In a nutshell....
Amanda Quick is the master of the universe. The first 13 pages of With This Ring are absolute perfection. Her writing never ceases to amaze me...she can nail an entire scene with a single word. Everything about this book is perfect...the storyline is tight, the characters are larger than life, the mystery engaging, the humor is spot on. Leo, the Mad Monk of Monkcrest, and Beatrice, secret author of "horrid novels," are a fantastic pairing. Honestly, I just cannot get enough of Amanda Quick's romances.
Elizabeth Hoyt's To Desire A Devil was a good ending to the series. Not as good as To Beguile A Beast, which I adored. I had a problem with Reynauld ripping off his shirt in the House of Lords to expose the scars on his back. This scene did not ring true for me. However, I really enjoyed the backstory about Reynaud's experience in the colonies. What attracted me initially to EH's writing is that her historicals are a little bit edgy, earthy, lusty, sometimes downright nasty (in a good way). I love the juxtaposition of the formality of Regency England and the lusty sexuality of her characters. However, this book seemed more like a traditional historical to me, it was definitely lacking the intense sexuality found in To Beguile A Beast.
As of yesterday, I have discovered the most ludicrous central conflict ever to grace a romance novel.
Yes, that is correct. Eloisa James' An Affair Before Christmas explores the failing marriage of Poppy and the Duke of Fletcher. Why, you ask, is their marriage failing? Well, Fletch thinks Poppy is frigid in bed, when in actuality, her hair is itchy and she is unable to concentrate on the pleasure he is attempting to give her.
(Yes, I was speechless, too). Hee hee hee heeeeee.....Oh my goodness, this is so absurd it is delicious. Truly!
In Poppy's defense, her hairdo is one of those big, perfumed, powdered monstrosities, with glued-on feathers, etc. And there are a few other reasons the marriage is not working out, but suffice it to say, once the hair conflict is resolved, everything else "falls into place"--pun intended. In spite of an overabundance of sub-plots involving dukes, duchesses, mother-in-laws from hell, etc., Eloisa James manages to spin a remarkably romantic tale. I was completely engrossed in Fletcher's determination to win back the woman he loved. The end is very sweet and satisfying and very romantic. I just adored this snippet of dialogue....
"Poppy, what did you think that Christmas was for?"
"Nibbling on gingerbread men?" she whispered.
"I'm your Christmas gingerbread man," he said.....
Love it! What a great line! :)
Thanks to everyone who stopped by for Sven's interview yesterday. A winner will be announced soon.