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Showing posts from April, 2007

Not Quite a Lady / Loretta Chase. 2007

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I have no idea how many Regency-set novels I’ve read over the years. Hundreds and hundreds at least. So here’s to an author who can take a well-worn concept and put it in fresh prose, and make me laugh when she does it. Describing Almack’s on p. 18 we read, “…Almack’s Assembly Rooms, to which only the cream of Society was admitted—for the meritorious purpose, it seemed to her, of confining excruciating boredom to a small, select circle.” Such are the delights of reading a Loretta Chase novel. But it’s not just her way with words, it’s her way with characters, too. I always feel as if her characters are well-drawn; we understand who they are and what motivates them. Ms. Chase also understands the era she writes about and I think her characters are, for the most part, true to that era.
Not Quite a Lady is the 4th and final installment in her linked series of books about the Carsington brothers. I have to say that Mr. Impossible remains my favorite, but I liked this one a lot. It was both…

The Leopard Prince / Elizabeth Hoyt. 2007

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This is Elizabeth Hoyt's second book and for me it was as enjoyable as her first one, which was my favorite historical of 2006. Her first book used this device of telling a fairy tale, bit by bit as chapter introductions, that paralled the main story. This book had a fairy tale, too; I'd known that from the reviews I'd read, but I expected the structure to be the same as in The Raven Prince. Instead of chapter lead-ins, the fairy tale is embedded in the dialogue as Georgina tells the story to Harry. The book is full of witty dialogue, but it really sparkles in the places where the fairy tale is told. In addition to the theme of the fairy tale being a parallel to the story, Hoyt uses it to highlight Harry's logical, pragmatic character and Georgina's creative, romantic side. They're rather stereotypical male/female character traits that resonate because men and women often do approach stories very differently. And while the telling of the fairy tale is really a …

Paper pieced flowers

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I've been working on the pattern to the right and here are the flowers I've made so far. I decided to go ahead and use all 4 of the pattern papers that came in the packet and make 4 identical little quilts. I can think of 2 people right off the bat I want to give one to. I'm sure I'll come up with someone else for the last available one. I haven't worked much on them in the last week; there's been a lot of stuff to do, especially for PTA and church. And of course, this being the day before the tax filing deadline, I finally had to pay attention to our taxes. Finished those an hour ago. Gee, a whole day early. That'll explain why my April reading list is relatively short up to this point.

So, maybe I'll go read for awhile. It's too late in the evening to sew. Everyone else is asleep. And no baseball to listen to--Phillies were rained out.

Claiming the Courtesan / Anna Campbell. 2007

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Like quite a few others, I read this book this week because of all of the attention it has gotten recently in romance reading circles. I'd read enough spoilers that I knew what was coming. Oddly, I think that actually enhanced my reading because I took my time, made sure I read every word, and watched carefully for the clues that would make this improbable romance work. And for me it did work. No doubt spoilers follow, but since no one reads my blog, who cares?

It's hard to say something simple, such as "I liked this book" or "I didn't like this book." I'll say instead that I'm awfully glad I read it. Well written and carefully constructed, it caught and held me. It was not always easy to read, and as I got closer and closer to Kylemore's rape of Verity, I had to stop and put it down for awhile several times. Kylemore abducts Verity on p. 43. The 1st rape occurs on p. 128. That's 85 pages of rather tense build-up to what you know is the i…

Games of Command / Linnea Sinclair. 2007

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Just a quick word about this one which I finished over lunch today. I see that it's getting a lot of positive press in blog-land. While I enjoyed it, I wasn't bowled over by it the way I was with her Accidental Goddess, which I just loved. Still, it was a fun story with interesting characters. It had one of my favorite themes--a hero suffering unrequited love for years. And!* The hero was a virgin. That is such a rare thing in romanceland and I really applaud when I see it. Sigh. You could really feel his emotion and I liked the way he was written. Anyhow, this one had all the elements of a typical SF adventure. What brought it down for me was a sense that I was missing a lot of the backstory. I don't know if there's a prequel to this book or not, but there were numerous references to Tasha's past that are never explained. Plus we learn at the end that a very minor character is Brandon's brother. There's a story there, too. Finally, this also had an abrupt …

Voices of the Night / Lydia Joyce. 2007

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Lydia Joyce sure has a way with words. And once again she proves it with her latest book, Voices of the Night. I’ve enjoyed all of Lydia’s books. Her stories are a departure from typical historicals and feature unusual locations. This one was set in London, but not in the ordinary way. Our hero travels in the world of the ton, but our heroine most definitely doesn’t. This book gives us a look at both sides.

Maggie is an orphan with no last name. She’s known as Maggie of King Street, or Maggie King. She aspires to sing in the opera. It’s a chance for her to escape her past, and one man in particular. During an audition, she attracts the attention of Charles Crossham, Lord Edgington, who is looking for someone like Maggie whom he can turn into a lady and thus win a wager. This Pygmalian-like story includes fascinating lead characters, who are multi-dimensional and well fleshed out. They are attracted to one another from the start, and refreshingly do not dance around the issue. So there …