Sunday, August 14, 2011
One Night in London: The Truth About the Duke by Caroline Linden
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
From Goodreads: A bargain that was all business . . . and pure passion.
Neither wealth nor beauty will help Lady Francesca Gordon win custody of her young niece Georgina, saving the girl from a cruel stepmother; she needs London’s top solicitor for that. But when Edward de Lacey, son of the powerful Duke of Durham, hires away the one man who can do the job, Francesca decides Edward himself must champion her case . . . if only she can melt the dashing lord’s stony heart.
Edward has reason to be guarded, though. London’s tabloids have just exposed a secret that could ruin his entire family. When Francesca offers a unique chance to undo the damage, Edward is forced to agree to a partnership . . . and now, each moment together feeds the flames of his scandalous longing for the passionate widow. But when Georgina disappears, fate will test them both . . . and leave their love hanging in the balance.
My Thoughts: I read the "intro" novella to this series, and was excited to see what the first book would offer. There were parts I really liked, but one thing that struck me was that the "mystery" that runs throughout the series was hardly a part of the story at all. Instead, the story really focused on Francesca and her search for her niece.
I liked the hero and heroine and the extended cast of characters. Edward is all he was raised to be, but has hidden depths (like and good hero). Francesca, who is strong, independent and not afraid to walk the edge of propriety at times, is fortunate enough to go beyond her initial opinion of Edward and see what more he has to offer. I liked seeing the two of them grow closer and come together, getting past a few obstacles in the way.
I never expected the "mystery" to be solved in the first book of the series, after all there are two more to come, but I did expect to get a bit more background or information on the old Duke and the potential scandal, perhaps a bit more to advance the story in the current time too. Needless to say, that makes me wonder what we'll find in Book 2, the youngest brother's story. All in all, the first book was a fun read.
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Linnette, The Lioness by Lavinia Kent
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
From Goodreads: Regency England just got real(ity)
Episode 2: The One with the Fake Baby
Rumors abound – everyone has heard that Linnette, the Dowager Duchess of Doveshire is pregnant. Beautiful, young, with more freedom than any respectable woman should want, Linnette is no stranger to a little gossip. But her friends can’t help her brave the fallout, because this time Linnette has done something naughty…
My Thoughts: Another of the Avon Impulse line of novellas, this is a quick read that continues Kent's "Real Duchesses" series. Having not read the first, I did feel as though I was missing out on some backstory, but it was manageable to keep moving forward.
For a novella, there was decent character development, but I think the biggest downside to not reading the first installment was learning about the characters. While a novella, since this is a series you learn a lot about each of the women more and more in each book I think.
This is a take on the separated lovers theme and it was interesting, I just didn't feel like I got enough of the story to really get into and feel for the characters. That's nothing to do with the story or writing, which are both good,but more to do with the novella format I think. However, if you have a short amount of time, this is an enjoyable, quick read, and I do look forward to reading the next in the series to see how it continues.
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Wednesday, August 10, 2011
I Love the Earl by Caroline Linden
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
From Goodreads: A single lady in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a suitor
Margaret de Lacey has accepted her unmarried state with dignity, if not delight. She had no suitors when she was young and starry-eyed, though regrettably poor, and it’s unlikely any man will court her now that she’s older, wiser, and still just as penniless. Until, that is, her brother unexpectedly inherits the dukedom of Durham and settles an enormous dowry on her, making her the most eligible heiress in town.
No gentleman in London is more in need of a wealthy bride than Rhys Corwen, Earl of Dowling. He contrives an introduction to Margaret because of her dowry, but she swiftly sets him right: no fortune hunter will win her heart or her hand. Far from put off, Rhys is intrigued. Interested. Entranced. And soon the only thing he needs more than Margaret’s fortune…is her love.
My Thoughts: For a novella, I found I enjoyed the story in this book. I think that's because it actually felt like there was a story, just condensed into under a 100 pages. A sort of prequel for Linden's upcoming series, the book introduces us to the Duke that causes the drama for his three sons (the heroes of the upcoming series). While we meet the newly titled Duke, the story focuses instead on his sister and her HEA. Linden did a nice job of telling a story in a condensed format that didn't feel like huge parts were missing or that it was completely rushed. More than that, I was left wondering about the Duke and his future, which is a great way to lead in to the next release. For a novella, an enjoyable read.
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Tuesday, August 9, 2011
My most recent project has been taking up most of my energy these past few months. I haven't been reading much at all, haven't been crafting, haven't been sewing. But it's ok, because it's well worth it...the newest member of the family is due January 1, and we're pretty excited here.
It's our first little one (not counting my adorable scarf model and fur-baby) so there's been lots of planning and thinking and just general enjoyment here and throughout the family. I'm feeling a bit more energetic and less nauseous than I was earlier in the pregnancy, but I still find it amazing at how quickly the energy can go and how much I truly can enjoy just sitting in the chair with my feet propped up doing absolutely nothing but staring into space. I figure I better enjoy it while I can. I'm hoping to start to get a little more crafty, but I'm playing that one by ear. After yesterday's appointment though, I need to start thinking of sewing some outfits for a sure-to-be-adorable little boy :)