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review SPOILER ALERT! 2018-12-25 01:46
To Love a Dark Lord
To Love a Dark Lord - Anne Stuart

My reviews are honest & they contain spoilers. For more, visit:


After meaning to read her books for better of part of this decade, I’m finally on a Anne Stuart roll! I’ve read more books by her this year than ever before!! LOL I can honestly say that there’s something addictive about her writing that makes you read on even if you think this maybe isn’t going to work for you in the end. To Love a Dark Lord was one of those books. I’m very VERY torn about this book as it left me with such ambivalent feelings that I don’t even know where to begin. But I’ll try my best...


To Love a Dark Lord is a standalone dark historical romance set in the Georgian period, more specifically 1775. The story is kind of thrust on your face the moment we find our heroine had just murdered her lecherous uncle, trying to save herself from being violated. Yep, Emma did just that and was promptly saved (her reputation) by our hero, James Killoran, an Earl, within the first few pages of the book. But that was only the beginning of the total mindf*ckery that was this book. Boy, I wish I knew what I was getting into!

After Emma is saved, we learn a bit more about her background from her monologues. That was after she went to thank Killoran for saving her and came away hurt because of his glib reply that practically screamed ‘Yeah whatever. Now shoo!’. Emma became orphan at an early age and been living with her uncle Horace and his daughter Miriam for the past 7/8 yrs since then. Horace was related to Emma by marriage, meaning he was her maternal aunt’s husband. Miriam is in her 40s, a rigid spinster who is also zealously religious and made Emma’s life hell for as long as she could remember. She’d basically lived the life of an unpaid servant, practically hidden away from the world. She couldn’t even go outside without a chaperone and full veil! All because Emma was tall, voluptuous and had a head full of red hair. To Cousin Miriam she was sin incarnate and needed to repent for her invisible sins at least a few times a day. Then there was Horace’s pursuit of her that Emma had to dodge every day. Miriam, of course, always blamed it on Emma’s ‘sinful’ looks and all that. *eyeroll* Emma was fed up and equally miserable but she could see no way out. She had money that she inherited from her father but both Horace and Miriam had their death grip on that and Emma knew she’d never be able to pry a single penny out of them unless she could find some help.

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review 2018-11-09 16:15
Lord of Danger
Lord of Danger (Mills & Boon M&B) (Mills & Boon Special Releases) - Anne Stuart

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Lord of Danger was another Anne Stuart book that intrigued me when I read the blurb. I dived into it not really reading too many reviews, but I had heard of it before being one of her classic HRs. My first attempt at her big backlist wasn’t very successful. Didn’t like that book much but I was enough ensnared into the magic of her writing that I wanted to read more. And man was I struck surprised by this one! Lord of Danger, simply put, just worked for me. So marvelously that... ah!

I’m a big fan of well-written medieval romances doesn’t matter whether the hero is a big, grumpy oaf in need of some loving or a straight bad boy who likes to hide away his heart of gold because he feels vulnerable to expose that part of him to the world. Our H, Simon of Navarre falls under the latter category. And though I’m not always fond of bad boy rakes, sometimes even I have to give in and admit defeat to his mastery. I can only say that I don’t blame Alys for falling for Simon.

Alys and her younger sister, Claire, had been living with nuns since they were young. Both born on the wrong side of the blanket so their only eldest half-brother, the legit heir to everything Richard the Fair, send them to the convent. Alys was barely a few yrs old when she was tore away from her ill and dying mother’s arms, never to see her again. I don’t really know much about Claire, only that her mother was either a prostitute or a tavern maid who abandoned her after she was born. Well, yep, their father was a piece of work who couldn’t keep it in his pants. Who knows how many of his bastards roamed all over England! Richard has duly, and may I say proudly(?), followed his father’s tradition in that regard. -_- Both Alys and Claire were much younger than him so when his father cocked up his toes, he banished them ASAP not wanting brats underfoot.

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review 2018-10-20 16:12
Hidden Honor
Hidden Honor (Mira) - Anne Stuart

3.5 stars. After reading and LOVING Lord of Danger, I was looking for another medieval romance by Anne Stuart and came across Hidden Honor. But this one didn't give me the same feeling as Lord of Danger, nowhere near it TBH. So there'll be no full review for this one.

Peter, our H, is a monk who went to Crusade. He was a normal knight before that, but now atoning for his sins done during Crusade. And for that reason he'd taken vows for the strictest order of monks he could find. It intrigued me to know that the H was a monk cause I don't think I read another book where the hero was one. Now Peter, alongside a coterie of King's men disguised as monks, were accompanying a bastard prince to a monastery to be cleaned off of his latest sins. Peter was disguised as the Prince himself, while the Prince was masquerading as one of the monks. This Prince really was quite a piece of work. A cruel, sadistic POS, his history with Peter during Crusade comes to life later in the story, which also explained why there was so much enmity between them which was palpable even to someone like our h, Elizabeth.

At any case, I liked Peter and thought he was a hot monk. He actually was a very sexually active man, but since his return from the Crusade he'd been celibate. On that one regard, I agreed with Elizabeth. But for the most part I could never connect with her. She was quite young and impulsive. But what frustrated me most about her was that, though I didn't think she was horribly dimwitted or something, most of the times her confidence was utterly misguided. Misplaced even. Which did make me facepalm a few times. It led to some contrived misunderstandings between her and Peter that could've been avoided otherwise IMO. It might have to do with the fact that she grew up largely sheltered and had no idea of the horrors that lay on the outside world. Whatever is the case, I had a difficult time with her and I thought she wasn't a good match for Peter. He needed someone more matured, even worldly. Maybe even someone like Dame Joanna.


With Joanna, comes the part of the story that I actually loved. It was the secondary romance between Joanna, who was a courtesan and Peter's cousin Adrian, who was a knight. He was one of the men accompanying the Prince and they met while staying at one of the castles where Joanna was the mistress to one of the lords. I really wished the author wrote more pages on them rather then Elizabeth's shenanigans. I still don't know why exactly Peter was so attracted to her. :/ I don't want to sound harsh but it must've been that aforementioned celibacy. -_-

Overall, though I liked the story because it kept me hooked, it wasn't a favorite of mine by Anne Stuart. But I'll continue to check through her backlist for my next favorite. :)

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review 2018-07-12 03:45
Crazy Like A Fox (Louisiana) (Born in the USA) - Anne Stuart

 

Hmm. I found myself wondering near the beginning what sorts of jobs the h was applying for. Supposedly she was working on her graduate studies in reproductive biology when she found herself widowed and having to drop out. I would think at the state of desperation she seemed to be, she'd look at waitressing jobs at diners or something. Instead, she's living out of her car, with a 9 year old daughter, and broke.

 

Then there's the motel - what sort can you get where you could stay in for $30-40 bucks? Granted, this book was written in 1990.

 

So she contacts her late husband's grandmother, and ends up in Louisiana where she finds herself pursued by one cousin, falling for another... and supposedly that one is a homicidal maniac...

 

Except that the homicidal maniac isn't, and the dullard lawyer cousin...is mentally disturbed and nobody knows. Weird. Because usually there's some sign somewhere...

Of course everyone figures all this out at the end when mild mannered lawyer tries to kill her - after calling the police - to set up a scene so his cousin will be incarcerated or executed. Grandmere asks him why he tried to kill his cousin...and he confesses to it all.

Heroine - justifiably anxious to escape. Too bad the mild mannered lawyer's grabbiness didn't make her wary of him. She continued being wary of the wrong one.

 

Hero - well, I guess being locked in the attic - sortof - beats being executed. Fortunately, his cousin's confession exonerated him, otherwise there would be no romance.

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review 2018-07-03 01:03
The Unfortunate Miss Fortunes
The Unfortunate Miss Fortunes - Anne Stuart,Jennifer Crusie,Eileen Dreyer

I read this years ago, long before my vow to write something about every book I read; likely just after joining GoodReads back in the halcyon days when the site was actually fun, but I was still too nervous to write anything.  I loved it, as is evident by the 5 star rating I gave it back then (and I'm keeping for posterity's sake).  Sunday I was feeling slumpy and needed something easy, and since I've always wanted to go back and write something about all the early books, a re-read of this accomplished two goals.

 

3 sisters with powerful magic, hiding from the Aunt that killed their parents while stealing their powers.  A fabulously evil Aunt determined to get the sisters to surrender their powers to her, who attempts to bribe them all by sending them their soul mates; or in one case, a reasonable facsimile thereof.  A showdown in a small town whose residents are obviously deaf, dumb and blind in the extreme.  Heaps of humor, sass, girl power and HEA's.  An absolutely awesome, awesome cat name Pywackt.  

 

I didn't expect it to stand up very well over time.  I love a few of Crusie's non-paranormal titles to death, but she's not a consistent writer, her paranormal stuff tends to be over the top, and I remembered this being more romance than chick-lit (fine line, I know).  But it did stand up rather well.  It's not one of Crusie's best by a long shot - although it's really one 1/3 hers anyway, as she co-wrote it with 2 other authors: Eileen Dreyer and Anne Stuart, neither of whom I know anything about - but it's fun without being flaky or formulaic.  The humor stands up, and there are a few sex scenes which I'd forgotten about that are far steamier than Crusie's other works (making me think that perhaps those scenes represent some of Dreyer and Stuart's contributions).

 

All in all still a great read when you're in the mood for a literary rom-com.

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