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review 2017-09-11 16:33
Lady Charlotte's First Love by Anna Bradley
Lady Charlotte's First Love - Anna Bradley

***ARC provided by publisher through NetGalley***

Julian West returns to London on a hero's welcome and reputation, but he feels a fraud. There's nothing heroic in him, since he left his friend to die in the field. He intends to stay in London just long enough to fulfill his obligation, but his cousin's wife's request proves to be yet another obligation.

Eleanor's younger sister, Charlotte, the one who stole Julian's heart and broke it a year ago, is going through a scandalous phase now that she's out of mourning for her husband, and Ellie and Cam need Julian to curb her impulses. Julian owes Ellie, so he's willing to do anything to repay the debt he feels toward her, so he agrees, knowing that Charlotte's spell won't work on him twice. He's no longer the man she knew...But the first time he lays eyes on her after the year spent apart, Julian realizes, Charlotte is no longer the woman he fell in love with.


Charlotte and Julian's story, this story, is a perfect example of how a single decision can change one of multiple lives and futures.

In the previous book Julian first seduced Charlotte, then she seduced him, they both fell in love, but Charlotte suddenly found out Julian's true role in his cousin's scheme, and, cutting all communications, married another. She sent word of her nuptials to Julian on the day of her wedding, and he went off to war...Charlotte's husband died mere four months after the wedding, and his death, and everything that followed, changed her. Julian had also been changed in the battlefield and its aftermath...Their decisions, spurred by the misunderstanding and lack of trust, shaped them, changed their lives, and their characters.
But in the end, once it all worked out, once these two idiots actually talked to each other without the barriers of resentment, anger, hurt, and betrayal, it turned out the change wasn't that big at all; their new personas were just masks they hid behind, afraid to show their true self with all their flaws. And they ended up being the only ones who could look and actually see behind the other's mask.

This wasn't an easy story to read. It wasn't happy, it wasn't funny, it wasn't carefree. Far from it. It was dark, troubled, angsty, and turbulent. And I loved every single, dark, moody moment of it.
I didn't particularly care for either the protagonists' behavior; the antagonism was grating, especially since I knew their history and what was beneath their animosity. What bothered me the most was Charlotte's blasé attitude toward what her behavior meant for her family and her seemingly complete disregard for her sister's feelings. Yes, she didn't know what she wanted, she felt she deserved to be punished, but I don't understand why she felt her sister needed to be punished as well.
Oh well. She and her reasoning was off, I guess.
Julian, as he hero, was no better, hiding behind his icy veneer, blaming the "vast blackness" inside him for snapping at Charlotte, when it was obvious it all stemmed from his hurt feelings.

These two were so wrong for each other, especially in their initial states of mind, they were absolutely perfect for each other. A match made in dysfunctional Heaven, if you like, and I enjoyed every single bruising, hurtful moment they spent together.
Because I just wanted for them to figure it out, work out whatever bothered them individually and about each other, I wanted the truth to come out, and I wanted the blasted conflict to end. Which would've if they actually talked, communicated.
I usually hate these types of conflicts that stem from miscommunications, but I found myself enjoying this one, looking forward to each scene, each tidbit of truth that was revealed, because as dysfunctional a pair these two were, despite me not approving of all their choices and behavior, I was invested in these two characters.

Which just goes to show, what a great author Anna Bradley is for creating these two heavily layered, flawed, issue-laden characters, enveloping them in a complex, dark, and angsty story, and still making them shine, showing what was beneath their veneer and mask, keeping me rooting for them, keeping my fingers crossed they don't make an even bigger mess of things...

I got my wish. I suffered, but it was worth it.

Damn, what a wonderful story!

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review 2017-04-18 21:19
Good Story and Characters
The Lady of the Lakes: The True Love Story of Sir Walter Scott - Josi S. Kilpack

Walter had a muse and her name was Mina she was also his future. Her family had traveled to  Edinburgh every winter since Walter had met Mina four years ago. Mina had been away for nearly six months during which Mina and Walter had only grown more attached to each other. Walter was a writer but his father didn’t believe that was good enough for a career for Walter. But with all the time apart save for their letters and his poetry she was apt to wonder at Walter’s devotion. Mina loves Walter’s romantic gestures but as she ages her feelings change. Now she is a woman and she can see the difference in their situation and temperaments. Her father wants Mina to allow another man to court her. Mina is torn between her conflicted desires , her family expectations and her feelings toward two different men.

I liked this story a lot. It seemed very realistic to me. It was fascinating to see a fiction story about Sir Walter Scott. Walter was a real person not just a fictional character. It was interesting to learn more about  Sir Walter. This was the story of Walter’s one true love. I did enjoy a lot. I loved the characters and the ins and outs of this story and I recommend.

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review 2016-09-02 05:07
Forever and a Knight - Bridget Essex

I absolutely adored the first book in the series (A Knight To Remember). So when this book came about, I couldn't wait to read it! Needless to say I was not at all disappointed with the second installment. I loved how different this couple was from the first, which to me showed how well the author is at creating an array of characters. Whereas the first book had the love interest coming into the world, in this book it's reversed with the protagonist entering. Being able to see more of this world, the author has created was a pure delight. It left me wanting to know more and eager to read the other installments in the series thus far. If you like women in armor, time travel, and a good love story give this book a go. You won't regret it!

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review 2016-02-06 17:15
Review: His Lady Peregrine (The Love Birds #5) by Ruth J. Hartman
His Lady Peregrine (The Love Birds Series Book 5) - Ruth J. Hartman

This story started out so promising, but an awful love triangle derailed it. What I did like about the story was that it featured two older characters as the love interests; Lady Ollerton was 42 and a widow of very limited means (she had a maid that stayed with her for room and board in lieu of wages) other than her title. Mr. Radcliff was 51 and wealthy but living with his nephew and his wife (a couple from another book in the series). Their shared love and knowledge of birds was quirky, but made watching them fall in love fun.

 

Then came the stupid love triangle and the scheme of the dowager (mother of a hero from another book in the series) to have Radcliff for herself.  2 stars.

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text 2016-02-04 21:40
February 2016 Reading List
The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
Proof by Seduction (A Carhart Series Novel) (Entangled Edge) - Courtney Milan
Is It Just Me? - Miranda Hart
The Captain's Bluestocking Mistress - Erica Ridley
More Than A Governess - Jerrica Knight-Catania
The Lonely Soldier: The Private War of Women Serving in Iraq - Helen Benedict
The Lawyer's Luck: A Home to Milford College prequel novella - Piper Huguley,Piper Huguley
Lost in a Royal Kiss - Vanessa Kelly
An Improper Lady - Jane Godman
His Lady Peregrine (The Love Birds Series Book 5) - Ruth J. Hartman

This month's goal is to read and archive/delete those e-books that are 100 pages or less - Basically Short Month, Short Stories. A few full length books will be read to keep making progress on personal challenges and get the TBR pile down. This month also includes darling daughter's and darling son's birthdays (born two years and six days apart), their joint birthday party, a trip to see Motown the Musical, and the binge watching of the final season of Downton Abbey.

 

Courtney Milan Challenge

1. Proof of Seduction (Carhart Series #1)

 

Women in the Military Challenge

2. The Lonely Soldier by Helen Benedict

 

Non-Fiction Challenge

3. Is It Me? by Miranda Hart

4. The Johnstown Flood by David McCullough (I would just like to progress in this book)

 

From the Ballroom and Beyond: 9 Regency Box Set

5. More Than a Governess by Jerrica Knight-Catania

 

Classics Challenge

6. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath (53 years after first publication counts as "classic" right?)

 

The Great and Powerful TBR Pile

7. How to Catch a Wild Viscount by Tessa Dare

8. An Improper Lady by Jane Goodman

9. The Lullaby: Shania's Story by Lola Grace Stevens

10. The Lawyer's Luck by Piper Huguley

11. Lost in a Royal Kiss by Vanessa Kelly

12. Macaron Murder by Harper Lin

13. The Duchess of Love by Sally Mackenzie

14. Mail Order Misfit by Kristin Osbourne

15. Miss Amelia Lands a Duke by Sandy Raven

16. Twelfth Night by Deanna Raybourn

17. Claiming the Duchess by Sherry Thomas

18. Royally Ever After by Loretta Chase

19. The Captain's Bluestocking Mistress (Dukes of War #3) by Erica Ridley

20. His Lady Peregrine by Ruth J. Hartman

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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