor
"The simplicity of Linden's plot is its strength, making the romance feel real and natural and allowing her great skill at characterization to take the weight of the story." (Publishers Weekly Starred Review)
I am a lover of books. I enjoy losing myself in a fabulous romance and great story plot.
I really liked the hero, green-eyed rake, Tristan, Lord Burke, just as much as the heroine, sweet spinster, Joan Bennett. It's a nice story, especially with the cute inserts of childhood scenes with Joan, her brother and his wild, hyper friend, Tristan.
As adults, I kept wondering why Joan was a spinster, but it was apparent she was misguided by her controlling mother who didn't know how to fit Joan in clothes that were flattering to her body type. In that era, they didn't have a guide for "how to fashion a bombshell/hour glass figure." I like how Tristan could see through the drab clothes, and still direct a laser focus on Joan as a woman….and that meant trouble (at least initially). Yet, their love developed as the simmering ingredients of a slow cooker. ..nothing fast, nothing hasty. But, when the love does come to a steamy boil, well it's naughty….I think Tristan tried to court Joan as a gentleman, but come on!!--He's a rogue & Joan loves that side of him.
There are a lot of conversations in this book, and at times, it was too much. The positive side is that, as a reader, you get to know the opinions of a lot of characters in close relation to the leads (if you like that kind of thing). But most importantly, the leads share a lot of experiences & you get the feel that they have built a solid foundation in their relationship--BUT, does all the incessant gab get tiring???--UM, yeah! -- Especially the large amount of internal dialogue from both leads. Yes, everyone is so freaken thoughtful..always thinking…haha.
One of the themes that seemed to surface in this book was something like…"it takes a village to stimulate a romance" LOL--- just because of the extensive support of friends and close family who all had a say or some type of part in this romance, along the way. I have to mention that I liked the circulation of the "50 ways to sin" pamphlet. It reminded me of how women in our day pass around "50 Shades of Grey"….too cute!
Narration: OK, overall I liked the narrator, but it was funny because on the sensual parts her voice seemed to move like a pendulum, rhythmic, soft voice & it kind of made me feel sleepy….LOL
Lastly, I thought it was sweet, but somewhat average.
I love Epic Fantasy....have become a Historical Romance fan because I am a sucker for a good Happily Ever After. Good characters are a must
there are parts of the book where Joan or Tristan either have conversations with each other or basically conversations with themselves (in their minds) some of these seemed to drag on a little longer than I was necessary.
I enjoyed the conversation (its not one of those that drug on) at the very end of the story. I also loved the part where Tristan shows Lady Courtney & Joan his house.
she doesn't have one of my favorite voices because she sounds a little bit older. She does have a great voice but I prefer a narrator with a slightly younger voice.
Yes...while some of the conversations drug on and I thought maybe I was starting to waste my time ..... it always seem like it instantly picked up again and I did enjoy the listen. I got it on sale and it is worth a sale liaten for sure.
I enjoyed Joan and I especially enjoyed Tristan. I did really enjoy lady courtney and was glad she was part of the book.I thought maybe the end of the book was kind of rushed I guess I was expecting a little bit more Details about the Happily Ever After...seemed like just as I couldn't put it doen...it was over!
...and they lived happily ever after.
This audiobooks is fine. The narrator didn't change her voice as much as I like when reading different characters and she stumbled a handful of times and they weren't edited out. Very odd, but the story did not suffer for it.
I very much like the author's writing style and her H/h.
Yes, it was fine.
I split it over 2 days, but it held my attention.
I could not make it past chapter two! The narration was atrocious! She hit my nerve with every word she spoke! This story I must read for myself!
A back to basics romance. Loved it!
If you like Sabrina Jeffries you will love this book
I actually had tears in my eyes a time or two!
Listening to books is the best. I love almost all genres, but romance is my favorite, and rom-com is my preference there.
Setting: London, England 1822 (after the prologue)
Narration: I have never listened to anything narrated by Veida Dehmlow. This performance wouldn't cause me to look up other books narrated by her, neither would I necessarily avoid a book she has performed. Oh wait, yes I would. Her voice was fine for the narrative, but not for differentiation of characters. You have to wait for the "character said" to know who is speaking. The book was mainly expressed by tone of voice, rather than changes in register, and most of it sounded effusive, so it was difficult to understand how the characters felt.
Story: Point of view was 3rd person, most of it expressed through the heroine, with sudden interjections of the hero's point of view. Joan Bennet is a 24 year old too tall and too round near-spinster. Her mother has her dressed in the latest fashion with all the attendant lace and flounces, but the style really doesn't look at all good on her. She has met Tristan Burke a couple of times in the past, but she meets him again while he's staying at her brother's bachelor quarters while his house is being renovated. He tells her that she looks like a half-open umbrella, or something to that effect.
I don't generally like books in which the hero & heroine have a combative relationship as plot device. I think the dialog was supposed to be witty and droll, but Joan came across as snarky and rude. For 3/4 of the book I got very irritated with her and the whole plot device of mutual dislike. Tristan came across as an adolescent who enjoys needling Joan to get a rise out of her. He refers to her, internally, as "the Fury". Anyway, the parents go to Bath for her mother's health and they leave the scandalous Aunt Evangeline as chaperone. Evangeline takes Joan to her dress maker for clothes more suited to her figure. Her brother, Douglas, has been tasked with overseeing construction on the country estate, so he leaves town as well. Douglas asks Tristan to look after Joan "as a brother would", dance with her a few times, go to tea, etc. (I get the impression that Douglas is asking more of Tristan than he would do himself). This is after her mother made Joan promise not to dance with Tristan. Mom seems to have an almost pathological dislike of the man because he is such a "bad influence" on Douglas. So, the whole story is "girl meets boy, girl hates boy, boy irritates girl, boy ruins girl, then they fall in love". The sex scenes are few and semi-graphic, but certainly not erotica.
Do not take the publisher's blurb about this book seriously. Joan is not seeking adventure beyond reading a scandalous pamphlet to which her parents object. She does not seek out Viscount Burke to teach her about the deeds described in said pamphlet.
Summation: I got it for $3.95, so it wasn't a terribly huge investment. It wasn't bad enough to make me quit within 3 chapters. But... If you don't have a lot of time for listening, you probably will want to skip this.
Kept waiting for something out of the ordinary to happen, and can't say it really ever did. The hero and heroine were likeable enough, there just wasn't much depth to the story. Love scenes were nice! But the only description I keep thinking for this book was 'average'. Could have developed a better story line, could have been more depth in secondary characters. There was a LOT of conversation. Seemed to hear the same conversation several times, first the original, then again as the character had to describe the whole thing to one of their friends. Overall I'm glad I got this on the 3.95 sale, I would not have wanted to spend a credit on this. Not sure I will get any others from this author, might have to listen to the sample first or read reviews carefully.
Fun book. The heroine is not typical, and one finds themselves cheering for her. The interaction between her and the hero is fun. Good read and a bargain because it was on sale!!
I recommend this very strongly. What a wonderful love story and heart stopping passionate scenes. This was my first book by Carolin Linden and will be looking out for more.
I thought this one was pretty fun. Feisty heroine and misunderstood hero. Best of all she is not a petite sweet thing. Nice to have a realistically bodied woman in the starring role for a change.
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