The Wedding Affair – Leigh Michaels

The Wedding AffairThe Wedding Affair by Leigh Michaels
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

GENRE: Adult – Historical Romance
FORM: Book – ARC

REVIEW: In a book of new beginnings, rekindled love, new love and a lot of passion, Leigh Michaels gives you the ultimate romance novel topped with three cherries!

I enjoyed The Wedding Affair from beginning to end. The characters were very well developed and entertaining, each having individual personalities but are so great that you fall in love with them all.

I love books about weddings, and while many historical romance novels end in a wedding, most of the books that I have read are not based completely around a wedding. For this particular novel, the duchess being wed, Daphne, is a minor – however annoying – character in the book. She is spoiled, whines a lot, and is mean as fire, especially to her bridesmaids. I enjoyed her pre-wedding activities/outings though, and the fact that all of the bridesmaids behaved like twittering teenagers lusting after the next hot thing. In this case, the Duke, Simon.

There are many other supporting characters as well, some mean, some overbearing, and some are just outright hilarious. They play their roles in the story well, and really are one of the main things that made this book so entertaining.

All of this “background noise” of the novel just makes for many wonderful scenes and scenarios for the real stories taking place. Neither Simon nor Olivia, both relying on each other for their own reasons, are looking to fall into love or marriage, but as expected – they find it incredibly hard to live without each other. I loved them as a couple. I especially loved Simon. He was such a decent man, and his joy and eventual love for Charlotte, Olivia’s daughter, won me over completely!

Kate and Andrew were a little bit harder for me. I liked them both well enough, and it was obvious they were meant for each other, but I think the attitude Kate held for most of the book, and Andrew making suggestions that don’t really indicate whether he is serious or joking around, I found that when they finally came together as a couple the fire just wasn’t there.

My favorite couple was Penelope and Charles. They are newlyweds who do not have a relationship at all. Penelope is completely innocent and has no idea what to do, which makes her seem scared and shy. Both are operating under false assumptions, but when they finally come together – it is just so sweet and just right! At first I was afraid that Charles was going to be played out to be this really hard menacing character, but in the end he was so sweet and loving. I actually felt sorry for him and the torment he was putting himself through.

WHAT I LOVED: This book was just a fun read. There is a lot of witty dialogue and passionate moments. The characters really are what made this book so good!

NOT SO MUCH: I already mentioned above how I felt about Kate and Andrew’s relationship. Outside of that, I found it hard to believe how fast the girls were able to come out of their clothes. For a time when the women are dressed in layers, and as mentioned in the book, they required help getting dressed and lacing themselves up. Therefore it really bothered me every time one the girls (mainly Olivia) was surprised to find her top was hanging open. Silly, I know…but I just kept shaking my head every time I read it.
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While I was given an Advance Review Copy of this book by Sourcebooks, I have received no compensation for this review other than the joy of reading!


Unlovable – Sherry Gammon

Unlovable by Sherry Gammon
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

GENRE: Young Adult – Fiction, Romance
FORM Book; ARC/First Reads
SERIES:  The Port Fare Series

SYNOPSIS: Maggie Brown looks the part of a Heroin addict; skin and bones, pale almost translucent skin, dark circles under her eyes. It is for these reasons, and the fact that her alcoholic mother is also triggering some alarms in the recent Heroin traffic sting that is currently going on, that under cover METs have started focusing their attention on her. Simon, an undercover agent currently enrolled at Port Fare High School as a senior, does not believe Maggie is involved with any of the drug trafficking, but because it’s his assignment and partially because he is drawn to her, he begins to get to know Maggie. At first Maggie is timid due to the way she is treated and always has been treated, she doesn’t trust anyone, people are always out to use her to get what they want or they just walk all over her. Eventually, though, she gives in to her emotions and little by little Maggie begins to let Seth in. The more Seth gets to know Maggie, the more he falls for her; but his attention and regard for her suddenly puts Maggie in more danger than she already was in.

REVIEW: I won this book on one of the Goodreads “First Reads” giveaways. It came signed by the author, a happy surprised – if it was listed as a signed copy, I missed that part. The cover of Unlovable, drew me in straight away even though the synopsis made me want to pass it up and keep browsing, because the book sounded a little too much like real life for my taste. I live real life daily, including people around me who abuse alcohol and drugs, therefore I like to read books will take me away, but there are always a few that slip through the cracks. So that first day I noticed the book I did in fact pass up the opportunity, but I came across the book again on another day and thought, ‘what the heck, I probably won’t win it anyway. And then I did.

This book is Sherry Gammon’s first published work, and as a breakout novel, it is absolutely awesome. The story is captivating, you get to know Maggie and Seth, as well as Booker, Cole, and even a few nasty students at Port Fare. The book almost makes you feel like you are a part of the crowd, watching the action as it unfolds.

Maggie and Seth’s relationship is a fun, light-hearted one. They make fun of each other, tease, play fight, tickle, get in arguments; all the things you expect out of a newly-in-love relationship. Seth is very honorable, and able to give Maggie space when she needs it, instead of being over bearing and constantly in her face; but this is mostly an illusion. At the same time that he was giving Maggie her space, he was still keeping an eye on her, protecting her, and at times was able to materialize many times at the blink of an eye. However, he is very loving and sweet, and gives lots of very sexy kisses!

WHAT I LOVED: As I said, the story captivated me. Once I got within the first couple of chapters it was very difficult for me to put it down. There was plenty of action and suspense. Not to mention love and kissing.

NOT SO MUCH: The book, however captivating and suspenseful, was predictable. From the onset I could tell you exactly what was going to have to happen in order to get to the end. In fact, I did tell my husband everything that was going to happen. Not in specific details of course, but the main outline of the book.

When I first picked up Unlovable, I found the writing a little bit stiff and awkward, especially the dialogue. This straightened itself out most of the time, but there were still some parts throughout when that awkwardness returned. I’m not even sure how to explain it, except that it came off as though the characters were saying what they were suppose to say instead of what they wanted to say – like they were trying to fit into a mold that they previously busted out of. That being said, there were also a few character inconsistencies. Mostly with Maggie, I think. The book started off sounding as if she was friendly and had friends, but the further you moved forward in the book, she was extremely shy and shut off and just had people around her who used her.

One last thing, and then I’ll shut up, because I actually really liked this book. I feel like prior to writing the book, Sherry Gammon read a bunch of books and pamphlets on drug/substance abuse, and after gathering all this information, she wrote the most extreme characters and circumstances she could think of. Every single “bad” character in the book had no redeeming qualities, including Maggie’s mother, who was suppose to have a little bit of redemption. The “bad guys” were some of the worse cases of drug addicts/pushers that you can think of. Then, when Maggie was being described as being “codependent,” it felt like I was reading directly out of a text book. I feel like books should paint the picture instead of presenting the information. The picture was mostly painted, but then all the cards were laid out on the table and listed. Once again, this presented another one of those awkward moments in the book I was talking about before.

I really enjoyed the book, and the characters despite it all. Even now, almost twenty-four hours since I finished the book, I continue to think about the characters, and am a little disappointed when I remember I actually did finish. I look forward to reading the next installments of The Port Fare Series!

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Craving Perfect – Liz Fichera

Craving Perfect by Liz Fichera
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

GENRE: Adult – Romance
FORM: eBook – NetGalley

While I was granted permission to read this book by a Net Galley affiliate publisher, Harlequin, I have received no compensation for this review other than the joy of reading!

SYNOPSIS: Grace doesn’t lead a perfect life, she’s a little bit over-weight, she lacks the self control to avoid her famous Raspberry Scones, and lives with her sister at their café; The Desert Java. While she isn’t unhappy with her life, she does sometimes wonder what it would be like to have the perfect body and have everything come easy to you, like Alexandra Summers; or have the super hot bodybuilder boyfriend, such as Max Kramer. After taking a tumble off the stair climber at Goldie’s Gym, things for Grace Mills seems a little wacky. She finds out that she can trade her life and body in for the more “perfect” one of Callie Collins by using the brand new treadmill at the gym. But trading in her life means leaving her sister, her café, and the new person in her life, Carlos Flores, behind.

REVIEW: I’m not sure how successful I was, but I was trying to make sure my synopsis didn’t sound too cheesy…because, let’s face it, when you look at this book on the surface, trading lives by running on a treadmill, it has a sort of Hot Tub Time Machine, feel about it, right? But it’s not…trust me. Craving Perfect is the happy romance that every girl needs every now and then. It’s not overly deep, but that’s the charm. You get to fall in love with Grace and Carlos, and there’s a little bit of drama; Grace/Callie learns a lot about herself, and then we get the beautiful red bow at the end! I love it!

Carlos was the perfect male companion to Grace. He was sweet and tender, and had just the right amount of jealous tendencies. He was so incredibly romantic, at times I swear I could feel his breath on my neck as he spoke. The best part about him, he loved Grace and desired her for who she was. She wasn’t perfect, but she was a fun, happy, kind person; someone you want to see good things happen for, and someone you definitely would like to be your friend. Grace’s sister Kathryn was a good character too. I imagine I would be like her. She didn’t express her feelings very well, and even when she tried, Grace would object and Kathryn would shut down and things would be left unsaid. I know how she feels, she knows she needs to do what is right, but how can you when everyone either assumes they know what’s right for you, or doesn’t give you the chance to speak up for yourself.

All-in-all I loved the relationships between the characters in the story. Liz Fichera did an excellent job at creating characters you want to know.

WHAT I LOVED: I loved it when Grace as Callie put Alexandra Summers in her place…not once, but a few times. It was a boldness that on one hand didn’t seem normal for the nice person Grace was, but also seemed to come natural, as Grace didn’t seem like one to let people lead them around.

NOT SO MUCH: I think Carlos jumped the “I love you” a actually felt a little weird to me when reading it. And I’m not really one to talk since my husband said it the first time we ever kissed…but we were pretty young.

This book was read during the July 2007 Read-a-Thon.

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The Awesome Book of Bible Stories for Kids – Sandy Silverthorne

The Awesome Book of Bible Stories for Kids by Sandy Silverthorne

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

GENRE: Children’s Nonfiction – Bible Stories
FORM: E-Book: NetGally

While I was granted permission to read this book by a Net Galley affiliate publisher, Harvest House Publishers, I have received no compensation for this review other than the joy of reading!

SYNOPSIS: A compilation of bible stories told with a modern twist, new stories, weather reports, a gym class, video games all mixed with biblical history. The stories are complete with picture/doodles that go along with each story.

REVIEW: Such a cute approach to getting all the traditional bibles stories out and in the hands of children. The book is very entertaining and fun. My children are young and they enjoyed having the stories read to them.

This book is perfect for dinner or bedtime devotions; read the modernized story and deepen them with a little more biblical insight and it’s a fun and memorable way to teach your children all the classic stories of the bible!

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Legacy – Cayla Kluver

Legacy by Cayla Kluver
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

GENRE: Young Adult – Fiction
FORM: eBook – Net Galley
SERIES: Legacy Series

While I was granted permission to read this book by a Net Galley affiliate publisher, Harlequin, I have received no compensation for this review other than the joy of reading!

SYNOPSIS: Princess Alera has a responsibility to her empire to marry a man worthy to be the king of Hytanica. The empire is at the brink of war, and her father tires of being king, therefore her decision must be made hastily. However, there is no man who matches the King’s criteria that interests Alera in anyway, and the man that her father believes is the best suitor she can hardly tolerate. Hytanica begins to feel threatened by the Cokyrans, the empire’s worst enemy, and a teenage boy thought to a native of Cokyran, is taken into custody. Alera, curious about their enemy, and even more so about the blue eyed teenager, begins to forge a dangerous relationship with him.

REVIEW: Legacy quickly became one of my favorite books so far this year. My attention was captivated within the first few chapters. Alera was such a wonderful change from the helpless/reckless female leads I’ve been reading about lately. She is a perfect mix of a curious, headstrong teenager, and a young women stepping into her responsibilities. She is opinionated, and fights against a society that views women as lowly by doing whatever she can to make sure her voice is heard. She is also slightly prone to making unwise decisions and getting into trouble. I just love her.

Legacy has a very “Fairy Tale” feel about it, in the way that it is written. It just screams “FUTURE DISNEY PRINCESS” material! The writing is descriptive and beautiful without being overwhelming and boring. I love the characters. Lord Steldor, Alera’s most acceptable suitor, actually reminded me of Beauty and the Beast’s Gaston, many times. I could just see him parading around in his dashing clothes and arrogant grin, causing the ladies to sigh. Narian, the captive, was definitely the strong silent type. He was confident and arrogant as well, but not to an annoying degree. I’m not going mention the messy dirty blonde hair and piercing blue eyes…(my own sigh inserted here.) I love how the king was a perfect mix of a person. He was neither a war hungry male, nor a flippant King. He took his role very seriously, and had just enough joy, smiles and compassion. He was also a very fair parent who, like all parents, eventually reaches the end of his thread. London, who’s name tripped me up more than once – I kept thinking we were talking about the country and getting confused, was one of my favorite characters. He made the perfect role model and great secondary father figure for Alera!

All in all, I cannot wait for the next book, Allegiance which will be released in March of 2012. The title of the third, Sacrifice, leaves me a bit nervous, however, it makes me wonder if author Cayla Kluver is going to pull a “Maggie Stiefvater” with her story.

WHAT I LOVED: I really, really loved this story as a whole! The characters were wonderful, the story was great – as I said, it reminded me of a fairy tale, and I feel that it is worthy to be placed in book next to Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, and the like…well assuming it ends well. I have no idea if that was the authors intention when she wrote this ( and trust me, as soon as I’m done with this review, I’m going to go read up more on her), but if it was, she definitely succeeded.

NOT SO MUCH: I really don’t have much to complain about here. I did not care much for Alera’s mother. I felt she was rather flippant and detached, not only as a person, but as a mother. She sort of just blended in with the background, despite her claims of being mischievous and curious, just like Alera, in her youth.

SONG DEDICATION: Riding in the car yesterday, the song “She Will Be Loved” by Maroon 5 came on. The first verse of that song really resonated with me in relation to his book. I think in the end, it really is a great song representation for the story.

Allegiance & Sacrifice  (Covers not yet available)


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Forbidden – Tabitha Suzuma

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Author: Tabitha Suzuma
Genre: Young Adult Fiction (older young adults, please!)
Form: Book – ARC Book

Synopsis: Lochan and Maya have always been close. Even when they were toddlers they created their own special language, much like twins are known to do, and did everything together. Having been abandoned by their father a few years back, and as good as abandoned by their alcoholic mother, Lochan and Maya have taken over the responsibility of raising their three younger siblings. These responsibilities, their friendship and the way that they know each other and understand each other in ways that no one else can or ever will be able to has resulted in a love that goes far beyond the love of a brother and a sister.

Review: This book is extremely difficult for me to review – well, not review, but to rate. I think my 4 star rating is being a bit generous, because while this book is written extremely well, the topic- matter is not one I care to revisit any time in the near future. But then maybe my rating is perfect because, it doesn’t matter if I like the topic or not, it was still a good book. The characters are so real, you can’t help love the lot of them. They are genuine, and despite my misgivings with the entire thing, in the end Lochan and Maya they are just acting on what the feel. Take out the brother/sister relationship and make them from two families who are dueling enemies, and instead of Lochan and Maya, you’ve got Romeo and Juliet.

I was captivated by this story. I picked up the book the day it came in the mail, and I did NOT want to put it down because I had to know…what next? The romance in the novel was just as good as any normal novel would be, but then you mentally had to take a step back and say, “Wait…they are BROTHER AND SISTER….this is just wrong.” And even they knew it.

Lochan was a bit messed up. He had extreme social anxiety that had gone unnoticed and untreated for far too long. The only people he was able to deal with without having a bit of a panic attack were his family. He loved his brothers and sisters, and was willing to do whatever it took to make sure they were healthy, taken care of, and even loved – especially loved. He had a very mean temper though, that was also going unchecked – and was leading to some very destructive tendencies. But with the world resting on your shoulders, and terrible secrets to keep, who wouldn’t buckle under that kind of pressure? But given all the ways that he is really not right in the head, you can’t help but love Lochan and to forgive him for all of his faults. It is his passion for his family, I believe, that leads him to love Maya the way he does in the first place, not to mention his inability to really communicate beyond the walls of his house.

It’s Maya I was really disgusted with. Sure she was only sixteen, and a teenager herself. She also has this connection to Lochan to combat with, but she is without the social anxiety obstacle. Instead of thinking logically or even having a conscious it seems, the way that Lochan attempts to, she did more justifying and encouraging. She was the one who took that first step and the one who laid on the pressure throughout the entire book. She would not address the wrongness of the issue, she just went with what she felt and declared that it was perfectly normal. While Lochan was torturing himself with his actions, the consequences for himself and the entire family, she was lying to herself and in turn to Lochan, who – from what I could tell – was not mentally able to withstand. Maybe I’m being hard on Maya, but then she does end up having to live with her own consequences as well.

As a whole, the book, the kids, the life; I am extremely sympathetic. Of their parental combination, I had one half. My father is an alcoholic who in the end “abandoned” my brother and I, to pursue his addictions. I can understand the burden and stress of taking care of your siblings, because I experienced it firsthand. So, reading about all of the kids trials and fears, and even just calling for mom to tuck them it at night – it’s so sad, but it’s the truth of how so many teens/kids survive.

LOVED IT: I love Lochan’s name. I wish I’d thought of it..;) Okay, really, the writing of this book was excellent. I really hope to read more by Tabitha Suzuma in the future, because I love how she was able to immediately capture my attention and thrust me into the world she created.

HATED IT: The premises. I spent most of the book hoping that they ended up NOT being siblings somehow or another, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that even if they weren’t, they were raised as siblings, and it would probably seem just as wrong.

SONG GOING PLAYING THROUGH MY HEAD: There isn’t going to be a perfect song for this book. But, “A Beautiful Mess” by Jason Mraz may work…

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Love Virtually – Daniel Glattauer

Love VirtuallyLove Virtually by Daniel Glattauer

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In the world of social networking, a book such as this one is perfect, because it is reality. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve heard of people meeting up with an old flame via Facebook, or Myspace or a chatroom or whatever. Just today, in fact, I heard a story about a marriage that was broken due to a “friend” on Facebook. Let’s face it, the trap of finding intimacy within the virtual walls of the computer, is real.

So the book – yes, that is my focus, the book. Love Virtually was great! It was funny, and crazy and to be quite honest, it sucks you in within the first 5 e-mails. Yes, the book is filled cover to cover with nothing but e-mails. In the past I have read books like this; completely filled with e-mails and other impersonal type contact, thinking “wow, what a cleaver idea,” only to be left with a bit of an emptiness, because of the lack of character, the lack of description, the lack of a true story. I honestly believe that Daniel Glattauer has wiped these other books completely off the table and replaced them with what they should have been. The way that Daniel Glattauer makes up for the “lack” that I have just mentioned – he addresses it head on. The fact that these characters are faceless, two-dimensional beings is a driving point in the book. It is mentioned countless times, maybe in even every single chapter. The fact that these characters (Emmi and Leo, by the way) are abstract is something even they are aware of.

You only get to know the characters because they choose to let you in. Even then, the revelations seem so minor in comparison to their intoxication with each other, even when they are bickering and even fighting back and forth, it all seems like a sort of foreplay.

There were times that I was extremely frustrated with Emmi. I mean, she is so sure of her perfect life, it’s as if she wanted to portray (at times) that she was not nearly as invested in the relationship as Leo, because she pretty much already HAS a perfect life. Then she would throw temper tantrums, get jealous, etc., only to come crawling back apologizing or whining because he wasn’t talking to her. So yeah, she could be a little annoying. But Leo wasn’t without his baggage. A little wine, and he was off comparing Emmi with Marlene, the one thing Emmi would truly have to complain about, yet never did.

Anyhow, this completely obsessive relationship based solely on e-mail contact spirals and dips and dives and intensifies all the way to the very end…It’s not edge of your seat drama, but you won’t be able to put the book down until you get to the last page regardless.
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Yours for the Taking – Robin Kaye

Yours for the Taking by Robin Kaye
Genre: Adult Romance
Form: Book (ARC)

Growing up on the wrong side of the tracks wasn’t easy for Gina and her family.  Her mother did everything she possibly could to make ends meet while her father was off in some drug haze, but it was all for naught as they still ended up losing everything in the end.  Gina is bound and determined not to let that happen to her or her sister.  It is this driving force that causes her to accept an offer of a convenience marriage to Ben.  A marriage where they both win in the end; he does not lose an inheritance that his grandfather has continually dangled over his head, and she gets enough money to make sure she and her sister can live comfortably and debt free in houses of their own.  This is not a decision that she makes lightly, but the deal is too good to pass up, especially since there is no danger of it turning in to something more.  Ben is gay after all….isn’t he?
Yours for the Taking is a fun, entertaining, witty ride of a book.  As it is with most books for me, characters are everything, and Robin Kaye has created two entertaining characters, to say the least.  I love Ben, but most of all I love his transformation from a metrosexual art dealer into a rough outdoorsy cowboy.  He is super sexy in both roles, and is obviously hard to resist.  Gina is a very cute little Latina that you can almost see running from one side of the room to the other, tossing her hands up in the air on a tirade.  Their chemistry throughout the book is hot!
The story line is perfect.  The constant bickering and making up is entertaining while the two fight for control of their lives and what they have known they have always wanted.  Two wildly different people have collided and eventually create the perfect couple.

Devil’s Desire – Laurie McBain

Devil’s Desire by Laurie McBain

Elise is way down on her luck. She recently lost both of her parents in an accident, and her brother to the sea. She was forced to sell most of her possessions off to pay off debts, including her beloved horse, Ariel. At the opening of the book, she is living with her half-aunt, her last living relative, who treats her as though she rates below the servants. At best, her life is miserable.

Alix is the luckiest man alive, and the most notorious rogue. It isn’t wise to bet against him, because he has never been known to loose at anything; many say he’s made a pact with the devil himself. His biggest troubles are getting rid of his most recent lover, and the fact that he no longer finds his life fulfilling.

Elise and Alix’s lives collide in a scandal. With no way out, they are forced to marry, settling for a semi-fulfilled life. What they get instead is much more passionate, adventurous and fulfilled than either of them imagined.

What I really enjoyed about Devil’s Desire was the chemistry between Elise and Alix. They are wonderful together, so much so that the book is best during the scenes where both are involved. Their banter and snide remarks toward each other do nothing but fan the sparks of attraction that fly between them. Their relationship, and it’s progress and growth throughout the book are what made it enjoyable to read. I loved Elise, she was a solid character from beginning to end. Alix was a bit harder. He was suppose to be a dark, sinister character; but in most of his interactions he was much too polite and well mannered to be the person everyone claimed he was through the entire book. He has his dark moments, but in his conversations and his thoughts and his dealings with other people he was very fair and reasonable, making the opinions of others seem unreasonable.
The storyline, to me, is very jagged. I could never tell what direction the book was going to go. At one point you’ll be following down one path – and you think you have an idea what might happen or where the story will turn, but then all of the sudden that path dead ends and you find yourself walking down another road all together. This made it difficult to take any part of the story as “important” because all too many times from the beginning all the way to the end, what just happened has no significance to what is going to happen. I feel a story should have a nice smooth line, foreshadowing, maybe a scene or two to explain the hows and whys. There also should not be so many villains (this story had seven that I can count right off the top of my head). Two of these villains ended up spewing their disgust and hatred in a very Scooby-doo fashion. At the point when they believed they had the upper hand and are going to “win” their battle they would spew their whole plan of action and all of it’s intricate details in one conversation. I find it much more fulfilling to have the mystery or details revealed as the story unravels. little hints laid down here and there for you to grasp on to until the end of the book.

As long as you’re able to read through the storyline (and who knows, you may not agree with my assessment) this was a perfectly romantic book. Alix and Elise, as well as the happy ending, make this book worth the read.
Devil’s Desire was published previously, but is being re-released in November by Sourcebooks, Inc. Romance lovers really should not hesitate!

Mr. Darcy Broke My Heart – Beth Pattillo

Mr. Darcy Broke My Heart
by Beth Pattillo
Genre: Adult Fiction
Form: ARC Book

Claire Prescott doesn’t understand Mr. Darcy’s appeal. She’s been comfortably dating Neil, a nice – if a bit negligent – sports fanatic. But when she agrees to stand in for her sister at a Jane Austen seminar in Oxford, England, she finds herself holding a lost version of Pride and Prejudice. Scholars thought Austen’s original manuscript was destroyed centuries ago, but as Claire reads the first draft, Austen’s own struggle to find the right hero for Elizabeth Bennet.

And when a tall, dark, and dashing stranger crosses her path, will the staid Claire suddenly discover her inner Lizzie Bennet? Neil’s unexpected arrival in Oxford complicates Claire’s journey to finding her own romantic lead, and she discovers that finding the right hero can be more difficult than she ever imagined.

Mr. Darcy Broke My Heart is the story of a woman who finds that falling in love may be the biggest adventure of all and that a true hero can appear in the most unexpected places.

~Source: back of book

First of all, I must say that I love the cover of this book. It’s beautiful and romantic, and if I hadn’t agreed to read this book, I probably would have picked up and checked out the back summary based on the cover alone!

Mr. Darcy Broke My Heart was a very enjoyable read for me. I really liked the characters, especially how each and every character was expressly different. There are many times when you read a book, and while the main characters are allowed to develop and express their personalities, the minor characters of the book sort of take on a cookie cutter appearance. There may be physical descriptions that distinguish who they are, their characters are very robotic and are the main point of their presence is to offer support to the leads. Beth Pattillo developed all of her characters into people I could see in my mind’s eye as well as gain an understanding of on a personal level. Kudos for that!

I also enjoyed watching Claire discover herself, or rather discover that she had no idea who she was. Even her purpose for going to Oxford to the seminar was made as a favor to or in a “care taker role” for her sister, and not as a decision of her own. Soon you discover that there is very little about Claire’s life that is her own choice or will. So it is no surprise when she meets James at the seminar and feels the buzz of attraction between them, that the part of Claire that just wants something for herself steps up and takes control. Their relationship develops rather fast and furious, as they are swept up in the romance of London and Pride and Prejudice. Add this in with the revelation if First Impressions, the secret first draft of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, and the world becomes an interesting, if not complicated break from what has become Claire’s life.

My favorite part, outside of the ending which I won’t blow for you, was the presentations at the seminar. I loved hearing everyone’s different opinions and thoughts about Pride and Prejudice. It has opened up a desire to go back and revisit the book for myself, looking at from more than just a head-on approach. The only thing I was a little disappointed in the book was I really wanted more resolution between Harriot and Eleanor. I know that Harriet pointed out that no matter how you raise your kids, they are cut from a particular cloth and that is how they are going to be, and that should have been resolution enough, but I was harboring a desire for an understanding to come between them.