Tag: The Stokehursts

Retro Review: Midnight Angel by Lisa Kleypas.

Posted January 4, 2017 by Rowena in Reviews | 10 Comments

Retro Review: Midnight Angel by Lisa Kleypas.Reviewer: Rowena
Midnight Angel by Lisa Kleypas
Series: The Stokehursts #1
Publisher: Harper Collins, Avon
Publication Date: January 1st 1995
Pages: 373
Add It: Goodreads
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Series Rating: five-stars

A noblewoman of frail beauty and exotic mystery fakes her own death to escape the gallows. And now she must flee. In disguise and under a false identity, she finds unexpected sanctuary in the arms of a handsome and arrogant yet gallant British lord—who must defy society to keep her safe . . . and overcome a tragic past to claim her as his own.

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

This week, we’re checking out an old Lisa Kleypas review that I wrote so long ago. I haven’t re-read this book in so long so I don’t even know if I’d give it the same grade today and gah, I sound like…nothing good. sigh.***

This review was originally posted on March 17, 2008

I’m reading about 3 different books right now and this is the book that I kept going back each and everytime I picked up a book to read. There was just something about this book that had me coming back for me. I’ve said this before in my reviews that when a story has fantastic characters, I fall right into the story and characters can make me love the most basic of storylines and even the most cheesiest of storylines…and though this wasn’t a basic or cheesy storyline, I did end up really enjoying this book.

Lord Lucas Stokehurst is a widower who loved his first wife very much. He’s got a young daughter who acts beastly all the time and needs a woman’s influence in her life to teach her how to act like a true lady. Luke doesn’t ever want to get married again because he will feel guilty about forgetting his first wife, Mary.

All of that changes when “Miss Karen Billings” with many deep, dark secrets comes into his life. He is drawn to the mystery surrounding Miss Billings and as she’s his daughter’s new governess, he vows to stay away from her.

But like a moth to a flame, Miss Karen Billings carves her way into his life and into the hearts of those most close to him.

Most especially his daughter.

Emma was a young woman of 12 who needed a woman’s influence to teach her the ways of life. She needed someone to teach her the basic truths of what she was going through and she needed someone to love her the way a mother would love her. Tasia filled that role to perfection and I thoroughly enjoyed reading the scenes between Tasia and Emma. The way they grew close warmed my heart because they both needed each other, it wasn’t just Emma needing Tasia. Tasia needed Emma just as much and I loved that. They bonded together and formed the sort of friendship that Emma needed to help her get through that awkward stage in her life.

Oh and “Miss Karen Billings” real name was Lady Anastasia from Russia. She was on the run for murder and she was never to return to Russia because that would be her death sentence. She couldn’t trust anyone and it took her a whole lot to finally trust in the love Lucas was offering her and the protection he promised to give her if she would only but trust him.

This book was a wonderful read. It was a fast paced story, sometimes it was a good thing and sometimes it was a not so good thing.

It was a not so good thing because I felt like with the snap of a finger Lucas just changed his mind and was in love with Tasia. He found out about her secret and then humiliated her in front of everyone and then felt bad so he fell in love with her and tried to go and make things better for her. It just wasn’t believable to me. It would have been nice to see him gradually fall in love with her, but that bugged a little, it didn’t ruin the story for me.

I really enjoyed the secondary characters in this one. Emma was a fantastic addition, she was young, lively and just so real…I enjoyed her a lot. She truly did love her Dad and wanted what was best for him and that horrid Lady Harcourt just wasn’t it. I’m glad she got tossed to the corner, it just would have been nice if Tasia got a chance to shove her snobbiness up her throat or something because I hated the way she treated Tasia, like she was insignificant.

The age difference between Luke and Tasia didn’t bother me in the least but I guess it was because Lisa Kleypas did an exceptional job of not dwelling on it, that it made me forget all about their age but in the back of my mind, I was always thinking, “Age aint nothing but a number” just like Aaliyah sang in her song. =)

Man, Lucas Stokehurst was a stud! I hella loved him. He was everything that I love in a hero. He was strong, handsome and had an inperfection. The inperfection made him all the more sexier to me because who wouldn’t think a hook is sexy? Loved it. I loved the way he was with Tasia, even when he was jerk to her, I liked it…and the way he was with Emma was another plus with me. He loved that little girl and just the manly man that he was…the man that Charles admired and the man who was so popular with the other men was exactly Lucas and I hecka loved him, he took up someone spot in my Top 5 favorite LK men. I LOVE HIM!

I enjoyed Tasia as well, I thought she was a good heroine. When she bullheadedly told Luke that she couldn’t stay and she told him the real reason why she couldn’t stay instead of using that whole “lie to save his life” bull crap was a real plus with me. She didn’t feel the need to lie to him when he finally knew the whole truth of why she had to leave…so that he and Emma would be safe because as long as she was there with them, they would be a target and she couldn’t bear it if anything happened to the both of them.

Overall, this book was beautifully written and I thought the story was very engaging and the characters were exceptional. I fell in love with the Stokehursts and with Tasia…they made a beautiful pair and I loved how true love healed all the wounds this family had going for them, it was just a nice story to get lost in for the few hours that it took me to read this. I highly recommend this book to any of you out there, wanting to read a great historical!


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Review: Prince of Dreams by Lisa Kleypas

Posted September 13, 2011 by Holly in Reviews | 7 Comments

Publisher: Avon, Harper Collins

Holly‘s review of Prince of Dreams (Stokehursts, Book 2) by Lisa Kleypas

A wealthy and bitter exile, he most dangerous and desirable man in all of England, he burns to possess a proud, headstrong beauty who is promised to another. But winning Emma Stokehurst’s exquisite hand through threats and determination does nothing to fill the empty spaces in Nikolas’ heart until passion’s magic carries the handsome, tormented prince back to a bygone era of splendor and romantic dreams.

For there his destiny awaits him in a distant life. And in one remarkable woman’s tender touch, achingly familiar but gloriously new, he must seek the elusive promise of ecstasy . . .and learn, at last, to love.

I know many Kleypas fans don’t care for this book. It’s darker than some of her others and features elements many romance readers shy away from. I can’t help myself, I adore it. There’s something so raw about Nikolas, some indefinable thing that makes him worthy, even when he shouldn’t be. It doesn’t hurt that Emma is amazing. She’s strong and caring and compassionate, but she isn’t a doormat. Though parts of this are hard to read, it’s an excellent novel.

Nikolas has been exiled from Russia. He settles in England and plays the part of a jaded prince, but Emma Stokehurst has always held him captive. He decides he wants her for himself and does everything he can to make that happen, even scaring away her current suitor and alienating her from her family.

Emma knows her heart is broken when her one and only love leaves her. She blames her father and runs to the one man she knows will accept her – Nikolas Angelovsky. She decides to marry him, partly because she doesn’t think she’ll get another offer and partly to spite her family. Nikolas indulges her in her unconventional pursuits, including caring for the animals in her menagerie. He’s everything he promised he’d be as a husband – without any of the caring Emma is used to.

When a little boy lands on their doorstep and Nikolas admits the boy is his son – and that he wants nothing to do with him – that’s the last straw for Emma. She decides it’s time to close her heart to him. But something happens to Nikolas and he realizes he’s been a fool to push her away so long. Is it too little, too late?

Emma is an amazing heroine. She’s progressive for her time, without being silly or over-the-top. She’s an animal lover, a vegetarian and she’s practical and levelheaded about her lack of suitors and lack of looks. She doesn’t let Nikolas get away with anything, either. As a matter of fact, she often gives better than she got. That isn’t to say she’s perfect. She’s far from it. She’s young and impetuous, and too often lets her temper lead her into doing and saying things she can’t take back. She’s also stubborn to a fault.

Nikolas is broken. There’s no other word for him. His childhood and the experiences he dealt with in Russia have jaded him. He suffers from night terrors. He’s cynical. He wants something good in his life – hence his obsession with Emma – but he doesn’t think he deserves it. He does his best to push everyone away, especially Emma. He shouldn’t be a sympathetic character, but he is. Kleypas is a master at taking unsympathetic characters and making them lovable.

There is a lot in this novel that’s hard to take. The way Nikolas acts toward Emma and his son is often deplorable. And ***SPOILER ALERT*** he blatantly cheats on her at one point. ***END SPOILER ALERT*** There’s also a strange time-travel element that seems not to make sense with the rest of the story. I think Kleypas made it work, but I won’t deny it’s strange and obviously meant to push Nikolas into seeing what he’s been missing.

Despite the flaws, this is an emotional and gripping novel. If you can set aside some of the harder aspects of the story, I think you’ll find a hidden gem.

4.25 out of 5

The series:
Midnight AngelPrince of Dreams

This book is available from Avon. You can buy it here.

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Author Spotlight Review: Midnight Angel by Lisa Kleypas

Posted October 19, 2009 by Casee in Features, Reviews | 6 Comments

Publisher: Avon, Harper Collins

Casee‘s review of Midnight Angel by Lisa Kleypas.

A noblewoman of frail beauty and exotic mystery fakes her own death to escape the gallows. And now she must flee. In diguise and under a false identity, she finds unexpected sanctuary in the arms of a handsome and arrogant yet gallant British lord — who must defy society to keep her safe…and overcome a tragic past to claim her as his own.

Historicals that take place in Russia always fascinate me. There’s something primitive about the setting and any Russian characters. Tasia seems more suited to England than Russia even though she is Russian. When she’s convicted of murdering her betrothed, Tasia fakes her death and flees to England. Knowing that she can never go back to her home country is something that makes her die a little inside.

With the help of a distant cousin, Tasia procures a job as a governess. Lord Lucas Stokehurst isn’t exactly an easy employer. Though she gets along great with her charge, his 12 year old daughter Emma, Stokehurst is another matter entirely. He has an uncanny ability to see things that she doesn’t want him to see.

Tasia only has a certain about of time with the Stokehurts before she must flee again. The family of her murdered fiance are determined to have revenge on Tasia. She doesn’t count on her feelings for Lucas or Emma. She also doesn’t count on Lucas’s feelings for her.

Since Emma’s mother died in a house fire, Lucas has been content with his life, if not happy. While he never plans to marry again, he enjoys relationships with women from time to time. He has never considered anything more than a brief affair until he meets Tasia. Lucas can tell that Tasia is running and he is the one to protect her. His arrogance in assuming that he is powerful enough to help her is exactly what you would expect from a historical hero.

In the end, he does save Tasia, but it wasn’t as easy as he first thought. The relationship between Lucas and Emma was very well done. I also liked the fact that Lucas prospered after his wife died. He didn’t lay down and die with her.

4 out of 5.

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

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