Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Wicked Angel by Julia London

Wicked Angel
By Julia London

What price for love?

A devastatingly handsome man who has everything - title, position, wealth, finds out exactly what that love will cost him.

An extraordinarily beautiful woman finds out how it feels to completely lose her heart.

Lauren Hill is the widowed Countess of Bergen.  Alex Christian is the Duke of Sutherland.

Lauren has just returned to her home - Rosewood, to resume care of her beloved orphaned charges.  She chances  upon an encounter with Mr. Christian, whom she mistakenly takes as a country gentleman.  What follows is a very angsty romance indeed.

Lauren is eventually forced by her Uncle Ethan to go to London in order to find another suitable husband.  There she again encounters Mr. Christian, whom she now learns is the Duke of Sutherland, and is engaged to be married to Lady Marlaine Reese.

Alex soon discovers that his "wicked angel" is in fact the celebrated Countess of Bergen, and has come to London to find a husband.

Though Alex and Lauren are strongly attracted to each other from the beginning, they are faced with what seems to be overwhelming odds.  He is betrothed to another, it is his duty to marry Lady Marlaine whom he has been engaged to for two years, and he is a well respected leader in the House of Lords.  Alex is torn between his love for Lauren and his duty to family and country.  Lauren is beneath his social station.  Though she loves him desperately, she sees only that she will ruin his life.  Added to all of this is the guilt they both feel about this heartbreaking attraction.  Indeed, it seems they take one step forward...two steps back.  Just when you think they have it all worked out, they are once again at odds.

To me this has all things necessary for a truly wonderful romantic story: a great storyline, outstanding characters, just enough angst to make it interesting (but not enough to bury the storyline), fantastic dialogue between H/h, and of course a wonderful HEA.

In reading this wonderful romance, I was quite reminded of the song "Memorized" by Rebecca Lynn Howard. 

4.5 Stars...only because the story tends to drag in the beginning.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Okay.  I could be in trouble...big trouble.  I started reading "Pride and Prejudice" a couple of days ago.  I finished it last night and immediately watched the movie.  This is a routine with me about once a year.  I read the book, watch the movie, and then I'm good for nothing for several days.  Needless to say, I won't be reading the next few days.  It always takes me a day or two to get through this haize.  I wonder if anyone else goes through this.  Surely I'm not the only P&P junkie.

I'm trying to get myself psyched up to read "Becoming Jane Austen" by Jon Spence.  I watched the movie a year or so ago and cried like a baby.  I'm quite sure I will follow up with the movie (again).

I could be in a funk for days. 

Oh, and did I mention that I have "Persuasion" scheduled to read as well.  I've never read "Persuasion" and I'm really looking forward to it.  No, I've not watched the movie.

I'm not sure how the next few days will go.  All I know is I'm on a Jane Austen kick and I just have to ride it out.  Again, I I crazy?  Surely this can't be normal.  Will my yearly routine now become: Read "P&P", watch "P&P", read "Becoming Jane Austen", watch "Becoming Jane Austen"? 

I don't know what it is about Jane Austen that fascinates me so.  Certainly her writing.

Are there any other Jane Austen/P&P junkies out there?  Let me see a show of hands, please.  It's lonely on this side of the world!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Tempted All Night

London, 1830

Tristan Talbot is a man who has spent most of his life trying to earn his father's approval.  Now as his father  lies on this death bed, Tristan has promised to get to the bottom of a stabbing death that has possible political ties to an infamous brothel.

Lady Phaedra Northampton is on a mission to find Millie, who is the sister of her beloved maid, Agnes.  Millie abandoned her child, ran off to London, and has since disappeared from the same infamous brothel.  Millie's child is also the illegitimate daughter of Lady Phaedra's brother, Anthony Hayden-Worth. 

Tristan and Lady Phaedra decide to work together - Tristan to fulfill the promise made to his father, and  Lady Phaedra to find and return Millie to the daughter she abandoned.

Let me start by saying I am an emotional reader, and tend to rate on how well the story sticks with me.  To some that may seem unfair.  I started this book on September 12, finished it on September 17.  Today is September 20, and I can remember very little about it.  Was it an unpleasant book?  No.  Nor do I feel it was a waste of time.  I liked the book, but I don't remember much about it.

It had intrigue, and I enjoyed that to a certain extent.  It wasn't hard to figure out who did what, where, when, or how.  To that end, it was a little disappointing.

There was slight humor between hero/heroine , and it was somewhat steamy.  It was also interesting to me that Tristan found himself in a rare situation.  Normally being the one to walk away from a woman, he found himself unable to do the same with Lady Phaedra.  Lady Phaedra was the one doing the walking.  I liked that.  I  thought it very interesting.

For me, it was hard to like Tristan.  He was the worst kind of rake - the kind that has no problem bedding another man's wife.  Did he redeem himself?  Yes, but it was nothing astounding.  As a personal preference - if I'm going to read about a man who cheats with a married woman, when his redemption comes, I want the earth to move.   It did not. 

3 Stars

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Smut-tember Fest at The Crafty Reader

Okay, so yesterday I was wandering around in one of my favorite groups at Good Reads - Historical Fictionistas, and what do I find?  Smut-tember Fest!  Smut-tember Fest is a fun challenge that Jackie is hosting over at The Crafty Reader.  The goal is to read at least 5 smutty romances during the month of September.  Sounds like fun to me.  If you are interested and would like more details, just go to  You can sign up there.

Have fun.  Happy smutt to you!

The Heretic's Daughter

The Heretic's Daughter

The time is 1692.  The place is Salem, MA.
The story is told by a woman, looking back over the tragic events of her childhood.  When Sarah Carrier is quite young, her mother, Martha is arrested and tried for being a witch.  Sarah and her three brothers are also arrested, tried and imprisoned.  Sarah was eleven years old at the time of her arrest.   
She talks about the trials of others.  A woman expecting a child is arrested, tried and jailed.  A woman, along with her baby are jailed.   She talks of the people being tortured in order to gain a confession.  She tells of children forced to testify against their parents.  Sarah, herself is forced to testify against her mother.
She talks about the horrible conditions they are forced to endure in prison.  The damp, filth, stench and mice.  She tells of their hunger, and the greed of the sheriff's wife who barters food for their clothes.
She talks about the horrible greed of others.  She tells of angry people giving false testimony against others with which they have a grudge.  She tells of the greed of the accusers, and their gaining land and possessions of  those they've tried and found guilty.
The author writes a very graphic story.  It is haunting.  It is sad.  It is tragic.
4 Stars

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Tempted All Night by Liz Carlyle

Currently I am reading "Tempted All Night" by Liz Carlyle, which is part of the Neville Family series.  I'm about half way through it, and I'm really enjoying it.  After I'm done, I hope to try my hand at a review.  We'll see.