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)
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!!
Cute love story. A lady who is curvy and very ill dressed for her figure turns into a swan. Always good to read a feel good story and this certainly was one. Very entertaining.
Loving my life and hanging out with my four grandchildren!
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!
I enjoy historical, paranormal, and contemporary romance. Also steampunk, sci-fi, fantasy, suspense, and fiction. I'm open to about anything
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.
Love it, love it, love it!
Fabulous imperfect characters in a story not like every other. FABULOUS! I think this might be one of my all time favorites.... it would have to be to listen a third time with a narrator I usually avoid.
NARRATOR : I'm sorry, but Veida Dehmlow is not a narrator I usually tolerate well. Her characters tend to all sound too similar. Her tone never wavers, staying at a very slow soft almost monotonous whisper...
HEAT FACTOR: a very slow to simmer that truly heats up near the end.
I guess for a tame,Historical romance it was pretty good.It was very slow though getting to the few(& I mean FEW)good,juicy parts.Joan,the heroin in the book,sounded a bit naïve in the book for being 24 years old,& questioned everything like you would expect a 6 year old to do.Honestly I don't see how Lord Burk had the patience for her let alone want her to be his wife.She would drive a person crazy.
I think this is one of the best regency romances I've read yet. It wasn't melodramatic and there weren't any ridiculous villains. The plot developed their relationship at a reasonable pace, from sharp-tongued adversaries à la Taming of the Shrew to their outings, building up to their realizations of falling in love.
One thing I especially liked was that they didn't go to bed together early on, as happens in so many books with arranged marriages or scandals and whatnot only to have them build a relationship and fall in love later. And it didn't take one bit away from the heat and tension of the book - for one thing there was the serial she read which added some adult content. But also the author I thought crafted the scenes of them getting to know each other and built up to their passionate kiss with plenty of heat to tide over until they made love. I also appreciated Linden's use of language - the suggestive and explicit sections were tasteful, never struck me as crass in any way.
A great adventure with a good-hearted rake. Highly enjoyable.
The one bad thing I must say though, this narrator was sub-par at best. One of the worst dialogue-ists I have ever had to keep re listening to in order to understand. The basic narration was fine, but you could barely tell any character voices apart, and even when you could it was rarely consistent. There were instances were males and females in conversations swapped or even shared the same tone, leaving the reader to fend for themselves. Even worse, sometimes the rhythm and pauses were mis-done, causing phrases to run into each other that were separate thoughts and sections, even jumping to entirely new scenes with no discernible break in her reading. It felt off balance until you realized she must have started a new paragraph without even taking a beat or a breath when she finished a prior sentence. I still liked the story, but they need to record a better edition.
reviews for fun
It is amazing how, in some books, the two main characters are so quickly drawn to each other and how easily they are seduced. A confirmed rogue and a spinster (young by today standards) and the chase is on. A little humor in the dialogue with the two main characters in their banter. Is it love, or lust?
Theresa E. Grant
This is my first.
By all means. It would be great to follow more of this story.
This book is so boring. Except for a stolen kiss in the first half of the book, not much romance goes on in this book. There is no time given to any kind of scandals for either of them. I was really interested in this book at first, but by the second half, I was just ready for it to be over. There was no chemistry between the two of them at all. Narrator has a wet and sharp pronunciation. Keep your money!
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