Tag: Joint Reviews

Joint Review: Hello Stranger by Lisa Kleypas

Posted April 3, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

Joint Review: Hello Stranger by Lisa KleypasReviewer: Holly & Rowena
Hello Stranger by Lisa Kleypas
Series: The Ravenels #4
Also in this series: Cold-Hearted Rake, Devil in Spring, Devil in Spring
Published by Harper Collins, Avon
Publication Date: February 27th 2018
Point-of-View: Third Person
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 400
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

A woman who defies her time

Dr. Garrett Gibson, the only female physician in England, is as daring and independent as any man—why not take her pleasures like one? Yet she has never been tempted to embark on an affair, until now. Ethan Ransom, a former detective for Scotland Yard, is as gallant as he is secretive, a rumored assassin whose true loyalties are a mystery. For one exhilarating night, they give in to their potent attraction before becoming strangers again.

A man who breaks every rule

As a Ravenel by-blow spurned by his father, Ethan has little interest in polite society, yet he is captivated by the bold and beautiful Garrett. Despite their vow to resist each other after that sublime night, she is soon drawn into his most dangerous assignment yet. When the mission goes wrong, it will take all of Garrett's skill and courage to save him. As they face the menace of a treacherous government plot, Ethan is willing to take any risk for the love of the most extraordinary woman he's ever known.

Hello Stranger is the fourth book in Lisa Kleypas’ Ravenels series and it follows, Dr. Garrett Gibson and Mr. Ethan Ransom. Both characters were introduced in the previous books and both characters are linked to the Ravenels in different ways.

Dr. Garrett Gibson is the only female doctor in England and she’s one busy woman. She’s sworn that her career is more important than marriage and has no plans to marry as it will interfere with her job. When she meets Ethan Ransom and starts taking an interest in him, things change.

Mr. Ethan Ransom has been infatuated with Dr. Gibson from the jump. He knows that he can’t have her because his life is a dangerous one but that doesn’t stop him from wanting her, from wanting to be near her and when a friendship sparks up between them and then a relationship, Ethan knows that to protect her, he should keep his distance but he can’t stay away from her.

When the danger comes and meets them head-on, Garrett must save Ethan’s life so that he can fight the biggest fight of his life.

Rowena: Our joint review for March is Hello Stranger by Lisa Kleypas and it’s a book that Holly and I have been anxious to read for quite some time now. I’ve lagged because I was wrapped up in Ilona Andrews but once I finally settled in and started reading Hello Stranger, it was good stuff.

What did you think, Holly?

Holly: It was good. I kind of thought Garrett might be too independent, or Ethan might be too overbearing, but I think they found a good balance. He didn’t try to stifle her and she didn’t insist she could do everything on her own to the detriment of her safety. I was a little sad in the beginning that she wasn’t able to whoop his arse, though. Can you imagine his face if she’d taken him down on the street?

Rowena: I had the same thoughts going into the book, especially after reading that scene where she had to fight off her attackers and Ethan stepped in and helped her. The way that she kept insisting that she got it, I was like, “Oh hell, are we going to get a whole lot of this for the remainder of the book?” I’m glad to see that that wasn’t the case.

I really enjoyed both Ethan and Garrett. They were wonderful together. I loved that Ethan was fighting to save the lives of thousands and that Garrett cared a whole bunch about saving his life. I did think that they went from kissing to I love you pretty quickly but I can’t even care about that because I adored Ethan so much. I just happy sighed while typing that because, holy cow, that speech that Ethan gave Garrett when he thought he was going to die?

swoon

Holly: I was really surprised at how quickly she changed her mind from “I won’t ever marry” to “Let’s get married”. But then if Ethan had courted me like that is have married him quick, too. He was so wonderful. He’s by far the most flowery Kleypas hero, I think, but it really worked for him. He was so sweet. I love him so much.

Rowena: Same. I would have been dressed in my wedding dress when he showed up with that monkey picture. LMAO.

Holly: Ha, I can just see you all “Oh, hello Ethan. I do.” But same, though. He was swoony.

Rowena: He would have been for a big surprise when he moved those covers off. I don’t even care that I would have married in a wedding dress that was wrinkled to shit. I would have been all, “I do, I do, I do, I do” Hahaha.

Holly:I can just see you all curled up in the bed wearing a wedding dress. “Surprise!” HAHA

What did you think of the suspense plot?

Rowena: I was much more invested in the romance between Ethan and Garrett than I was the suspense plot. It was just okay in my opinion. I think there was a lot going on and not a lot of page time to devote to each little thing. I don’t think we spent enough time with Jenkyns or even with the whole suspense plot to really get the motivation behind it but overall, that wasn’t what I was reading the book for so I guess I let it slide because I loved what I was getting from what I actually wanted from the story. Does that make sense?

Holly: I agree the romance was the most compelling part of the story. I was in a rush to get back to them as a couple, so the suspense plot was more filler than anything else. I will say something about it bothered me. It wasn’t how quickly it was resolved, but more how quickly things seemed to happen in the end. Maybe that’s just the power of fiction, but everything seemed to snowball once Ethan had his evidence.

Let’s talk about the elephant in the room…or the Indian woman in the story, as the case may be. A short paragraph thrown in mentions “training” Ethan did in India with a woman who trained him in the art of Kama Sutra. It jarred me when I read it, because it seemed rather out of place. But aside from thinking “That was unnecessary” it didn’t really register for me. It wasn’t until I saw the way others felt about it that I considered the full ramifications of what Kleypas had done by including it. I don’t know her, but she seems like a class act. Her response to the reviewers who were angered by the inclusion of it was fair and right, imo.

What about you? Did you notice it? Did you have any thoughts about it? I will say, that small part did not ruin the book for me. It wasn’t necessary in any way, but it didn’t turn me off from reading.

Rowena: I read this book after I read the review over at Smart Bitches and from how ragey the reviewer was, I went into this book prepared to be jarred but when I got to the part where it’s mentioned, it was so small and I was expecting something really big that I was more jarred by that then what’s in the story. If that makes any sense. The reviewer wasn’t wrong though. It wasn’t needed to further the story and I’m glad that LK responded the way that she did.

Overall, I enjoyed the book. I enjoyed getting to know Garrett, seeing her in action and I loved the romance between her and Ransom. I really loved Ransom. Like, a lot a lot. Give me all the Ransoms, please. So while the suspense was the weakest part of the book, the romance and seeing everyone again more than makes up for that, IMO. I give this one a 4.25 out of 5. You?

Holly: I loved Ransom so much. I was bothered by how quickly Garrett decided she was in love and ready for marriage, but honestly Ethan was so great he kind of made the whole book for me. I’m going to give it 4 out of 5.

Final Grades

Holly: 4 out of 5
Rowena: 4.25 out of 5

The Ravenels Series

four-stars


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Throwback Thursday Review: A Knight in Shining Armor by Jude Deveraux

Posted March 15, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 12 Comments

Throwback Thursday Review: A Knight in Shining Armor by Jude DeverauxReviewer: Holly and Rowena
A Knight in Shining Armor by Jude Deveraux
Series: Montgomery/Taggert #15
Published by Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: March 27th 2012
Genres: Historical Romance, Time Travel
Pages: 416
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads

Once upon a time . . . as a fair maiden lay weeping upon a cold tombstone, her heartfelt desire was suddenly made real before her: tall, broad of shoulder, attired in gleaming silver and gold, her knight in shining armor had come to rescue his damsel in distress. . . .
A Knight in Shining Armor
Hailed worldwide as one of the most romantic novels of all time, Jude Deveraux’s dazzling bestseller “will capture your heart—and hold it” (Daily Herald, Chicago) with its breathtaking tale of lovely Dougless Montgomery; her savior knight, Nicholas Stafford, Earl of Thornwyck; and the timeless adventure of passion and memory, danger and desire that sweeps them into each other’s arms.

Every Thursday in 2018 we will be posting throwback reviews of our favorite and not-so-favorite books.

Holly: Rowena and I got into a discussion about this book on Twitter (caution, thread contains spoilers for this book and others) this week along with some other long-time romance readers. We all agree this is one of the few books that can still fill us with rage even all these years later. I’ll never be over that ending. Never.

This review was originally published on June 7, 2008.

I saw a review for this one online a couple of days ago and got mad all over again so I’m going to resurrect this review Holly and I did over at our old blog, Sanctuary’s Finest.

Enjoy!

Rowena says:

Jude Deveraux did such a wonderful job sucking me in with Dougless Montgomery and Nicholas Stafford. I mean, Dougless wanted nothing more than a man, a good man to love and care for her enough to marry her, she strived to have a family of her own with a man who wouldn’t make her look like the insipid younger sister to her family, she didn’t want to be the laughingstock of her family which is understandable and I thought it was so sweet that she asked for a Knight in Shining Armor and got it…in the form of Elizabethan Knight, Nicholas Stafford.

Nicholas Stafford was a rascal of a hero who died long ago and WAS the laughingstock of not only his family but of England. He wanted so much to be remembered for his learning and for his architecture, but instead was remembered as a traitor to his Queen and a sexual exploit of his youth on a table. What a way to be remembered and back in the day, well in Nicholas’ day, all you had to live for was your honor.

Honor made men out of boys and Nicholas’ wanted to be remembered by his mind. He wasn’t perfect by any means (I mean come on now, you slept with a married woman for goodness sakes but still) but he did work hard to supply for his family and he did have a heart, a very big one.

I really loved Nicholas Stafford and I loved the whole story between him and Dougless, they were perfect for eachother, so bloody perfect. The ice cream scene in the kitchen? YUM! I mean, there wasn’t much to love about Dougless and Nicholas because they were both just so loveable. You wanted someone like Dougless as your friend because she cared a whole lot about those around her and she was loyal and just an all around good hearted young woman. Nicholas on the other hand, you wanted Nicholas in your bed, he was hot, he was funny and he was caring. He really was though, just a regular guy with the same goofiness as all of those guys that you can’t help but love.

I can’t tell you guys how great Jude Deveraux did with the telling of this story. The entire time you were rootin’ these two on because you wanted them to have their happy ending. Dougless was a good strong heroine who was soft hearted but worked hard for those around her and then Nicholas, you couldn’t help but fall in love with him, he was just too cute. He too, worked so hard to right the wrongs that were done to him and you really wanted him to find his happy ending…..with Dougless.

Now, JD did a wonderful job with the secondary characters too, you either loved them or you hated them. I mean, with Kit and Lady Margaret, you fell in absolute love with their characters because there was a wealth of love between these two and Nicholas. It was more than aparent that Kit had Nicholas’ back and that he loved his brother with everything, same thing with Lady Margaret, she was a great mother to the two men and she showed that love by fighting for the truth about Nicholas to save him, she was a smart cookie and the bad guys seriously underestimated her abilities to dig out the truth, she was an amazing mother and she was gracious to Dougless for saving both of her sons, I thought that was great.

Now on the flip side of the coin, we have characters like Arabella Sydney who I hated just because she was a little slut that cheated on her husband with Nicholas, stupid chit needed to keep her damn legs closed and work on her marriage to her husband, since that man was one evil ass man. Then you have Robert and Gloria, Dougless’ insufferable boyfriend and his evil spawn of a daughter. Never in my life have I wanted to hurt people more than I wanted to hurt these two, I’m serious because I wanted to stab Robert and keep stabbing him until he had more holes in him than a piece of Swiss Cheese and then I wanted to hang him by his balls and let him bleed out, ever so slowly. You don’t want to know what I wanted to do to his good for nothing little shit of a daughter.

Grrr…

So as you can see, JD did a great job with this book because she got this kind of reaction out of me, always looking on the bright side Rowena, that’s me. If a book is bad, I’ll overlook it if I enjoyed the story as a whole, oh but not this time around. Not with this book, this book infuriated me so much that I am going to burn this shit in the Burn Book pile, oh wait…I already did that, but this time I’m going to keep it in the burn pile.

You see, as much as I loved the story, I hated the ending, the ending is what burned the book, ruined it for me, but aside from that horrendous ending, the book was FABULOUS!

Holly says:

I couldn’t agree with Rowena more. When we first meet Douglass she’s on her way to England for a vacation with her stupid cad boyfriend and his stupid, spoiled daughter, and as a reader, you want so much for her to find true love and happiness, because she’s the type that deserves it.

As a member of the overachieving Montgomery clan, Douglass has always felt inferior to the rest of her family and she truly just wants to be loved and accepted for who she is, and not reminded of the mistakes she’s made. As a woman, a sister and a mother, I totally identified with her.

When she was weeping on the steps of the church because her jerkass boyfriend had abandoned her in a foreign country, I wept with her. And when Nicholas Stafford was brought forward through time as her Knight in Shining Armor, I cried harder and wanted so much for them to be together. I cried again when Nicholas was sent back home and I prayed Douglass would find a way to be with him again.

I cheered when Douglass went back to Nicholas’ time and I was on the edge of my seat with anticipation, waiting to see how the story would unfold. Would Nicholas remember Douglass from when he was in the future? Would his family come to accuse her of being a witch? Would Nicholas fall in love with the Douglass in his time, or remember he loved her in her time? Would he still marry the psycho that got him into trouble before?

The scenes Rowena mentioned, like the ice cream scene, were amazingly told. I was completely wrapped up in this story, breathless with anticipation and almost sick to my stomach wondering how JD was going to keep these two amazing characters together. I just wanted them to have their HEA….together.

Conclusion: With Spoilers…you were warned!

View Spoiler »

Dammit. And Double Dammit. There’s no redeeming this book at all. No matter how I look at it, it sucked ass, plain and simple.

Stupid ass book!

Story: 4 Ending: 1

This book is available from Simon & Schuster . You can buy it here or here in e-format.


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Joint Review: Sweep in Peace by Ilona Andrews

Posted February 28, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 6 Comments

Joint Review: Sweep in Peace by Ilona AndrewsReviewer: Holly & Rowena
Sweep in Peace (Innkeeper Chronicles, #2) by Ilona Andrews
Series: Innkeeper Chronicles #2
Also in this series: Clean Sweep (Innkeeper Chronicles, #1), Clean Sweep (Innkeeper Chronicles, #1), One Fell Sweep (Innkeeper Chronicles, #3)
Published by Ilona Andrews
Publication Date: November 13th 2015
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 237
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-half-stars

Dina DeMille doesn’t run your typical Bed and Breakfast. Her inn defies laws of physics, her fluffy dog is secretly a monster, and the only paying guest is a former Galactic tyrant with a price on her head. But the inn needs guests to thrive, and guests have been scarce, so when an Arbitrator shows up at Dina's door and asks her to host a peace summit between three warring species, she jumps on the chance.

Unfortunately, for Dina, keeping the peace between Space Vampires, the Hope-Crushing Horde, and the devious Merchants of Baha-char is much easier said than done. On top of keeping her guests from murdering each other, she must find a chef, remodel the inn...and risk everything, even her life, to save the man she might fall in love with. But then it's all in the day's work for an Innkeeper…

Dina Demille runs an intergalactic B&B, an Inn, that caters to more difficult guests. When the Inn was built it sat at a busy crossroads, but since the new highway was built it’s fallen off the map, so to speak, and guests are few and far between. Since the Inn needs guests to survive, Dina agrees to host a Peace Treaty between 3 very dangerous species. She knows it’s risky, but desperate times and all that. Only she didn’t predict just how terribly wrong things would go.

Holly: I seriously love that you’re reading this series. I’m giving myself a pat on the back for forcing you to read outside your comfort zone. Were you happy to be back visiting Dina in her Inn?

Rowena: This is a good series. I’m not all that into paranormals or urban fantasy, not like you are anyway, but I’m glad you’re making me read these books. I’m really enjoying them. I was really happy being back in this world, but I really missed Sean, at least in the beginning. Holy cow, Dina really does get the difficult guest, right?

Holly: She really does. I love how calm she is under pressure. Vampires and the Hope-Crushing Horde about to rip each other’s faces off? No big deal. Let’s all have some tea. I definitely missed Sean in this book, too, but Dina is a fantastic heroine. I was totally wrapped up in her struggles to get everything ready for the summit.

Rowena: Yessss! She is a really good innkeeper, too. She genuinely cares about people and she takes her job very seriously. I admire the hell out of her for doing her job, even when it’s hard and still doing what she feels is right for her Inn, for her guests and for the people she cares about.

Holly: I do think the story was kind of slow in the middle. I liked this book a lot, but it isn’t my favorite. One Fell Sweep, book 3, is.

Rowena: I didn’t think the story was slow, maybe because this was all new to me? I’m not sure. I just know that as soon as I finished it, I wanted to read the next book pronto so I did.

There was a lot going on in this book and I thought that Andrews did a great job of bringing all of those individual stories together and still giving us romance fans that little, tiny romance that I was itching for from the beginning. I enjoyed this book so much that I couldn’t wait to start the next book…and I did.

Holly: Let’s talk about the individual characters for a minute. What did you think of Orro, the disgraced Red Cleaver Chef Dina hired? Did you adore him like I did?

Rowena: Of course, I did. I loved how ornery and dramatic he was, but I also loved that he took care of Dina and was able to find himself a home at Gertrude Hunt. I’m not going to lie, I was low key hungry after reading every scene he was in….I also wanted to be a guest at the summit so that I can eat the food he prepared. Everything sounded so delicious.

Holly: What about the Arbitrator, George, and his companions, Jack, Gaston and Sophie (for those who are familiar with Andrews’ other works, they’re crossover characters from the The Edge series)? George made me so angry, but in the end I couldn’t hate him.

Rowena: As for George, I was just as mad at him as Dina was at first but in the end, I really liked him and am curious about his story. He makes the hard decisions that nobody wants to make and he really took a lot on himself, as well. That can’t be an easy life to live and yet, he does it. Throw in the drama between him and Sophie, it made my heart go even softer on him.

Holly: Yep, that’s how I felt about George, too. I knew him from the other series, but even so..he made me so angry! In the end, I couldn’t help but love him. I actually liked Jack a lot more than George after reading The Edge series. But here George was the star. I hope we see more from him and his crew later.

Holly: I loved it when Jack sprayed Officer Marais. I almost died laughing.

Rowena: Jack, Gaston and Sophie were good characters but I wasn’t as invested in them as I was George, Arland and that thing that came in and killed those vampires. What was he called again?

Holly: Turin Adin, the Merchants ace. His story broke my heart. I loved him.

Rowena: Also??? Turin Adin, I knew exactly who he was not long after he came onto the scene. The minute he said, “Thank you” all soft like to Dina after she apologized for not protecting him as she should have, I was like, there he is. He’s home…and then I squeed like a little schoolgirl with a crush.

Holly: I knew right away who he really was, too, but Dina’s moment of discovery was so awesome. I loved her reaction and how determined she was to save him.

Rowena: My favorite quote from the entire book was, “Nothing I regret. You’re alive. That makes me happy.” Excuse me while I swoon.

Holly: Oh, how I melted when he said that. My heart got all happy when Dina was like “Oh hell no, you can’t have him”. Sigh.

Rowena: Dude, what about the lengths Dina went to save the Turin Adin??? Talk about heady stuff. I’m so here for that.

Holly: I love how nuanced these characters are. Like Nuan Cee, the head Merchant. I wanted to hate him for refusing to let Turin Adin go, but I couldn’t. His reason for needing Turin Adin was such a good one.

Rowena: Yesss!! I liked that about everyone in the book. They were all driven by something that wasn’t greed (well except for that one house but Turin Adin took care of them real quick like), reasons that were understandable. It would have been so easy to just make them all greedy bastards but I liked how fleshed out each house and each character in this book is.

I’m really coming to love these characters and the world that Ilona Andrews has built for Dina. I love the drawings that are included and all of the drama that comes Dina’s way when she accepts new guests. I felt every emotion that Dina (I was pissed at the damn vampires for coming in the front, I was exasperated with Officer Marais for making things harder for Dina to conduct business and I was nosy as all get out to find out everyone’s stories) felt and that scene where Dina makes them all feel what each other was feeling?? That was pretty awesome. There wasn’t much that I didn’t enjoy about this book. The characters, the stories, the setting, it all worked for me. Great book pimp!

Holly: I love this whole series. Dina is wonderful, so is Gertrude Hunt and all who inhabit or visit. I’m so glad you loved it (is now a good time to say I Told You So?). I’m going to give it a 4.5 out of 5. You?

Rowena: I’m really loving the hell out of these books. I love Dina. I love Sean. Hell, I even love Arland and Gertrude Hunt is the bomb too. I really like that the Inn is a character itself. So much goodness in this book, I give it 4.5 out of 5 too.

Final Grades

Holly: 4.5 out of 5
Rowena: 4.5 out of 5

Innkeeper Chronicles

four-half-stars


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Joint Review: Complicated by Kristen Ashley

Posted January 10, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 7 Comments

Joint Review: Complicated by Kristen AshleyReviewer: Holly and Rowena
Complicated by Kristen Ashley
Published by Kristen Ashley
Publication Date: November 7th, 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 571
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

When small town Nebraska sheriff Hixon Drake meets Greta Dare, the connection couldn’t be stronger, but the timing couldn’t be worse.

Dealing with the fallout of a divorce he never wanted and setting up a new home for his kids, Hix becomes that guy, that one he never wanted to be, and puts a stop to things before they can even start. Protecting his kids, and himself, is his only priority.

Greta, on the other hand, has found the place for her and the brother she adores that’s perfect for them—a sleepy little town in Nebraska. She’s learned from life that there are no hopes and dreams. The only thing to look forward to is peace. And that’s what she works hard to build for herself and her brother. Right up until Hix walks into her life.

Hix can’t fight the pull and stay away from Greta for long. And Greta’s finding it hard not to hope for something more with all the promise that is Hix.

But when the first murder that’s happened in over five decades rocks his small, sleepy county, Hix has got to learn to trust again, convince Greta to take a shot with him, and at the same time catch a killer.

In other words, things are definitely…Complicated.

Complicated by Kristen Ashley follows Hixton Drake and Greta Dare as they fall in love amidst a lot of small-town drama, a murder, a jealous ex and lots of other complications that get in the way of them being them. Hixton is dealing with a divorce that he didn’t want and Greta has her own fair share of life worries that keep her busy but they’re drawn to each other over and over again and sometimes, you can’t walk away from that connection. Not when it’s probably best.

Rowena: Alright, so it took me a while to read this book because that page count? Holy cow, KA books are so long but even with all of those pages to get through, I enjoyed this one. I thought it was a sweet romance and I really liked Greta. And Hix. Mostly, Greta though.

What did you think?

Holly: KA can definitely be long winded. This book could have been cut down by at least 100 pages, maybe 200.

Rowena: I’m not sure if it’s because I don’t read very many of KA’s books but I seemed to have enjoyed this one a lot more than most of the readers that I know who have read it. Sure, it was hella long, but I was still invested in everything that was going on and I really enjoyed getting to know Hix, Greta and everyone else. From Lou and her girls, Andy and then Hix’s kids (especially Shaw), I loved everyone…except Hope. I hated her until I didn’t hate her but I never really liked her.

Holly: I didn’t dislike it, but it isn’t KA’s best. I prefer it when KA books have more angst. Wasn’t Shaw great, though? I loved him. He was such an awesome kid. I wouldn’t mind if KA wrote a book for him later.

Rowena: Yeah, I can see what you mean. That’s exactly what Ames said about the book. She wants more angst too. Yes! Shaw was fantastic. You know, he kind of reminded me of your son. Very stand up and just sweet all around. Total good kid and you know that they’re going to grow up to be a great guy. I wouldn’t mind getting a book for Shaw, too. Down the road though. He needs to go and be a Marine and learn how to be a man.

Holly: I do have a pretty great son. 🙂 I agree Shaw needs to grow up first, but some day in the future I’d be interested in his book.

Hope was an idiot. Why she let Hix get away is a total mystery to me.

Rowena: The whole Hope thing, goodness, how stupid was she? It really spoke to the kind of person that Hix was that so many of his kids wanted to live with him and not his mean ass ex-wife. I loved how Greta had a fan club and a support system in her customers and friends. She was really lucky though it wasn’t hard to see why they were so loyal to her. She earned their respect and their loyalty so Hope’s plan to destroy her totally backfired and I loved seeing Hope fall on her ass.

Holly: I loved that the town rallied behind Greta even though they were pulling for Hix and Hope in the beginning. Every time Lou announced one of them switched to Greta’s side I snickered. I do like that Hope was quasi-redeemed in the end. Ashley is good at that.

I really liked Greta. She was great all the way around. Sure of herself, caring and compassionate, willing and able to stick up for herself. I loved how she took care of her brother and her friends.

Rowena: I thought Greta was great too. I loved how she took care of everyone, including Hix. I loved that she was sure in the person that she was and didn’t need Hix to be around all the time. She was understanding of his situation and wasn’t afraid to get her some when she could without needing an engagement ring. She was a strong, independent woman and I really liked her.

Holly: Her teasing Hix and making him food was so cute. Her independence was one of her best qualities. She didn’t need to be with Hix all the time. She was happy to do her own thing.

What did you think of her ex?

Rowena: Greta’s ex was meh to me. I felt more for her Mom than him. I felt a lot of rage where her Mom was concerned but for Keith? Meh.

Holly: The bits with Greta’s ex could have been cut completely. I don’t even know why that scene was included. OMG, don’t get me started on her mom, though. That crazy bitch needed to get smacked upside the head. By Greta.

Rowena: I really enjoyed getting to know Andy and I really loved how complex Greta’s feelings were for Andy, who he could and should have been but still loving who he is now. Greta was damn near perfect, don’t you think?

Holly: I thought Greta’s feelings about her brother and his situation were so authentic. Her joy in his personality, along with her sadness over what he could have been. My heart broke for them both. You’re right, she was damn near perfect, wasn’t she? Well, except what a terrible loser she was when she and Hix wrestled. haha

Hix was…not the best KA hero. Usually her heroes are great, but he didn’t really stand out. I kind of felt like it wasn’t necessarily Greta for him, but any woman would have done. He needed someone to care for. She just happened to be the one.

Rowena: I enjoyed Hix. I enjoyed that he tried to do the right thing for his loved ones and while he’s not my favorite KA hero, he’s not my least favorite either. I liked the way that he took care of everyone. He was sexy as hell, too. Yum.

Overall, this book was great fun for me. I liked that this story fit the title so well. I liked seeing Greta and Hix fall in love (and I totally believed that Hix was drawn and then fell in love with Greta). I liked seeing Hix’s kids develop a relationship with Greta and I liked seeing the two of them come into their own…together. They fit together well and their romance was sweet and I dug the whole thing. I give it a 4 out of 5. You?

Holly: I loved the town, I loved Greta and her brother, I liked Hix and the romance between them. Overall this was a good read. Not KA’s best, but it was entertaining. I’m giving it a 3.5 out of 5

Final Ratings

Holly’s Rating: 3.5 out of 5
Rowena’s Rating: 4 out of 5

four-stars


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Joint Review: A Wallflower Christmas by Lisa Kleypas

Posted December 13, 2017 by Holly in Reviews | 12 Comments

Joint Review: A Wallflower Christmas by Lisa KleypasReviewer: Casee, Holly and Rowena
A Wallflower Christmas by Lisa Kleypas
Series: The Wallflowers #5
Also in this series: Again The Magic, The Devil in Winter, Scandal in Spring (The Wallflowers #4)
Published by Macmillan
Publication Date: November 2nd 2010
Genres: Fiction
Pages: 224
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-half-stars

New York Times bestselling author Lisa Kleypas invites you to spend the holidays with the Wallflowers—four young London ladies who finally found the men of their dreams...and will join together once more to help the world's most notorious rogue meet his match.
The magic of Christmas
Rafe Bowman has just arrived from America for his arranged meeting with Natalie, the very proper and beautiful daughter of Lady and Lord Blandford. His chiseled good looks and imposing physique are sure to impress the lady-in-waiting, and if it weren't for his shocking American ways and wild reputation, her hand would already be guaranteed. Before the courtship can begin, Rafe realizes he must learn the rules of London society. But when four former Wallflowers try their hand at matchmaking, no one knows what will happen...
BEGINS under the mistletoeWinning a bride turns out to be more complicated than Rafe Bowman anticipated, especially for a man accustomed to getting anything he wants. However, Christmas works in the most unexpected ways, changing a cynic to a romantic...and inspiring passion in the most timid of hearts.
"Splendid romance."—Booklist

*****As part of our 10 year anniversary celebration, we’ll be re-posting old reviews and posts that make us cringe, laugh or sigh all over again.*****

Holly: The three of us haven’t done a review together in awhile. I remember how much I loved this series. Getting this novella was such an lovely bonus.

This post was originally published October 14, 2008

 

It’s been awhile since we did a joint review here at Book Binge, but when Rowena, Casee, and I realized we’d all read A Wallflower Christmas by Lisa Kleypas, we decided to do one. Please note: There will be spoilers below.

Holly: It was great seeing the Wallflowers again, though I’m glad the story wasn’t totally focused on them. I adored Hannah and Rafe both. There was something very real about them and their relationship. I think Hannah’s understanding of her situation was very well done. I really didn’t like Lady Natalie, though. I’m not sure if LK meant for her to be a sympathetic character, but I didn’t buy it. Especially the way she treated Hannah when she didn’t get her way.

Rowena: I KNOW! I am not a fan of Natalie’s. I hated the way that she treated Hannah, especially when she wanted to spend time alone with Rafe. The way she talked down to Hannah in front of Rafe as if that made her cooler to Rafe seriously pissed me off and sealed her fate for me as the tramp I didn’t like at all.

But, I LOVED THIS BOOK! I thought it was such a fast and cute holiday read. I loved how The Wallflowers were all reunited and happily married. It was fun to see them all band together to help Hannah and I loved the whole Cinderella theme as well.

Rafe was a hottie of a hero, loved him! I loved his personality and I loved his hotness and I just effing loved him! The way he was with Hannah and the way that he was with his sisters and the kids. He was an all around great hero.

Hannah was great too! I loved how we saw her change her mind about Rafe. I loved how smart she was and how she wasn’t afraid to show how smart she was and I loved how easy it was for her to befriend the Wallflowers and fit in with them. She was great, great, great.

Casee: I couldn’t stand Lady Natalie. The way she treated Hannah was just awful, especially in front of Rafe. I thought I would like her b/c of how amused she was when Hannah told her about meeting Rafe. But then she just seemed spiteful and petty.

I loved the first meeting between them. The way Hannah was so apalled by Rafe’s manners was freaking funny.

Like Rowena said, it was a fast and cute holiday read. I really enjoyed it.

H: Natalie was very much the spoiled child. I’m still not clear if LK meant for her to be likable or not. I mean, were we supposed to want her to end up happy, just not with Rafe? I certainly didn’t feel that way in the end. I wanted her to get her comeuppance. I loved that the Wallflowers kind of jumped in and took Hannah under their wing. The scene where they find the letter from Rafe and are examining it is hilarious. It starts with one and then another pops her head in and they all said the same thing, “Hannah found a letter. It’s a secret. Come in.” Adorable. I liked Rafe, too. He was very chivalrous. The way he joked and teased them was great. I definitely loved the intimacy he and Hannah established right in the beginning. How they talked to each other about things and really listened to each other. Oh! How about that first kiss? Scorching! One thing that really bothered me was Lilian. Why in the world would she think Westcliff was cheating on her? That really didn’t ring true for me at all. She was always self-assured and confident and having her question herself and Marcus just..didn’t work. Is that just me?

R: I hope she wasn’t meant to be likeable because I didn’t like that little tramp at all. So crosses fingers not meant to be likeable.

Me too. I thought that adding the Wallflowers into the story would kind of take away from my enjoyment of Rafe and Hannah but that wasn’t the case at all. I think LK did a fantastic job of writing them into the story without them stealing the thunder away from Hannah and Rafe. I loved the scene that you mentioned because it showed us just how close each of the Wallflowers are and even after all this time and then all the time spent apart to see them all together again and acting as if they had spent everyday together was great to see and I was glad that they all came together to help Hannah, it was cute, adorable and oh so right.

That first kiss was…wow. I loved it, it was right then that I fell like a rock for Rafe. So confident and cocky and sexy he was and I ate it all up.

One of my favorite scenes was the one where Hannah gets roped into helping the little kid get the toupee back….oh how frickin’ hilarious that was.

As for the whole Lillian thing, she’s never been a favorite of mine but I do agree that her insecurities about Marcus threw me off a bit because of the Lillian we all knew from the other books. I didn’t think anything of it though, it was just a fleeting thought, one I didn’t dwell on at all so all of that was, BLAH.

C: I really thought Natalie was going to end up being a heroine in a novella with one of the Bowman twin brothers. That was at the beginning when she seemed likeable. After reading the book, though, I’m not interested in reading about her at all.

The scene about Rafe’s letter and all the Wallflowers coming in was probably my favorite scene in the whole book. I just really thought that it really highlighted why these four women became the best of friends in the most unlikely of circumstances. Hannah fit right in and I loved how they took her under their collective wing.

I agree to a certain point about the Lillian thing. I think that LK was trying to show that even a woman as strong as Lillian can have insecurities. Lillian was never a favorite of mine, either, but I really felt bad for her. The part for me that was totally un-Lillian like was when she asked Marcus to be discreet. The Lillian we knew would have bashed his head with whatever heavy object was at hand.

H: You know, at first I didn’t realize there was even an outside story involved (when we first heard the title, but had no synopses, I mean). I thought it was just going to be a reunion of the Wallflowers. I’m glad we got a glimpse of each of them (St. Vincent is effing hot!), but you’re right, they balanced the story rather than taking it over. Oh, that scene when she got stuck on the ledge was wonderful! I really liked not only Rafe rescuing her, but also the scene after, where they decorated the tree as a family. The wager they made and the forfeit Rafe had to give up made me all melty inside. I heart him.

R: Oh yes! I know what you mean, I loved the little forfeit thing, I got all gooey inside, it was great. I’m telling you, this story was another fantastic LK book and I really, really enjoyed it.

The only thing that I was miffed about was that I didn’t think we got enough Simon and Annabelle. I feel like after their story, they were done. They’re mentioned and they’re around but we don’t get to see as much of them as we do of the others, the same with Matthew and Daisy. Those two couples are my favorite in the series and we either hear about how they’re doing or they’re in the background whereas Lillian and Marcus are always around and have parts in other books as well as Seb and Evie, and as much as I love them, I want to see more of the others.

Is that too much to ask for? Maybe but it doesn’t stop me from wanting more sexy Simon and magnificent Matthew…=)

C: I wished there was more of Simon and Anabelle, too! Am I the only one that thought it was weird that Anabelle refers to Simon as “Mr. Hunt” to the Wallflowers? I’ve always thought that seemed so impersonal.

I’m re-reading Devil in Winter right now. I loved getting the small glimpse back into St. Vincent and Evie. Those two…sigh

I thought it was just going to be a Wallflower reunion book, too. I’m glad that we got a little of everything. Getting a new love story along w/ reading more about the Wallflowers, what could be better?

H: You know, it’s funny, but I think Lilian and Marcus are the least favorite Wallflowers by pretty much everyone, but they’re the ones that crop up most often. Even Evie and Seb take a backseat to them. Do you think LK is playing favorites? LOL

Overall I’d say this is a total winner. The main romance between Hannah and Rafe is very well done and the Wallflowers really enhanced the story. I had a couple gripes, but it goes in the keeper pile and I know I’ll pick it up again. 4 out of 5 You?

R: I agree, overall the story was completely well done. The romance between Rafe and Hannah was great and easy to fall into. Great characters, great storyline makes for a winner for me and I think LK did a fab job!

4.5 out of 5 for me.

C: I was completely happy when I closed this book. I thought it was a perfect Christmas read. The only thing that would have made it better was an appearance by Derek Craven. Heh.

4.25 out of 5.

Grades:
Casee: 4.25 out of 5
Holly: 4. out of 5
Rowena: 4.25 out of 5

The Series:

  

This book is available from St. Martin’s Press. You can buy it here.

four-half-stars


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