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Search tags: carla-kelly
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review 2017-11-29 03:48
Full of tongue-in-cheek wit
Beau Crusoe - Carla Kelly

She smiled, and James felt his heart turn.

 

Lt. James Trevenen spent 5yrs marooned on an island.

Susannah Park married below her station, had her husband die before she even gave birth, and has been ostracized ever since.

 

Maybe because I recently read one of her books, this felt like a Balogh with some Milan. Y'all, the tongue-in-cheek humor and wit is top notch here. This is also told mostly from the hero's pov, which helped to give it a fresh spin.

 

"Maybe it's this way, son---when we have no choice, we may as well be brave."

 

James has PTSD from what he had to do to survive and thinks he is haunted by another survivor of the original shipwreck. James' story of survival is spread out throughout the story until we get the ultimate grizzly details of how he became the lone survivor. It's rough, disturbing, and courageous stuff to read and I enjoyed how the author didn't shy away from James' emotions.  He was a hero who was witty, courageous, strong, utterly capable, and kind; he's a sexy one.

 

Susannah plays a little bit of second fiddle to James but her calm, vulnerable, and solid demeanor made her a perfect complement to him. Her family dynamics were a secondary character that wonderfully filled this story with even more emotions and relationship nuances. I'm also not the biggest fan of children in stories but Susannah's son Noah was a fun character and their relationship and the one that develops between Noah and James was delightful.

 

The romance between James and Susannah started off as smoke that slowly but surely was tended into a sparking burning pleasing fire. They were such a lovely engaging couple to follow along with. The wit provides a lighter tone while James feeling haunted and Susannah coming back from scandal with society and her family (Susannah and her sister's relationship brought a tear to my eye at the end) provide the heavier emotional load. The secondary characters here add a lot and show how much a story can be enhanced when giving attention to the details. This was a refreshing, engaging, and just plain lovely story.

 

As she stood watching, he turned and blew her a kiss. You're a rascal, she thought.

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2017-10-15 03:14
Miss Whitter Makes A List
Miss Whittier Makes a List - Carla Kelly

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

The latest Carla Kelly that I read, Miss Whittier Makes A List, was one of those I was finishing up from her “Miss” series. Well, there’s no series titled like that but she’s got quite a few older Regency romances having titles with a “Miss this or that does this or that” (if this even makes any sense to anyone ;P). *facepalm* Sooo, I liked how it was, the storyline, the characters too. However, not as mind-blowing as I had hoped it would be after reading the first few chapters. As a result, it took me a while to finish it because I wasn’t sure what to write in my review or how to structure it; my feelings were that ambivalent. I don’t want anyone to dislike the story, but there are things that need to be mentioned.

Miss Whittier Makes A List isn’t a badly written novel. Not at all! I mean I keep saying this, and it’s true. I love Ms. Kelly’s writing and I loved most of her backlist thus far. This one begins with a h with a little different background. Hannah is a Quaker, a background not often explored in the arena of HR that I generally read. But even though she’s meant to be lived under strict rules of the ‘type’ of Christianity they followed, Hannah was anything but meek and biddable. Oh she gives that impression quite well, but inside Hannah something... different. Something preferably more exciting. Things that she won’t even acknowledge to herself, let alone to anyone else among her Quaker Friends. I mean, they don’t even call each-other anything but ‘thee’ and ‘thy’. :/

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2017-08-10 00:55
Safe Passage
Safe Passage - Carla Kelly

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

A full review of Carla Kelly’s Safe Passage would be kinda difficult to do for me, not because it’s a badly written book (I finished it in 2 days, a record for me TBH!) but because the historical facts integrated in this story. It’s very difficult to comment on war or revolution or whatever and the loss of the absurd amount of human lives in the process, to justify the horrifying affects it has on humanity. I’ll do neither in my review.

Carla Kelly has done amazing books where she included tales of war and its aftermath. But she’s always careful to be as subtle as possible while incorporating it with the storyline. Safe Passage is no different, yet there were moments where I felt like putting down the book and take a deep breath. This has a little different setting and background—Mexican Revolution of 1910 (setting here is 1912). The prologue introduces our h, Addie, who has been reminiscing about her past, and her marriage, which seems to be a done thing at this point. Addie lives in Mexico and was married to Ammon for 2 yrs. One sad incident, which led Addie to say some horrible things, had led to their break up. Ammon returned home from his freighting business where injured himself, only to find his wife enraged. He already had a broken leg to deal with, a broken heart now added to the mix. Addie, though, had a reason behind it, and I could try to understand her mental state, still the whole incident was really heartbreaking. Ammon left, heartbroken and in tears, not knowing what he’d done wrong. He had tried to communicate with Addie the first year but she was determined to keep her silence. I have no idea why she treated him so badly, but in the year since then she’d come to regret her action. So much so that she often thinks of Ammon but she doesn’t know how she can do anything to change their circumstances.

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2017-08-06 01:06
Miss Billings Treads the Boards
Miss Billings Treads the Boards - Carla Kelly

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

Miss Billings Treads the Boards, a clean regency romance, is another one of Carla Kelly’s single novels where I went in blindly. I liked it for the most part because there were some really witty dialogues throughout. However, it won’t be my favorite. Somewhere along the way, the story fell short of being amazing, which I thought it could’ve been.

In the beginning, we’re introduced to a Marquess, who is also a war veteran. Henry Tweksbury-Hampton, the Marquess of Grayson is filthy rich and lives the life of a laze about peer. Over the 7yrs since he’d been off the army and took his “role” of a peer seriously, Henry’s gone mellow. Even with a tall physique, these days his paunch shows. A thinning head of hair does his looks no good either. So, all in all, even though he’s one of the most sought after bachelors because of his title and wealth, Henry knows his shortcomings. He had a vague feeling that no one wanted him for himself but for what he can offer to them. The feeling though, has grown tenfold since he’s been taking care of his sister’s family too, and made his only nephew Algernon his heir. Algernon, who goes by as Algie, is really something of the sort. He’s a super-dandy, spendthrift and completely empty in the brain-box. To say that Henry worried over the future of his title is a gross understatement. But when, to allay that niggling suspicion, Henry ends up asking Algernon if he likes his uncle, things began going downhill. How exactly? Let’s see if I can elaborate in the following...

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2017-08-02 23:57
Miss Grimsley's Oxford Career
Miss Grimsley's Oxford Career - Carla Kelly

3 stars but barely made it. This one definitely won't go down as one of my favorites. TBH, I was bored for the most part but it was mainly because I didn't care for our "beautiful and brilliant" heroine. To me, she was every bit silly and clueless as her dumb family. I don't even know what James saw in her, apart from her affinity towards the Bard's work (and her beauty?). She may have wrote some good papers on the Bard but I was bored through and through with her real self.

On the contrary, I LOVED our hero, who I thought deserved a better, and dare I say, more matured woman in his life. Even as I slogged through where Ellen shows her dumb self over and over again, by being a pushover for the half of the story, I lost my patience when she turned down James's marriage proposal for the umpteenth time, reason unknown. I mean for no valid reason at all! After all that he'd done for her, she still couldn't bring herself to come to a decision about his utmost devotion to her. :o I mean, was that part even up for debate? A young, handsome, brilliant, RICH Marquess wants to marry me, who also encourages my interest in Shakespeare, Geography and other things society won't let any gentle lady take part in. Who comes running if he thinks I'm in danger and would do anything to help me and my family so he's also extremely kind. Who already said he loves me... I like him too, but not enough to decide whether I should marry him. Oh geez! From her monologue, all I can say is that she was unquestionably dumb.

It took James's decision to not pursue her any longer (he at least had some reasons, not to retaliate in any way) for Ellen's brain to start working, and finally realizing what an idiot she'd been and how unfairly she'd treated him. Too late Ellen, you've already ruined my fun. -_- *yawn*

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