Tuesday, September 25, 2012

2 Oldie Reviews: An Offer from a Gentleman by Julia Quinn & Man of My Dreams by Johanna Lindsey - 5 Stars!

Hi all!

I’ve been reading so many YA lately that I found myself craving for some good old pure romance for a change, preferably historical. And finding these two books on my self, I decided to immerse in some oldies (published over 10 years ago) that quenched my thirst completely and unquestionably. They were nothing sort of pure awesome! I should dig up some older books more often.



Author: Julia Quinn
Series: Bridgertons #3
Release date: 3rd of July 2001
Imprint: Avon Books
Reading level: FICTION – ADULT: Romance, Historical
Pages: 358 in Paperback
Source: Bought from the Bookdepository
Summary:
Will she accept his offer before the clock strikes midnight?

Sophie Beckett never dreamed she'd be able to sneak into Lady Bridgerton's famed masquerade ball—or that "Prince Charming" would be waiting there for her! Though the daughter of an earl, Sophie has been relegated to the role of servant by her disdainful stepmother. But now, spinning in the strong arms of the debonair and devastatingly handsome Benedict Bridgerton, she feels like royalty. Alas, she knows all enchantments must end when the clock strikes midnight.

Who was that extraordinary woman? Ever since that magical night, a radiant vision in silver has blinded Benedict to the attractions of any other—except, perhaps this alluring and oddly familiar beauty dressed in housemaid's garb whom he feels compelled to rescue from a most disagreeable situation. He has sworn to find and wed his mystery miss, but this breathtaking maid makes him weak with wanting her. Yet, if he offers his heart, will Benedict sacrifice his only chance for a fairy tale love?
Review:
I love Cinderella’s fairy tale, it never gets old for me. Especially if the heroine isn’t your typical damsel in distress, but a woman who fights back, has personality and attitude, knows what she wants, stands her ground yet still remains vulnerable and needs aid due to unfavorable circumstances and nasty people – because you can’t always do EVERYthing by yourself. This is just what the book offered and more.
Honestly, I don’t have any accountable criticism for this book at all, I’m trying but nothing major comes to mind. So my only conclusion can be that this book is good...GOOD! The characters that you are supposed to like you find appealing, the ones you have to dislike you absolutely hate – there’s a good balance, the flow is nice, the scenes range from giddy fun to “you bastard/s“  to how romantic to I feel like crying-sad – something for all the basic emotions and still remaining great. My favorite scene was definitely the confrontation/rescue scene, it was awesome and I cheered with righteousness and loved how everything was resolved there. Great romance!
Characters:
I adored Sophie, she was just so sweet and brave with an actual backbone. She deserved everything that she got in the end and I rooted for her and cheered when all turned out more than perfect. She wasn’t an in-your-face heroine remaining more on the sweet and modest side but that made her a total darling in my eyes. She was soft on the outside but wow did she turn into incredibly steadfast when put face to face with propositions and situations that defied her beliefs. Standing by her realistic understanding of the rules of society, she didn’t make any slap-your-forehead silly and naïve choices, she had two feet on the ground regarding her position in the world.
Benedict was the perfect dashing charming compelling yet humorous and relatable hero with his own problems and insecurities despite his wealthy and loving family. With all his positive traits and inner issues and battles, which made him realistic, he was, overall, someone very easy to fall in love with. I only have a minor complaint regarding him, at times he remained too focused on his own needs and desires, wanting Sophie to be his mistress while still dreaming of his masked girl from the ball. But, all in all, he made up for all with his charm, care and final decisions.
Other characters: Benedict’s mother deserves an honorable mention as a woman who is determined to see her children married and happy as she had been, taking no chances and baring no shame in her actions. Sophie’s stepmother has earned a not so honorable mention, being a nasty, jealous, evil, conniving hag. Lady Whistledown was a great plot addition to the story, my interest was for sure piques and I’d love to read about the mystery of her identity. I haven’t checked but hope she already has a book out with her as the main characters, honestly, it would be too much of a waste if not, she’s seems sassy, opinionated, honest and perfect to have some gorgeous gentleman charm, seduce and make her fall in love with him. Maybe she’d have to write about herself in her column then. Benedict’s brothers and sisters were quite likeable to make acquaintance with their books as well.
Overall:

Absolutely loved it! Sweet, romantic, funny, a great main couple, Cinderella, etc. What’s not to like! I’m already planning to read the other books in the Bridgerton series, I expect them to be just as good as this (or even better if it’s actually realistically possible).


5 stars!







Series: Sherring Cross #1
Release date: 1st of June 1992
Imprint: Avon Books
Reading level: FICTION – ADULT: Romance, Historical
Pages: 432 in Paperback
Source: Bought from the Bookdepository 

Summary:


Wildly unpredictable, the most desirable beauty in the land, Megan Penworthy has set her amorous sights on Ambrose St. James, a man she has never met but has every intention of marrying. And no other suitor will satisfy her especially not the common, if uncommonly handsome, horse breeder, Devlin Jefferys.

Posing as lowborn Jefferys to escape a potentially fatal confrontation, Sir Ambrose is enthralled by the brazen, duke-hunting redhead. Without revealing his true identity, he vows to seduce and tame her, thereby foiling Megan's plans to marry the man of her dreams. But the notorious rogue never imagined the enchanting schemer would turn out to be the only woman he would ever dream of marrying.


Review:

A guilty pleasure of mine is the hidden identity romance, I guess it’s just exhilarating to read that a person falls in love despite the identity, focusing solely on the characters or time spent together, cutting out all social, prejudices, privileges, issues or others till what remains is the person inside. Well, this device isn’t always portrayed so clean and selfless as I imagine but I like it no less. Still, this book was exactly what I’d like to see from this plot device.

Other than this the book had passion, denying ones feelings, fights full of sparks flying – all this swirl of different emotions related to falling in love. For Megan and Devlin this wasn’t a simple road, but the more difficult it became the more exciting it was to read. The final destination, however, was more the satisfying because of the rocky path. The main couple made great warring sides with hearts to loose to the other. Fun, fun, fun!

Characters:

Oh, Megan could be a bratty, snarky, outspoken, over temperamental gal, but, honestly, that’s what I appreciated about her most of the time (she did go completely overboard on a couple of occasions though) because she wasn’t your typical proper lady and that personality of hers was the reason the banter, bickerings, rows she had with Devlin were as satisfying as they were. They created some heated arguments, constantly attacking and clashing without either admitting defeat or backing up. I have to admit that such constant animosity and uncertainty without just TALKING, usually, tends to get annoying, but in this book it was the opposite, I liked that Devlin and Megan were like the dog and cat. It was their actions and reactions that showed the reality or their feelings and that side was nicely portrayed. But, overall, regarding Megan, she was a brat but a lovable brat. I have to also mention that I liked the friendship between Megan and Tiffany and found the supposed “feud” and reveal of the truth between our heroine and Tiffany’s intended quite cute.

Devlin was an arrogant, know it all, control taking “horse breeder” whom Megan is appalled with (and unexplainably and irreversibly mesmerized and intrigued with) because of his non-servant-like behavior and most of all, his bold and unrelenting interest in her. Megan bought the worst out in Devlin or the best – the real him out of control – depending on the way you look at it. The slight glimpses we were given and described as a duke he was proper, polite and even stuffy, but having taken on the horse breeder role and meeting Megan, he couldn’t remain the same as before. Like Megan, he had is fair share of fault but again he was lovable under all that macho bossiness.

I bet there are already books centering around a couple of side characters met in this story: Lachlan, Freddy, etc, so I’m hoping to have time to check them out as well. Even tough I didn’t like Lachlan’s attitude, I like a guy who is positive till the end. Freddy also seemed a little too gullible but I’m convinced he’d make a charming hero.

I also have to mention that I found Sabrina and Marianne the lowest of low, they deserved a kick in the butt. Duchy was a great support, Tiffany a friend anyone would want, Mortimer a wise sidekick and Tyler awkwardly charming.

Overall:

An utterly satisfying historical romance read! Again, I’m already planning to read the other books in the series (the list grows and grows – will I ever see the light in the tunnel?). If you don’t want a straight-laced fall-in-love-and-declare-it-at-first-sight love story, then this book is definitely for you! I recommend.



5 stars!

LIIS


4 comments:

  1. Oh, I LOVE the Bridgerton books! They're all just as good as An Offer from a Gentleman. I hope you enjoy the rest of them! (also, pretty much ALL of her books are amazing)

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  2. An Offer from a Gentleman was the first book in the Bridgerton series that I read and it's still my favorite!

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  3. +JMJ+

    The Bridgerton series is fun because they're such a great family! I'd rank An Offer from a Gentleman close to the top of my list because of the faerie tale elements, but I'm actually not that satisfied with the ending. I think Sophie's affection and willingness to forgive Benedict let him "slide" too much. And I'd have to reread the novel to be sure, but I'd say it's really Violet Bridgerton who saves the day; Benedict just reaps the rewards--and that after not paying the same price as Sophie does.

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  4. Thanks for the feedback! I'm not surprised that it's the favorite of many, it's just plain cutness and sweetness and good old fairy tale romance. I just hope I can find the time to read the others in the series soon, I'm so overrun with good books I'd want to read, but no doubt I will enjoy the rest of the series.
    I think, from experience, that most historicals have the hero come out of many misunderstanding and misdeeds too unruffled, I guess it's the time element (the society being different) but I understand your point. Violet was a force in herself so I have no doubt she played a huge role :D Still, for me as shallow as it sounds, a happy ending is always a happy ending, unless the hero is a total shmuck of course :D

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