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review SPOILER ALERT! 2017-09-23 03:19
The Spinster and the Rake
The Spinster and the Rake - Anne Stuart

My review contains spoilers and they're mostly my thoughts...

I’ve read and heard many good things about Anne Stuart’s books over the years, which definitely made me wanna read her books. But hers is such a daunting backlist that I wasn’t sure where to freakin’ start! Until recently, I, kind of on a whim, bought one of her latest reissue of an oldie called The Spinster and the Rake. The straight-forward title intrigued me and I liked the blurb cause spinsters and wallflowers are my favorites (by now, I’d be called both if I was living in that era :P). Rakes aren’t my favorite by any stretch of the word BUT an author can make me fall unquestionably in love with one. It has happened so I still take chances on them.

I read Anne Stuart’s rakes are moody and broody… sometimes seriously bad. Something told me she knows what she’s doing, so I went with that instinct and wanted to find out what havoc this latest rake in is wrecking. ;) Our hero, Ronan Blakely, the newly minted Marquess of Herrington, used to be what you’d call the proverbial ‘blacksheep’ of his family. His womanizing was so bad, at one point, when he tried to be off with a married woman someone had to step in. He was made to leave the country at the age of 22. Since then he’s had his share of fun in various European countries including France and Italy (latter is my assumption but no doubt he’s visited many other places too). He was not in the line of any succession but fate worked his way, and he’s back to the bosom of le bon Ton with a new title, and more money than he could possibly know what to do with. After 20 yrs., even with more than a few gray hairs peeking, Ronan Blakely is still as dashing and as devastating as he used to be at 22. And he knows just what to do with all he’s got; open a gambling club with the money and use his suave charm to operate it. Oooh, did anyone say Derek Craven? *imagine heart-eyes here*

But I digress... Let’s talk about our h.

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text 2017-07-11 22:05
The Spinster and the Rake by Anne Stuart $1.99
The Spinster and the Rake - Anne Stuart

The Spinster: As a maiden aunt, Gillian Redfern lives as an unpaid servant to her demanding family. Little wonder she finds the attentions of a rake distracting, and even less wonder that her usual good sense begins to unravel when Lord Marlow takes her in his arms.

The Rake: Ronan Patrick Blakely, Lord Marlow, is a man of great charm and little moral character, a gambler, a womanizer, and handsome as sin to boot. He has no qualms about placing a wager on the virtue of one small, shy spinster.

But Lord Marlow is about to discover that Miss Redfern is more siren than spinster. She amuses him, arouses him, and, much to his dismay, makes him a better man. Gillian will discover, in turn, that Lord Marlow possesses the power to turn her into a very wicked woman. The rake and the spinster are poised to find a love that neither could have imagined.

If only someone weren't out to destroy them both . . .

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review 2017-06-30 23:05
Falling Angel (Harlequin American Romance) - Anne Stuart

I was moved to hunt down a pair of Levis to see where that silly tag is located - inner right cheek pocket. Artist put it on the outside of the left cheek pocket. Also, based on this story, I doubt the h would have owned a pair of Levis - too expensive.

 

I actually read this one three times - once out of curiosity when I pulled it from the bin to the anticipation spot, once when I deliberately left the book I'd started in the living room so I wouldn't be tempted to read and stay up too late (so much for that, huh?) and finally, when I actually read it.

 

So why the 3 stars? Let's just say that in a less capable author's hand, it likely would have been DNFed.

 

Ok.
The H is dead - no really - and is in what amounts to purgatory, waiting for...something. It was unclear but I guess he needed to give them a reason to move him on. He gets sent back into a new body, and I have this mental image of the NSA going apeshit about a truck magically appearing in the middle of nowhere (ALIENS!!). It's either that or he's possessing someone else's body. He's charged with fixing 3 lives he ruined in his previous existence. The h is obvious, the family who he ends up boarding with is the second, and there's some kid whose issues are indirectly his fault. It's odd that he never really goes back to his old habits. His new body is preprogrammed to be a carpenter...from Boston...that finds itself in bumblefartnowhereville Minnesota

 

The h wears a hairshirt made of...I dunno...porcupine quills, poison ivy, and doghair from some wirecoated critter. She got on my nerves so bad... See, she was a dancer, went to college and studied dance (uh...that's all?), took off to NY - as you do - to show off her talents, only to fail miserably and rather than come home, get a job as a secretary...with the H as her employer. She falls for him because she's sure she can fix him (uh oh), and because she's naive and has no clue what he really does, offers up the one company in her home town for his expertise. Then she catches him drunk, sleeps with him, discovers the next day that he'd closed the company after gutting it for its equipment, also discovers she's fired (because he doesn't sleep with the help - one point in his favor I suppose) and storms out in front of a taxi. Now she's running herself into the ground, in penance, refusing help. Because it's all her fault you see. Too wrapped up in her martyrdom to see that her behavior is causing her friends and neighbors distress. Oh, she's aware of it, but if anything, frustrated because they keep worrying. Well dear, if you don't want them worrying about you, make an effort to take care of yourself.

 

Things that bug me - and this isn't unique to this book - why does everyone with a bit of talent run off to NY in hopes of being discovered? All larger cities, and quite a few smaller ones, have centers for performing arts.

 

Why, upon discovering you aren't as good as you thought you were, would you remain in a city like that? See above - smaller pond = greater chance of success.

 

Secretary? Really?! Doesn't that require at least some clerical skills? Typing at the very least. He thought of her as incompetent. Was she hunting and pecking? She said she'd focussed so much on her dancing she hadn't learned any other skills. Uh...

 

And yet, she sells quilts. That's a skill. Why, with that in mind, didn't she apply at an alteration shop? Or as a waitress or sales clerk...see, these sorts of jobs would make sense. A secretary, not so much.

 

And yet, it was very readable, mostly because we were in his mixed up noggin most of the time.

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review 2017-03-23 06:08
Good Story and Characters
The Spinster and the Rake - Anne Stuart

Gillian/Gilly is a spinster and spends much of her time babysitting for her brother or sister  and going between their homes.  One day she was on the way to her brothers and she had an accident and was saved by a rake -Roman Marlowe. Roman is entertained by Gilly whom he thought was some sort of servant. Then he finds out she is the sister of an old enemy. Roman is the Marquise of Herrington and had been away for twenty years. But his past sins were forgiven now with his title. He had left England in scandal as he had tried to run off with Gilly’s sister in law twenty years ago. So then Roman is bet by Vivian he cannot seduce Gilly and Roman accepts the bet. Marlowe is not as he seems, he is actually nice and not hard to like. Gilly falls for Marlowe and Marlowe for her but he cannot offer her marriage. Roman thought he was married all along.

I  liked this story a lot but did have some confusion on the writing but got through it. I enjoyed the play between Roman and Gilly. I liked how he treated her also. Sometimes I even had to go back and reread to figure out who was talking or POV or doing the thinking but I still wanted to finish this story so I did. It did hold my attention so that helped with the little annoyances I found. This had a good plot and was just a good read for the most part. I love the characters and the ins and outs of this story and I recommend.

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text 2017-03-06 17:54
Hmm...Out of Print ones from Anne Stuart now in ebook
Anne Stuart's Out-Of-Print Gems - Anne Stuart

Thought I saw some buddies reading some Anne Stuart books (buddy reads and/or BINGO?).  This one jus added to my public library overdrive ebook loans.  It contains:

 Night of the PhantomOne More ValentineCindermanThe Soldier and the Baby, and 

 Wild Thing.

 

 

 

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