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review 2018-04-02 14:20
A laudatory biography of an obscure justice
The Life of Mr. Justice Clarke: A Testament to the Power of Liberal Dissent in America - Hoyt Landon Warner

John Hessin Clarke ranks among the large body of obscure Supreme Court justices in America’s history, which is unfortunate when considering his particulars of his life.  Born and raised in Ohio, Clarke balanced a career in the law with part-ownership in a small-town newspaper and participation in Democratic party politics.  An enthusiastic Progressive, he twice sought election to the United States Senate before being appointed to the federal bench by Woodrow Wilson.  In 1916 he was named to the Supreme Court, where he served for six years before a combination of personal loss and frustration with his work led him to retire.  In retirement, he spearheaded a campaign to convince America to join the League of Nations, one that failed in its stated goals but helped paved the way for America’s participation in the United Nations after World War II.

 

Given all of this, it is unfortunate that Clarke has attracted so little attention from scholars; indeed Hoyt Landon Warner’s book is the only complete biography about him.  In some respects, this is a testament to the author’s thorough work.  He draws from numerous archival collections to piece together Clarke’s life, using Clarke’s personal letters and journalism as well as interviews with people who knew the justice to present a comprehensive portrait of his views and jurisprudence.  The result is a well-rounded portrait of Clarke, one in which his time on the Supreme Court is just one part of a long and varied life.  Yet the broader historical scholarship Warner draws from is notably dated, relying on a presentation of the era that is in need of updating.

 

More serious is the author’s bias towards Clarke.  Warner proves to be a sympathetic biographer – indeed, perhaps too sympathetic of one.  His interpretations of Clarke’s actions are invariably favorable or forgiving, with little critical assessment of the justice’s actions and decisions.  This is particularly apparent in his chapter on Clarke’s time as a railroad lawyer, in which Warner labors to demonstrate the compatibility of his subject’s legal advocacy with his Progressive beliefs.  Such efforts are sometimes so tortuous as to invite incredulity, and can engender doubt about Warner’s overall judgements regarding his subject.

 

These flaws detract from what is otherwise an informative and valuable work.  More than a half-century after its publication, Warner’s book remains an indispensable source for understanding Clarke’s life and career.  It succeeds in demonstrating that Clarke was more than a jurist, and in fact had a career marked by success in numerous areas.  Hopefully some other scholar will write soon a more up-to-date and balanced assessment of the justice; until then, this is the book to read for anyone seeking to learn about this remarkable figure.

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2018-03-31 10:03
Duke of Desire
Duke of Desire (Maiden Lane) - Elizabeth Hoyt

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


All the good things must come to an end. :( Every year for the past 7yrs. I’ve eagerly waited for a new Maiden Lane book. It’ll be so difficult to not have to wait for another new installment, even if the storyline veered away from the original characters. Even if Ms. Hoyt is writing a new series out later this year; even if I’m really excited about it. Duke of Desire marks the 12th installment, the final one, bidding adieu to our much beloved series. Though I still have 2 short stories to read, this is the last full-length novel.

Before I get into my review, starting with quite a bit of discussion on the backstory and how the characters are connected—because trust me they are connected through each-other and through ongoing events—I need to talk about the following...

I came to learn about Ms. Hoyt’s books a few years after I discovered Romance as a genre and was binging through some popular authors’ backlists. I don’t exactly remember why I picked up her books but so glad I did! Ms. Hoyt was still a bit of newbie, with 2 short series under her belt but making quite the splash. The first installment of Maiden Lane, Wicked Intentions, was out and waiting for the second installment. But before I could finish the first two series of hers, second book, Notorious Pleasures was out as well. By then I was SO hooked in her writing style and her stories that I was more in the lines of ‘oh goodie! gimme gimme!’ LOL I promptly began the reading of book 1 of Maiden Lane, which also prompted my love affair with this series.

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review 2018-03-04 00:00
Once Upon a Christmas Eve: A Maiden Lane Novella (Kindle Single)
Once Upon a Christmas Eve: A Maiden Lane Novella (Kindle Single) - Elizabeth Hoyt It was....ok.

That's all I got.
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review 2018-02-22 00:00
Once Upon a Maiden Lane
Once Upon a Maiden Lane - Elizabeth Hoyt... Once Upon a Maiden Lane - Elizabeth Hoyt,Ashford McNab Cute, refreshing. I was pretty impressed by the ability to get a sense of the characters in such a short time.

sigh. Novellas.
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review 2018-01-29 00:00
Duke of Desire
Duke of Desire - Elizabeth Hoyt I was around these parts when this came out so I wasn't expecting much. Here's the thing though. I LOVED this as the story of Raphael. In fact, I was surprised by how much I loved his character. But that/his conflicts didn't feel fully resolved. There's some shit that goes down when he attempts to leave in chapter 19, she refuses to let him, in the rain of course. Oh, ok, you're right I can't live without you and either street is torture, so I'll stay and let's fuck was basically the resolution? Whatever, it was compulsively readable as usual.

I kind of liked Iris, but even in the last book, she seems a little annoyingly good. I don't know, I didn't get her. Just gives Hugh up in book 11. I mean I get it, but she was so graceful and above it all. Like, fuck this shit, no one's that self-sacrificing. And if they are, are they so selfish as to keep pushing on painful things in order to "heal" someone you're lusting after and maybe care for. She just seems to lack consistency - or maybe in this case - depth.

That said, she clearly doesn't ruin this book for me. I will say this one felt far more dangerous and emotionally taxing than any of her others, which wasn't necessarily negative.
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