Tag Archive | four hearts

Victorian Romance + Bet = funny story

Waltzing With the Wallflower ♥♥♥♥

Anthony and Ambrose are twin brothers that make it their aim to decide at the beginning of the Season which young lady will receive their attention. It seems that when they pay attention to a certain lady, the resulting ton spotlight make the ladies more eligible and they usually get married by the end of the Season. To make things interesting and to alleviate the boredom, they make a bet that they can make anyone popular, even wallflower like Cordelia.

Cordelia is currently out of favor with the town since she had to work as an indentured servant to pay off her father’s debts. She does not want to be noticed. Hence: wallflower. She is trying to make herself invisible by hiding behind the foliage.

Funny thing about bets and gossiping members of the town, it is a sure way for the person who would be offended (i.e. Cordelia) to find out. And that is precisely what happened. Somewhere along the way Ambrose finds that he has deeper feelings for her than he thought. But all that trash talking he was doing before he came to that realization threatens to ruin their relationship. This is especially true since Cordelia is still insecure about the fact that he has supposedly fallen for her.

I thought that this was a sweet short story. Variations of this story have been done time and time again: man there to make unpopular girl popular falls for said girl. In this version of the common plotline, the twin brothers’ bet adds some humor to the mix. After the couple fall out with one another, I like how Ambrose made it up to Cordelia. Even though it got a little sappy, it was cute. I was laughing at his antics to win Cordelia back.

But I am surprised that in the end Anthony and Ambrose would make another bet. Really? Did they not learn their lesson from the first bet gone wrong? And why did Cordelia endorse it?

All that being said, I did love Waltzing With the Wallflower and the next book in the series is on my reading list 🙂

Buy Waltzing With the Wallflower because I think you will enjoy it!

A Knight’s priorities can change

Scale of 1 – 5: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Knight’s Desire is set in medieval times. Arian has a pitiful existence: Her stepfather has relegated her to living in her father’s house designed to eat the floor food scraps that the dogs consume. Wishing for happier days when she was loved by her parents, Arian is determined to find a way to restore Creswell castle, her family home, to its rightful owner: HER. She does not know exactly how she is going to do that, but she seems very optimistic that she is going to be able to find a way.

Judson arrives, sent by Arian’s great grandmother to confirm the Arian is indeed dead as Arian stepfather claims. If this is the case, Judson will become the owner of Creswell Castle. Judson is a night without property and desires to have his own land since land equals power and wealth.

Therein lays the problem for Arian.

  • How much does Judson want the land?
  • To what end would he go to obtain it?
  • Her great-grandmother sent him on a quest to find Arian, but does he care enough about her to report the truth?
  • Or would he kill Arian in order to take possession of her family’s land?

Not knowing if she can trust Judson, Arian decides that it is in her best interest to deceive him from knowing her true identity and try to figure out a way to get him out of the picture.

Her evil, malevolent, worse than devil incarnate, stepfather conceals her identity because of his own selfish reasons. <Grrr I hated him so much> He knows that if Judson finds Arian, he is out of a home. He has his own sinister plan to ensure the land becomes his property.

Amidst all the lusting after property, Judson thinks Arian is a servant girl named Jane. Even in her dirty state, he has some unexplained couple attraction to her. Suspicious of the viciousness with which her stepfather wants to treat her, Judson says that he would like for her to be his servant, attending to him in his sleeping quarters. This gives them both the opportunity to get to know one another.

Spending so much time with Judson creates inner conflict for Arian. He is considerate and kind to such an extent, she could almost forget the intense desire he has for her land. Fortunately for her, Judson knows just what to say to snap her out of any romantic mood – calling Creswell Castle his own. Talking about one day owning his property has the opposite effect since the woman he is talking is reminded that he is, yet another, interloper. Meanwhile, he is confused trying to figure out what he said incorrectly. Heh heh 🙂 I like irony in a story.

The novel for the most part involves lack of communication between the two main characters. I understand that Arian did this mainly out of self-preservation. Her stepfather, his wife, and son were evil, horrible people that were content to take what did not belong to them and do it by any means necessary. Since she was living on her own for so long without anyone who loved or care for her, it is difficult for her to decide if she can trust him with her life by confessing the truth. She knows that if he is not a truly honorable person, he will likely kill her for her family’s land.

Arian had some good ideas to help her cope with her bleak situation. She tried to protect herself as best she could. Although she was not trusting until the end, she loved Judson and that was good enough for me. The author created a strong female character that suffered a great deal of wrongs, but never gave up hope that everything was going to turn out okay. She knew that failure was not an option if she was going to devise a plan to survive and be victorious in the end.

I enjoyed reading the transition of Judson from a knight whose only desire was to have land to a man in love questioning his need for land. As the reader, I could visualize his change in priorities as he developed his relationship with Arian.

I would definitely recommend Knight’s Desire to anyone, especially those that like romance set in medieval times. There is nothing better than a story about a knight coming to the rescue of a woman who is the victim of many injustices. By the end of the story I was very satisfied with the way that everything turned out. Arian and Judson belong to each other. Justice was served and I trust the couple will live happily ever after.

Click Knight’s Desire to buy on Amazon

I received a copy of this book in exchange for a honest review.

Knocked up – Westmoreland Style

The Durango Affair (Silhouette Desire) – Brenda Jackson

Scale of 1 – 5: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Durango Westmoreland, a park ranger, and Savannah, sister to Jessica (from The Chase Is On (Silhouette Desire)), meet at Jessica and Chase’s wedding. The instant attraction turned into a one night stand that would have been all said and done, but we know that would be too easy. The one night turns into a life commitment when Savannah ends up pregnant.

Her plan was to go to Durango’s house, tell him in person about the baby and be on the next plane out of there. She was not even considering a relationship with him since he has such an aversion to city girls. The only reason she went to see him was because she thought enough of him to think that he deserved the consideration of having the news delivered in person instead of over the telephone.

In true Westmoreland fashion, when she told him, his response was that they needed to get married for the baby’s sake (if only all real men were that noble, there would be no deadbeat dads- but I digress). In true independent, common sense woman fashion **insert my “You Go Girl” high-five here**, Savannah rejects that idea because of her commitment issues. You have to read The Chase Is On (Silhouette Desire) to get the full story of how Savannah and Jessica’s father messed them up emotionally.

Conveniently, there is a snow storm that keeps Savannah at Durango’s house instead of leaving as she planned.  Considering that Durango is a confirmed bachelor with the mentality that he will never get married, it is humorous to read him trying to convince Savannah why they should get married. Throw in a dose of her morning sickness, and his protective instincts go into overdrive. Despite what they initially think about each other, close proximity with one another will ensure that their true feelings come out.

The Durango Affair (Silhouette Desire) is everything that most romances are: a little conflict, entertaining characters, and a huge dose of predictability. This is a fun, short book for a quick afternoon read.

Click The Durango Affair (Silhouette Desire) to buy on Amazon

And if you want to double your pleasure reading, you can buy Promises of Seduction: The Durango Affair\Ian’s Ultimate Gamble (Arabesque) which has another one of Brenda Jackson’s Westmoreland novels.

Destiny’s Disguise

Destiny’s Disguise

In this medieval romance, Lord John, earl of Farleigh, was a landless knight until the death of his family to sickness. He had no expectations of ever being titled, but now he is earl with many responsibilities. He has to marry and protect his family lands from the evil baron Elwood of Eye. Lady Gwyneth is a widow who suffered greatly at the hands of her first husband when he married her at 14 years old. When she hears that Lord John is to marry her 15 year old sister, she devises a plan to prevent that from happening. Knowing that her sister is in love with a young man closer to her age, Gwyneth is ready to sacrifice herself because she does not want her sister to experience the horrors of marriage to an old brute.
At first, I was annoyed with the author for the very similar names she gave Gwyneth and Gwendolyn (her sister). There were times that I could not tell the two sisters apart. But it started to make sense, when I realized part of went deceit had to do with the fact that she was changing places with her sister. It made the story even more believable that John would not be able to keep the two sisters names straight as well. Then I started thinking of the author as somewhat of a genius. I get it! There was a method to her madness.
Gwyneth endured so much abuse at the hands of her father and her first husband that she could not begin to understand how to do to take John. He was a man, so she expects him to mistreat her as all the other men in her life did. But after marrying John, she experienced many new pleasant sensations **wink wink**. Since married life to John was nothing like she thought it would be, she was suspicious. She wanted to enjoy it, and, at the same time, did not want to let down her guard. There were times when John was trying to be considerate, and she mistook his actions for some type of devious behavior to demean her. At times it was a little exasperating to me as the reader, but then I would remember she had already been through a lot from a very young age and who knows how I would have reacted in the same situation. If the author had not spent so much time on Gwyneth’s character working through her trust issues, it would have not seemed as realistic. Plus the story would have been less interesting.
John, on the other hand, had fewer internal issues to deal work through. I really did like John’s character. He was a true knight in shining armor. He went into the marriage with the expectation that if he treats his wife well, everything will be okay. Granted, he thinks she is her younger sister who he imagines is delicate and inexperienced. I thought it was sweet nonetheless. I admit that I concerned how long Gwyneth would wait until she told him the truth about her deception. They were getting along so well and I knew there would be some fall out once everything was revealed. I was hoping that there would not be a rush at the end to wrap up the story. When John finds out the truth, I found myself reading and holding my breath trying to imagine the heavy tension in the scene.

Overall, I think the author did a very good job with this story. The characters were so developed, I felt like they were real people. I was totally engaged in the story that I could not put the book down until I reached the end. I am happy that Gwyneth found someone to love and care for her. John needed a strong woman by his side that would be loyal no matter what. With all they went through, I am convinced they had a happy-ever-after ending.

Rating Scale of 1 – 5: ♥ ♥♥♥♥

Click Destiny’s Disguise to buy on Amazon